Nonnatives - Red-sided Curlytail Lizard

Red-sided Curlytail Lizard - Leiocephalus schreibersii schreibersii


Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1970s

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 2 counties  At least 10 years, 1 county  Less than 10 years

Statewide trend: Unknown status

Red-sided Curlytail Lizard
Photograph by Kevin M. Enge © 2003

Threats to natives: Unknown.

Species Account: Small populations have become established in Dade and Broward counties after escaping from the pet trade, where it is very popular. This species is native to Hispaniola and seems less hardy than the northern curlytail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus armouri). Adult males may reach 25 cm (10 in) long and are more brightly colored than females, with a pale brown back, yellowish vertebral keel and dorsolateral stripes, and red vertical bars on the flanks separated by pale blue patches. The dark-banded tail is not as tightly curled as the northern curlytail lizard, and it is the only curlytail lizard in Florida with lateral skin folds. Red-sided curlytail lizards are wary and prefer hot, arid, open areas such as lawns, fields, and parking lot edges, especially using piles of rock, building materials, or other rubble (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).

Habitats: Central or core urban area, Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status   Notes


At least 10 years Small population in Broward County for about 10 years (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999); Hollywood (Townsend et al. 2002)


Less than 10 years Punta Gorda (Krysko et al., in press)
DADE 1970s


At least 10 years Small population in Dade County for more than 20 years (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999)


Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. 278pp.

Krysko, K. L., K. M. Enge, J. H. Townsend, E. M. Langan, S. A. Johnson, and T. S. Campell. In Press. New county records of amphibians and reptiles from Florida. Herpetological Review.

Townsend, J. H., K. L. Krysko, A. T. Reppas, and C. M. Sheehy, III. 2002. Noteworthy records for introduced reptiles and amphibians from Florida, USA. Herpetological Review 33:75.

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