Animal Care

Standard Operating Procedures for Husbandry of Anolis LizardsHousing

In accord with standardized institutional protocols for the care of Anolis, adults will be housed in groups of four animals (one male, three females).  The standard enclosure will be a commercially available reptile enclosure (the “Kritter Keeper”).  The substrate for this enclosure will be sterilized potting soil.  Each cage will also include two sterilized sticks and artificial plant leaves to serve as perches.

Breeding
Standardized institutional protocols for the care and maintenance of breeding Anolis suggest breeding groups consisting of one male and three females.  Female anoles lay eggs individually.  Although the egg laying season may extend across 4-5 months, during which one egg may be layed every 2-3 weeks, females in the laboratory average fewer than five fertile eggs per season.

Genotyping
Animals will be genotyped as either adults or as hatchlings.

Individual Identification
Individual animals will be marked with visible implant elastomer tags (VIE) which are available commercially from Northwest Marine Technology.  VIE is a two-part silicone based material that is injected just beneath the surface of the skin.  This approach is now a widely used alternative the more invasive marking of reptiles via two-clipping.

Diet
As per standardized institutional protocols for the care of Anolis, adults will be fed a diet of live crickets. Crickets will be purchased from a commercial vendor.  Crickets will be dusted every other feeding with a 1:1 mix of commercial vitamin supplement and a calcium additive (Rep-Cal brand Herpvitive and Calcium Supplement).  Prior to feeding, crickets will be fed Laena Poultry (Purina) feed ad libitum.
Hatchlings will be fed flightless Drosophila maintained in standard culture.  As individual anoles mature, they will gradually be transferred to the standard cricket diet.  Crickets of the appropriate size will be chosen based on the size of the anole.  Because crickets may harass or even kill juvenile lizards, excess crickets are removed from the cages within several hours of feeding.

Water Scheduling
Each cage will be misted twice daily with individual spray bottles or a pressurized sprayer intended for use in the greenhouse.

Food Scheduling
Adults and juveniles will be fed twice weekly.  As with most reptiles, feeding is a sporadic occurrence in the life of wild anoles.  Thus, our twice-weekly feeding regiment will emulate the situation experienced by anoles in nature.  Anoles fed more regularly will tend to refuse food, resulting in undesirable accumulation of crickets in their enclosures.

Posted by Rich Glor – Nov. 4th, 2007

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