Florida's Nonnative Wildlife. Species detail.
First year: 1954
Established status: Populations
are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or
more consecutive years.
Estimated Florida range: 1
county At least 10 years, 2 counties Less than 10
Statewide trend: Expanding
Photograph by Kevin M. Enge © 2003
Threats to natives: Large lizards
that can potentially prey upon a variety of vertebrates, including
lizards and snakes.
Species Account: This neotropical
species is common in several sections of Dade County and in
Deerfield Beach, Broward County. They frequent open areas,
including fields, parklands, weedy canal banks, and warehouse and
office complexes. Its presence in Florida is presumably due to
escapees from the pet trade. Two different-looking populations are
present in Florida. Adult males in the dusky population may reach
61 cm (2 ft) in length and have charcoal to bluish-gray backs with
crossrows of pale blue, yellowish, or whitish spots, which also
appear on the limbs. Adult males in the green-rumped population
seldom exceed 46 cm (18 in) in length and have backs that are
entirely green or are brownish anteriorly and green posteriorly.
The upper sides are darker and speckled with prominent, dark-edged,
white spots that shade to blue towards the belly. These alert
lizards have high preferred body temperature and bask between bouts
of foraging, when they nervously move between patches of cover.
They are very fast and can run on their hind legs. They dig burrows
that they use as escape shelters and at night (Bartlett and
Habitats: Exotic plant community,
Barren land, Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to
core urban areas, and small towns, Recently disturbed, early
||Less than 10 years
||Deerfield Beach (Krysko et al., in press)
||At least 10 years
||Miami (Duellman and Schwartz 1958); west edge of Miami and east
edge of Hialeah (Truitt and Ober 1973)
||Less than 10 years
||Loxahatchee (R. St. Pierre, Loxahatchee, personal
Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field
guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas. 278pp.
Duellman, W. E., and A. Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians
and reptiles of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State
Museum, Biological Sciences 3:181-324.
Truitt, J. O., and L. D. Ober. 1971. A guide to the
lizards of south Florida (Lake Okeechobee to the Florida Keys).
Hurricane House, Miami, Florida, USA. 37pp.
Links to more information
Herps of Panama Account