Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.
First year: 1939
Established status: Species have
populations whose status is unknown.
Estimated Florida range: 2
counties At least 10 years, 1 county Not reported
Statewide trend: Declining
Threats to natives: None
Species Account: This native of
the West Indies and Latin America was introduced in the Miami area
and on the Keys, but it has become increasingly uncommon. A large
population in Coconut Grove, Dade County, appears to have been
extirpated, and populations on Key West and Stock Island appear to
be smaller (Bartlett and Bartlett 1994). According to Wilson and
Porras (1983), populations were once abundant on Key West but none
had been reported since 1971. However, specimens were found on a
large, vacant lot along U.S. Highway 1 as late as 1990 (Lawson et
al. 1991). Recent searches at this locality and others on Key West
have not found any individuals of this species (K. L. Krysko, Fla.
Mus. Nat. History, Gainesville, personal communication). Adults are
only ca. 8 cm (3.25 in) total length. Males are dark-bodied with a
yellow head, whereas the smaller females are grayish with a lighter
collar. Males have a dark shoulder spot and sometimes have a yellow
tail with a white tip, if unregenerated. This species has round
pupils and no toepads. These extremely wary lizards are often seen
hanging from the underside of low, large, rough-barked limbs or are
found in rock and rubble piles and behind exfoliating tree bark
(Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).
Habitats: Low density suburban
development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns,
||At least 10 years
||Coconut Grove (King and Krakauer 1966), but the population has
apparently been extirpated (Bartlett and Bartlett 1994)
||At least 10 years
||Reported from Stock Island and Key West (Carr 1939), but
populations may have been extirpated
||Not reported breeding
Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field
guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas. 278pp.
Carr, A. F., Jr. 1939. A geckonid lizard new to the
fauna of the United States. Copeia 1939:232.
King, F. W., and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic
herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quarterly Journal of the Florida
Academy of Sciences 29:144-154.
Lawson, R., P. G. Frank, and D. L. Martin. 1991. A
gecko new to the United States herpetofauna, with notes on geckoes
of the Florida Keys. Herpetological Review 22:11-12.
Wilson, L. D., and L. Porras. 1983. The ecological
impact of man on the south Florida herpetofauna. University of
Kansas Museum of Natural History, Special Publication No. 9.