Exploring Florida’s Lizards: A Guide to the Different Types of Reptiles

Florida is known for its subtropical climate and diverse ecosystems, making it home to numerous lizard species. From colorful anoles to large iguanas, here are some common types of lizards found in Florida:

1. Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

The Green Anole, also known as the Carolina Anole, is a small lizard with the ability to change color. It can range from bright green to brown depending on its mood and environment. Green Anoles are arboreal and can be found in trees, shrubs, and gardens throughout Florida.

2. Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei)

The Brown Anole is another common lizard species in Florida. Originally from Cuba and the Bahamas, it has become widely established in the state. Brown Anoles are typically brown with a light-colored stripe down their back. They are ground-dwelling and can be found in a variety of habitats, including urban areas.

3. Knight Anole (Anolis equestris)

The Knight Anole is a larger lizard species that is native to Cuba and has been introduced to parts of Florida. It is known for its vibrant green coloration, large size, and territorial behavior. Knight Anoles are primarily arboreal and can be found in trees and shrubs, particularly in southern Florida.

4. Cuban Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei)

The Cuban Brown Anole, also known as the Bahaman Anole, is a closely related species to the Brown Anole. It is native to the Bahamas and has also been introduced to Florida. Cuban Brown Anoles have a similar appearance to Brown Anoles, with brown coloration and a light stripe down the back. They can be found in a range of habitats throughout the state.

5. Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus)

The Nile Monitor is a large lizard species that is native to Africa but has established populations in southern Florida. They have a distinctive dark-colored body with yellow spots or bands. Nile Monitors are primarily semi-aquatic and can be found near bodies of water, including swamps, canals, and lakes.

6. Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)

The Green Iguana is a large lizard species that has become established in parts of southern Florida. They have a bright green coloration and a crest of spines along their back. Green Iguanas are primarily arboreal and can be found in trees and near water bodies.

These are just a few examples of the lizard species found in Florida. The state is known for its rich reptile diversity, and there are other species such as the Six-lined Racerunner, Cuban Knight Anole, and many more. The specific distribution of these lizards may vary within different regions of Florida and their preferred habitats.