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Green Anole Male or Female

When it comes to owning a green anole, the one question many new reptile owners have, is whether their green anole is male or female. Both males and females have their own unique characteristics that make them stand out, helping you sex your reptile with confidence.

Female Characteristics

A female green anole will be smaller than the males. Of course, if you only have the one anole, then trying to sex your reptile is not going to be easy based on size.

Some of the females have a distinct line that runs along the spine to the end of the tail.

Male Characteristics

The green male anole can be an aggressive reptile or they can be less dominant. The less dominant species tend to be smaller than the alpha in the species.

The less aggressive males are smaller, while male green anoles have a pink dewlap under the neck, which is rarely seen in females.

Further reading

What to Look For

Behavior

Male green anoles will take part in territorial displays. This can happen even when living on their own. This is when the reptile climbs onto something, extending their dewlap and bobbing their head.

If your green anole does this from time to time, then you definitely have a male. Don't be fooled, females can also be very territorial, but they are less likely to fight.

Crest

A crest doesn't always develop on all male species. Some of the male green anoles will develop a crest which can be found along the top of their back, which is made to look larger when they are fighting.

Dewlap

Male anole with extended dewlap

Male green anoles have a thin flap of skin under the throat, better known as a dewlap. The dewlap is extended when defending territory or during mating rituals. The dewlap is a bright color, though in anoles it's not uncommon to see white or grey dewlaps.

Females don't have dewlaps and those that do will be bland in color, not as brightly developed as the male.

Eggs

Green anoles have the amazing ability to store sperm for up to seven months, which is why it's not uncommon for females to lay eggs after capture. Any anole laying eggs is female.

Head

The male green anole will display a larger head than the female. In addition to this, males appear to have longer faces than females.

Postanal Scales

Male reptiles have reproductive organs, which are clearly visible, called postanal scales.. These create two bulged scales at the tail.

Turn your reptile over, look right behind the vent and the postanal scales should be clearly visible. If you don't see bulges, then you are either dealing with a female or immature green anole.

Size

Male and female green anoles are different sizes, but it's not always easy to tell them apart.

Juveniles haven't developed secondary sexual characteristics and therefore younger anoles are all similar in size, even though you will see a slight difference at this time with males being slightly larger than the female.

Anoles that reach eight inches or more can be identified as males, females don't seem to grow any further than five inches.

Quick Tips to Identify if Your Green Anole is Male or Female

Length

The first tip to identifying if your green anole is male or female is to measure the length of your reptile. Females are smaller and from the age of twelve months and older they should measure around five inches. Males, on the other hand, can grow up to eight inches.

Stripe

Stripe in green anole

White stripe on the back of a green anole

Female anoles can develop a white stripe that runs down their back. No all have the stripe and juveniles can have the stripe, whether they are male or female, but this will fade. If you have an adult anole with a white stripe, chances are you have a female.

Throat

Check your anole’s throat, you are looking for a loose piece of skin, called the dewlap. This is used for mating and aggression. In males, the dewlap is pink or red. While some females can have the dewlap, they are lighting in color and not as prominent.

Tail

Gently lift the anole’s tail and look underneath. Males will have two large scales, postanal scales. A female will never have these two bulging scales. If your green anole has these two scales, then you definitely have a male.

Aggression

Male green anoles will often fight with each other, this is seen more when there are females present.

Males show off their bright dewlap when fighting, along with bobbing heads. After which they will lunge at each other and bite.

In the event you have two anoles that are fighting to the point one submits, it's advisable to separate them.

While females do occasionally fight, it is less common.

Courtship

Green Anole Mating

If you have created the perfect natural habitat, then it's not uncommon for your green anoles to start courting.

The male will bob their head and flare their dewlaps, similar to when they are aggressive. In fact, the male will even aggressively go after the female, catching them and pinning them down.

If you cannot tell if they are courting or fighting, it's best to separate them until you can confirm sex.

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1 comment
Kay says May 31, 2021

After a few months, I think it is determined that I do have a male and female! Now that it has gotten hot and humid in the house, I checked both lizards for scales inbetween their legs since both have white stripes. I first had thought and posted on here that they were females and had the egg question thinking it was a huge poop. But after examining the newest lizard, I do believe now Ziggy is indeed a male. So exciting.
My Iggy and Ziggy (my son named them) are both wonderful anoles. Ziggy loves to be handled. He comes to your hand and likes to stay in your hair while Iggy rides on your fingers. We had Twiggy, my son won her at the carnival but she passed before Christmas. We had her for 2 years and had gotten Iggy at Petsmart for company. Twiggy was a gorgeous girl and loved watching TV on your shoulder. Such fun creatures and they are super neat.
I wonder if they know you by smell, site or voice? When I talk to Ziggy, he comes to my hand when called on every time. Iggy always licks your finger and then gets on it. Ziggy licks everything as he walks up your fingers hand, shirt, shoulder, neck and hair. He’s funny. I wonder if he’ll lose his white stripe? He does the head bobbing and has a pink dewlap. I guess he was young when we got him? Or he wasn’t used to us and just shy? But I’m excited to see if they will be friends or will court.
Thank you again for this wonderful site! You helped me a few times now with my lizard questions 🙂

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