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Geckos vs Anoles: Choosing the Right Lizard Pet for You

Geckos vs Anoles: Choosing the Right Lizard Pet for You

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Are you considering getting a pet lizard but unsure whether to go for a gecko or an anole? These fascinating creatures both have their unique charms, but which one is the right fit for you?

In this article, we’ll compare geckos and anoles. Temperament, handling, feeding, housing, and health.

Also, we’ll debunk common myths and misconceptions. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of which pet reptile is the perfect match for you.

Comparing Geckos and Anoles

Geckos and anoles are both popular choices as pet reptiles. This is due to their manageable size, unique appearance, and relatively low-maintenance care.

But, if you are planning to get a pet like this, be mindful of the significant differences between these two species.

Head-On Comparison

In this section, we’ll compare geckos and anoles in various categories that potential owners may consider when choosing a pet lizard.

Temperament and Handling

Docile Nature of Geckos

Geckos are generally known for their docile nature. It’s considered as easy to handle compared to other reptiles.

However, the temperament and handling of each gecko species may vary. For example, leopard geckos are very calm.

Other species like the tokay gecko can be more aggressive. It requires experienced handlers.

Handling the More Active Anoles

Anoles can be more uneasy and require more patience to handle as compared to geckos. They are generally more active and more challenging to handle.

It’s because of their size and quick movements. It’s important to handle anoles gently and avoid grabbing or squeezing them as they may be easily injured.

On the other hand, with proper socialization and handling, some anoles can become quite tame and enjoy interacting with their owners.

The winner: Gecko – for their generally docile temperament plus ease of handling.

Feeding and Nutrition

Eating and Diet for Your Pets

Geckos are primarily insectivorous. They can thrive on a diet of live insects such as crickets and mealworms.

Geckos can also live with commercially available gecko foods.

Anoles, on the other hand, are omnivorous. It requires a more varied diet of insects, fruits, and vegetables.

Both geckos and anoles need access to clean water and supplements. Extra nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D3 are essential to maintain good health.

The winner: Tie – as both geckos and anoles have specific dietary requirements.

Housing and Environment

Temperature and Bigger Space for Geckos

Geckos need a terrarium that provides ample space for them to move around and climb. An aviary with a minimum size of 30 gallons is recommended for one gecko.

An additional each will require an extra 10 gallons of space. Moreover, the cage should have a screen top for ventilation.

The temperature during the day is between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit, while 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Geckos also require a humid environment with a humidity level between 50-70%.

Anoles’ Ideal Housing and Temperature

On the other hand, anole demands a similar type of terrarium but with differences in temperature and humidity. A 10-gallon space is for one adult anole.

Each additional anole will require an extra 5 gallons of space. The ideal temperature during the day is 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

While during the night, 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect. In addition, anoles prefer a humidity level of 60-80%.

Overall, both geckos and anoles necessitate the same types of housing and environment. Geckos require more space and a higher temperature range and anoles need a higher humidity level.

The winner: As both creatures are seemingly on the same side in this aspect, it’s on the pet owner’s ability to provide the specific requirement for each species.


Geckos and anoles are both inexpensive to purchase. However, the cost of the habitat setup can vary.

Geckos need a larger tank and require more heating equipment. One of the apparent reasons that can make their set up more expensive is this.

The winner: Anoles


Both geckos and anoles have unique appearances. Geckos have soft skin and plump bodies with triangular heads and large eyes.

Anoles have slender bodies and long tails. Also, they have three-sided heads with a dewlap under their chin.

The winner: Tie

Understanding Geckos and Anole

Geckos are a type of lizard that comes in many different species. The most popular are the leopard gecko and the crested gecko.

Both creatures are known for their unique vocalizations.

The Appeal of Geckos as Pets

However, t for some reason, geckos are favored by many pet lovers. They are known for having a docile temperament, pets of ease of handling, and don’t require huge space requirements.

One notable downfall is geckos require specific heating and lighting to thrive. In addition, some species are prone to health issues like a metabolic bone disease.

Pros of having a gecko:

  • Docile temperament
  • Easy to handle
  • Minimal space requirements

Cons of having a gecko:

  • Requires specific heating and lighting conditions
  • Specific species are prone to health issues

The Tiny but Mighty Anole

Anoles are small, arboreal lizards native to the Americas. The most popular species are the green anole.

The ability to change color and impressive jumping abilities make these tiny creatures appealing pets to have. Some prominent reasons why anoles may be favored as pets include their active behavior, ease of care, and low cost.

However, anoles can be more skittish and harder to handle compared to geckos. These tiny creatures may also require a larger enclosure with more vertical space.

Pros of having an anole:

  • Active and engaging behavior
  • Easy to care for
  • Relatively low cost

Cons of having an anole:

  • Can be skittish and harder to handle
  • Requires a larger enclosure with more vertical space

Their Attributes

In this section, we’ll compare the two reptiles based on their attributes. It’s essential to understand these aspects. It’ll help you more to make an informed decision about whether to own a gecko or an anole.


Both geckos and anoles require similar care. They need a temperature-controlled habitat with a heat source and humidity control.

They also need a varied diet that includes live insects. However, anoles can be more fragile and need a more delicate touch when handling.

A word from an expert: Never grab your lizard from its tail!

The winner: Tie


Geckos are nocturnal, while anoles are diurnal. This means geckos are more active at night, while anoles are more active during the day.

Both can be entertaining to watch. But, geckos can be quieter and less likely to disturb their owners’ sleep.

The winner: Tie


Geckos and anoles can live up to 5 years or more in captivity if provided with proper care and nutrition. It’s important to note that individual lifespan can vary.

It all depends on factors such as species, genetics, and overall health. It’s crucial to understand the specific needs of each gecko or anole species.

Providing them with the best care and environment is to ensure a healthy and long lifespan.

Anoles, similar to geckos, have a relatively short lifespan compared to other reptiles. They can also live up to 5-8 years in captivity, with some species living longer than others.

The winner: Tie

Myths About Geckos and Anoles

Understanding how geckos and anoles adapt to their environment can be understood more clearly if you’ll know their myths and know the exact truth about them.

Easy to Take Care of?

There are several common myths and misconceptions that have circulated over the years. One of them is that geckos and anoles are easy to take care of and need minimal attention.

While they may not expect the same level of care as other pets, it’s crucial to give them proper care as mentioned earlier.

Can They Live Peacefully Together?

Another misconception: geckos and anoles can live together in the same habitat. In this aspect, geckos and anoles have different needs and preferences.

Keeping them together can lead to stress and potential harm to one or both of the animals.

The Truth About UVB Lighting

Another myth is that UVB lighting isn’t essential to their growth.

Practically speaking, these creatures can survive without it. However, UVB lighting is essential for their overall health and well-being. UVB radiation helps these reptiles produce vitamin D3.

They’re essential for proper bone growth and development. It helps them synthesize vitamin D3 and metabolize calcium.

Will Live Healthy Sans Live Insects?

Finally, some people believe that geckos and anoles don’t need to be fed live insects. Additionally, they can survive on a diet of commercial food alone.

On the contrary, live insects provide the essential nutrients and stimulation that geckos and anoles need to grow.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the choice between a gecko and an anole as a pet ultimately comes down to personal preference. Both have unique appearances and behavior, and both require similar care.

Geckos may be better suited for those who prefer a quieter pet and are awake at night. While anoles may be a better choice for those who are awake during the day and want an active, entertaining pet.

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