The common or spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) looks more like the American crocodile than the American alligator. Its color is similar to the crocodile's but with a shorter more rounded snout. Caiman are found primarily in freshwater canals and lakes and rarely exceed 5 feet in length.

Caiman Side view of a caiman
Alligator, Crocodile and Caiman
Top: American alligator, Middle: American crocodile, Bottom: common caiman

The Common caiman is an exotic species in Florida, although it has become established in the south eastern part of the state. Caiman are native to Central and South America, and their distribution in Florida will probably remain confined to south Florida because they cannot tolerate cold temperatures.



FWC Facts:
Help remove nonnative lionfish from Florida waters to limit negative impacts to native fish and wildlife. They can be speared, caught in hand-held nets or on hook and line.

Learn More at AskFWC