Where Do Anoles Lay Their Eggs?

Anole eggs found in a tomato pot. Photo by Karen Cusick.

The egg-laying habits of anoles are surprisingly little known. On Daffodil’s Photo Blog, Karen Cusick recently reported on the discovery of eight–count ’em, eight!–anole eggs in a tomato plant pot. Readers, where else have you found anole eggs?

Also, whose eggs are these? Both green and brown’s occur in Karen’s backyard. In Anolis Newsletter V, Todd Vincent provided tips on how to tell them apart.

Brown and green anole eggs. Photo by Todd Vincent.

Brown and green anole eggs. Photo by Todd Vincent.

And for some delightful footage on baby anoles, let’s not forget this old post.

About Jonathan Losos

Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. I've spent my entire professional career studying anoles and have discovered that the more I learn about anoles, the more I realize I don't know.

39 thoughts on “Where Do Anoles Lay Their Eggs?

    1. I found 6 anole eggs on top of the soil in the shade of our palm tree. One had hatched. A week later I went back, picked one up, and it hatched in my hand! Two hours later I went to check again, and another hatching was emerging.

  1. I suspect that they’re brown anole eggs, since I see brown anoles in and around the tomato pots all the time, but there are green anoles in the yard too so it’s possible some could be green anole eggs. This pot is pretty big, about 2 feet across, and I found the eggs scattered all around the pot. I gathered them up so they’d be safe while I was moving a tomato plant into the pot, and then put them back where I found them when I was finished.

      1. Vic, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. The green anole (Anolis carolinensis) can turn brown, but the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) cannot turn green.

      2. No they aren’t…yes anoles change colors & yes green anoles can look brown…but brown anoles have tons of markings that green anoles do not have…green anoles are native to Florida (& possibly other parts of the US, I don’t know), brown anoles are not.

      3. This is not true, green anoles have the ability to change brown and are endemic to SE US, other anole species like the brown ones, reddish ones, and black ones are in fact invasive and came to Florida with cargo ships from the Caribbean during the mid 20th century – its a serious problem, as green anoles have been out competed by the brown anoles and are subsequently now an endangered species

  2. When we lived in Orlando, Florida an anole laid eggs in the tiny drawers of my husband’s fastener storage chest on his garage workbench. He’d left the drawers open when he was done looking for what he needed.

  3. I suspect that eggs that are laid on bare, dry, surfaces such as drawers and empty vessels are actually hard shelled house house gecko eggs. Anoles do seem to have a preference for laying in planted pots. I mean why wouldn’t they? They contain well drained aerated soil which is watered regularly.

  4. I did some research of my own yesterday and found that anoles like to lay their eggs usually underneath of a plant, most likely low lying, they like their eggs to be deep in the plant, they like loose substrate, moist, dirt mixed in, not just plain leaves. Usually the eggs are slightly under the surface.

    1. we are doing landscaping and under the bricks we found 15 little eggs with the Mother laying on them. Can these be moved to a different location within the vicinity? I don’t want to harm them but we are in the middle of landscaping and I have put a stop to it until I can get a response on what to do. Please help.

  5. I found 6 eggs this morning in a bag of potting soil. It had been sitting for a few months, loosely closed, on my back porch. When I scooped some soil into a new pot, I kept noticing these perfect little pebbles that my kids carefully collected in another pot of dirt. The wife suggested anole eggs and Internet agreed. We were going to try to hatch them in a tank for the kids to watch but Internet says babies are difficult to keep alive, so we’re just putting them in the other dirt pot on the porch and keeping an eye on it.

  6. I discovered four eggs in the rear area of our car, but had no idea where they came from. Then several days later, while moving a cardboard box that I had picked up from my son’s shed, I found the rest of them, another 16. I have seen the eggs like this before but had no idea what they were.

  7. Two weeks ago I was walking outside when my daughter found this soft white perfect pebble. I quickly analized it as an anole egg. After that I asked her to take me to where she found it ans saw there was 60! She found them while digging under plants so that is where I recomened to look. I then later bought a lizard incubator and they have ALL succesfuly hatched and are all well.

  8. There is a green anole living in my umbrella! I left the umbrella standing on end in a pot on the corner of my porch and have seen the lizard in it several times. I’m afraid to move the umbrella in case she has eggs in there. It is April now. How long should I wait before moving the umbrella so I won’t disturb her eggs? And will those tiny little things be able to get out safely? I love all my yard lizards and want them to be happy, lol.

    1. Do not incourage the brown anoles. They are non-native and very invasive.
      There is a drastic decline of the native green anole due to the introduction
      Of the brown Cuban anole. In some areas of Texas they are so numerous.
      that they are consuming the larva of the Monarch butterfly in amounts
      more than would naturally occur with the native anole.

  9. I know I would l would love to find some Anole eggs. I live in Alabama, and there are mainly Green Anoles and Brown Anoles here. They are at my dad’s house. My mom’s house is, for the most part, populated by five lined skinks. They often get in our house but it’s fine. But back on to my original topic, finding some anole eggs would be quite grand. Also, I have seen some green anoles and Bahaman anoles at petsmart. Would they be housed well together? And can they crossbreed?

  10. Pardon my ignorance on Anoles, but I would like to correct my previous comment. Turns out the Bahamian anole is also called the brown anole, and after looking at the pictures of them, I can say there are none at my dad’s house, only green anoles.

  11. I was lefting bricks and I accidentally squashed a brown anole egg I took it inside and put it under the heat lamp what now

  12. The Anole lizard changes from green to brown as their camo they’re not 2 different kinds -it’s the same lizard- I see them just about everyday of my life I would know.

    1. There are two different kinds. I have a brown Bahamian and he goes from brown to almost black. He lives with my green Anoles quite nicely.

  13. My daughter has two green anole’s (one male, one female) and today we found a baby lizard in their tank. We never saw any eggs and last week cleaned the tank. Where was the egg hidden and is it normal to hatch baby lizards in captivity?

    1. I’ve had eggs but they’ve all died. I have nine males and eight females and they get along just fine. I wish I could hatch the eggs though.

  14. Oh my, I just moved to Florida 2 weeks ago. After reading all of these clips, I looked in a potted plant that the prior owner left and inside a baby anole came out!

  15. The link to the article on telling the difference between Anolis eggs does not seem to be working. I would like to read that article.

    In Neotropical rainforest, small anole species seem to prefer laying their eggs in buttresses and fallen logs relative to leaf litter areas with minimal structure.

  16. I found anole eggs in the insulation of my RV trailer. Most had hatched and hopefully found their way outside.

  17. Brown and green anoles are not the same lizard. They are different lizards. My lizard is 5 days old today, born on 9/11. They need to be sprayed with water and have water droplets on their plants. Super moist dirt is good, not mud.

  18. I found one of these eggs when I was cleaning the rain gutters on my house today. Searched on Google which lead me to your page. Thanks for the info. Steven Street, Palm Bay, FL :^J

  19. I found at least 20 eggs as we were cleaning out our garage in Miami. There were among dishes wrapped in newspaper in cardboard boxes. We have a lot of lizards here, much much fewer green chameleons that we used to see in the 1950’s.

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