Anole lizards in the wild feed on small, live insects, including flies, beetles, crickets, moths, butterflies, ants and termites, as well as spiders, slugs, worms and other invertebrates. Since the anole lizard's sight is based on movement, its prey needs to be alive or otherwise mobile in order for it to be eaten. In the wild, anole lizards hydrate themselves with the dew found on plants.

In captivity, anole lizards are most often fed on a diet of crickets. Mealworms are another common food, but anoles can show an aversion to eating them.

Healthy, wild insects are an appropriate prey for anoles, but it is crucial to select specimens that are smaller than the anoles themselves. If their prey is too large, they may be intimidated.

When capturing wild insects, it is important to know which species to avoid for their toxicity. It is also best to avoid capturing insects from areas that have been polluted by pesticides or automotive exhaust fumes.

Once in the tank, the prey insects should also be provided with food (such as fish flakes or monkey chow). If the anole does not eat all of the insects provided, without a food source of their own they may try to eat the lizard.