This species is highly invasive. In its introduced range it reaches exceptionally high population densities, is capable of expanding its range at an exponential rate, and both out competes and consumes many species of native lizards. Its introduction in the United States has altered the behavior and triggered a negative effect on populations of the native Carolina Anole (Anolis carolinensis).
Brown Anoles molt in small pieces, unlike some other reptiles which molt in one large piece. Anoles may consume the molted skin to replenish supplies of calcium. In captivity the molted skin may stick to the anole if humidity is too low. The unshed layer of skin can build up around the eyes, preventing the lizard from feeding and leading to starvation. This can be prevented by maintaining high humidity.
The Brown Anole feeds on insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, spiders, mealworms, and waxworms. They may also eat other lizards, such as the Green Anole, lizard eggs, and their own molted skin and detached tails. If near water, the Brown Anole will eat arthropods or small fish, nearly anything that will fit in its mouth.
As a defense mechanism, Brown Anoles can detach most of their tails when pursued or captured. The piece that breaks off will continue to move, hopefully distracting the predator allowing the anole to escape. The lost tail will partially regrow. If provoked, the Brown Anole will bite, urinate, and defecate. Predators include rats, snakes, birds and any predator that is larger than they are.