Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.
First year: 1990
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
Statewide trend: Unknown
Photograph by Kevin M. Enge © 2003
Threats to natives: Unknown, but
could compete for food with native lizard species and is capable of
consuming small vertebrates.
Species Account: This species is
native to Southeast Asia, where it is typically found in open sunny
spaces, especially disturbed areas (e.g., clearings around
villages), forest edges, and riverbeds. Individuals hide in heaps
of vegetation, under logs, in tree holes close to the ground, and
under loose bark (Auffenberg and Auffenberg 1991). It is a diurnal,
terrestrial lizard with a large, robust body that is bronze-brown
with a wide dark brown stripe and a series of white spots or
streaks along the sides. There is a pale dorsolateral line, and the
belly is cream colored. The lower eyelid is scaly, and the dorsal
scales have three, rarely five, keels. Breeding males have a wide
orange or reddish orange stripe on their sides (Das 2002). The
average snout-vent length for both sexes is 90 mm (3.5 in). It
primarily eats termites, grasshoppers, and beetles (Auffenberg and
Auffenberg, 1991), but it will also eat ripe fruit (Meshaka et al.
2004). It gives birth to 2-10 live young (Das 2002). At the Kampong
in Coconut Grove, Florida, individuals are most frequently observed
foraging or basking on cement walkways or in leaf litter adjacent
to piles of mulch and branches (Meshaka 1999). This species is
apparently restricted to this small (4 ha) botanical garden and the
immediate vicinity (Meshaka 1999). Meshaka (1999) suspected this
population originated from the pet trade, which purportedly imports
large numbers, primarily from Vietnam.
Habitats: Low density suburban
development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small
|At least 10 years
||Coconut Grove (Meshaka 1999)
Auffenberg, W., and T. Auffenberg. 1988. Resource
partitioning in a community of Philippine skinks (Sauria:
Scincidae). Bulletin of the Florida State Museum, Biological
Das, I. 2002. A photographic guide to snakes and
other reptiles of India. Ralph Curtis Books, Sanibel Island,
Meshaka, W. E., Jr. 1999. The herpetofauna of the
Kampong. Florida Scientist 62:153-157.
Meshaka, W. E., Jr., B. P. Butterfield, and J. B.
Hauge. 2004. The exotic amphibians and reptiles of Florida.
Krieger, Melbourne, Florida. 166pp.