Online sequence databases can provide valuable resources for the development of cross-species genetic markers. In particular, mining expressed tag sequences (EST) for microsatellites and developing conserved cross-species microsatellite markers can provide a rapid and relatively inexpensive method to develop new markers for a range of species. Here, we adopt this approach to develop cross-species microsatellite markers in Anolis lizards, which is a model genus in evolutionary biology and ecology. Using EST sequences from Anolis carolinensis, we identified 127 microsatellites that satisfied our criteria, and tested 49 of these in five species of Anolis (carolinensis, distichus, apletophallus, porcatus and sagrei). We identified between 8 and 25 new variable genetic markers for five Anolis species. These markers will be a valuable resource for studies of population genetics, comparative mapping, mating systems, behavioural ecology and adaptive radiations in this diverse lineage.