Many abundant species of lizards, alligators, etc., will make you feel that they own the place. If you’re residing in Florida, the invasive reptiles and insurance mascots are pretty much similar. However, the lizards and reptiles are not as chatty as the insurance agents.
You shouldn’t be surprised to find a large lizard or alligator hanging out at any place in Florida. Whether it is a pool or decks, or the garden graze, these folks can be seen roaming around in South Florida. However, natives and visitors are most concerned about the venomous nature of the lizards found in Florida.
Natives are, of course, familiar with the lizards, but if you’re visiting Florida, the most asked question is ‘are lizards in Florida Poisonous?’ or ‘are lizards abundant in Florida.
We have attempted to write down everything about the lizards in Florida that you need to know. From answering your questions to putting out some informative content about lizard species and how they behave in Florida, you’ll get everything.
So let’s get into it.
Are Lizards abundant In Florida?
The answer to this question is yes. Florida has so many lizards because of the sub-tropical climate and abundance of vegetation, making it a natural habitat for the native lizard species. The state is home to as many as 15 native lizard species along with 34 exotic species. You can have an encounter with native lizards in dry scrubs to pine Flatwoods. However, the other exotic species can be seen almost everywhere in the state of Florida.
The number of lizards is not the real concern at this point. What is the most disturbing and concern-raising question if Florida’s lizards are venomous?
We will answer this question in a moment. So let’s find out if these lizards are just huge in number or an actual threat to the species of human beings.
Are Lizards In Florida Poisonous?
Here is good news for all those asking about the poisonous nature of Florida lizards. You might have heard from people that these lizards are poisonous, but the truth is the inverse. It is common that lizards can be venomous, but most lizards are as harmless for human beings as turtles.
If you ever come in contact with lizards in Florida, their bit won’t kill you. However, treating the bite with an antiseptic is a good idea for staying on the safer side. But it doesn’t mean that all the lizards are harmless.
Certain species can be harmful if they bite. These lizards can be aggressive, venomous, and can cause pain, illness, or even the death of human victims. So, you need to figure out if any of such species are in Florida.
Let’s find out the commonly found lizards in Florida.
Different Types Of Lizards In Florida
Among the 50 species of lizards found in Florida, only 15 are native to the state. Most of the native lizards feed themselves on pests, rodents, insects, etc.
Snakes and other reptiles often prey on these native lizards. Here are the 10 most common species of lizards in Florida and everything that you need to know.
Most small-sized lizards found in Florida are native to the state, and here is the list and description of each type.
A six-lined racerunner belongs to the Cnemidophorus sexlineatus species and mostly hangs out of the ground. If you happen to visit hot and dry areas in Florida, there is a strong chance of encountering the lizard as it loves hot places and heat.
The normal lifespan of this six-lined racerunner is around 6 years, and an adult lizard can be of size between 6 to 9.5 inches. As the name suggests, these lizards are very swift and quick to go after their prey.
It is legal and safe to keep these race runners as your pet. These lizards usually rely on pests, crickets, grasshoppers, and other such insects for feeding. You can differentiate this type from others by looking for six yellow lines running down the length of its body from head to tail.
Reef Gecko is also a small-sized lizard that belongs to the species of Sphaerodactylus notatus and has an average life span of 10 to 20 years. These lizards can be identified by the extremely small size of an adult growing around 2 inches.
Due to their small size and body appearance, you can hardly spot these lizards in plants or vegetation. This camouflage helps the reef gecko to find its prey and hunt it.
Reef Gecko is commonly found in North America. The body of the reef gecko is covered with dark brown spots, and female lizards have three wide dark stripes on their heads. Reef Gecko loves to eat insect larvae, beetles, ants, and other insects.
Eastern Fence Lizards
Eastern Fence lizards belonging to the family of Sceloporus undulatus are dark in color. The most common place to find these lizards is in Northern Florida and the Southeastern part of the United States.
Similar to Reef Gecko, the body appearance of fence lizards help them to camouflage and hide under rocks, logs, and stumps.
The average size of an adult eastern fence lizard is around 4 to 7.5 inches and can live from 1 to 5 years. These lizards’ favorite food includes fruit flies, crickets, grasshoppers, etc. You can legally own the lizards as well as it is safe to keep this species as a pet.
The green anole is Florida’s most commonly and abundantly found lizard type. The lizard belongs to Anolis carolinensis and is often confused with chameleons due to its appearance and properties. Green anole has color-changing properties and can change its color to gray, brown, or yellow.
The favorite food of the green anole is worms, moths, beetles, crickets, spiders, and similar insects. Having an average life span of 2 to 8 years, these lizards can grow to a size of 5 to 8 inches. You can keep these beautiful lizards as a pet.
The green anole can climb due to the sticky feet and make green anole has a pink flap of skin on the neck, and it changes to red when the lizard is about to fight. Green anole can be literally found everywhere in Florida when talking about its abundance.
Florida Scrub Lizards
Finally, Florida scrub lizards are also one of the small lizards found in abundance around Florida. These are native lizards that belong to Sceloporus woodi and have an average life span of around 1.5 to 2.5 years.
The adult scrub lizard has a body of around 5.5 inches with a 3 inches long tail. The body is covered with brown or gray scales in addition to brown stripes on neck sides.
The species love to eat spiders, ants, and other small anthropods. It is a kind of lizard that is legally allowed to own, but it can’t be kept as a pet in your home. The common habitat of scrub lizards is sunny and sandy areas in Ocala National Forest
If we talk about the big and exotic species of lizards found in Florida are usually non-native. If not venomous, these species can be harmful to the people living around them. Here are the types of invasive lizards found in Florida.
The nine inches long brown anole belongs to Cuba and arrived in Florida as an invasive reptile. These lizards have a strong grip on different surfaces, and their long toes help in move fastly.
When it comes to the invasive nature of these lizards, these species eat their molten skin, detached tails, their own eggs, and eggs of green anoles. It is not at all safe to keep the brown anole as a pet. The usual life span of the species is around 1 to 5 years.
Tokay Gecko belongs to Gekko Gecko species, and it is not a good idea to keep this exotic type of lizard as a pet. South Asian Tokay Gecko has an average life span of 10 years and can be as long as 13 to 16 inches. Small rodents, cockroaches, moths, mosquitos, and cricket are the most hunted prey of these lizards.
You can find two types of Tokay Gecko in Florida: black-spotted and red-spotted. The body is of blue color with red or black spots all over. Tropical and rocky areas of Floridas are the habitat of the Tokay Gecko.
You shouldn’t mess up with these lizards as their grip will get tighter only. These lizards are very fast to draw blood with their single bite and have bacteria in saliva that can be transmitted to human beings. So it’s better to stay away from these lizards.
The green iguana is another commonly found lizard in Florida, and it is believed to be one of the invasive species native to central and south America.
The story doesn’t end here as these giant lizards are a threat to properties due to the ability to dig burrows leading to collapsed foundations. This animal destroys crops and vegetation.
An adult green iguana can grow to 12 to 60 inches, which is around 5 feet. It is not at all safe to keep these lizards as a pet. Messing with green iguana is also not a good idea as they will pierce the sharp teeth into human skin.
The other exotic species found in Florida are Argentine black and white tegu as well as Nile monitor.
Smaller lizards are usually not a worrisome business in Florida. However, you should avoid messing with exotic species. But one thing is understood that lizards in Florida are not poisonous.
It is just that the aggressive nature of some exotic species can leave you wounded. If these lizards feel threatened, they can prove to be harmful to human beings.