30 Types Of Lizards In Florida (With Pictures)


lizards in florida

In Florida, you can find a large population of lizards, belonging to several lizard families. In this article, we will look at 30 lizard species commonly found in the state.

With over 6,000 species found all across the world (except Antarctica), Lizards are one of the most widespread members of the reptile family. These reptiles have a wide variety, with some of them being small enough to fit into your palm, while the others are about 3 meters long, longer even than a White Caiman. They come in different shapes, colors, and patterns. Many pet enthusiasts keep these creatures as pets as well.

 

Anoles

Green Anole (Anolis Carolinensis)

Green Anole (Anolis Carolinensis)

  • Family: Dactyloidae
  • Body length: 7.5 centimeters (3 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 4 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Endemic to the Southeastern United States, the Green Anoles are often referred to as “Carolina anole” and “Red-throated anole”.

These lizards display sexual dimorphism, with the males being slightly larger than their female counterparts.

They have a long head with their body color varying from brown to green. The males have a bright red dewlap, while the females possess a slightly lighter one. The size of the male’s dewlap is also three times larger than females.

A bold white stripe runs along the female’s back, which is absent in the males. Due to their color-changing abilities, these lizards are also known as the “American chameleon”.

Chewy

 

Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei)

Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei)

  • Family: Dactyloidae
  • Body length: 7-20 centimeters (3-8 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 4-5 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Also known as “Bahaman anole” or “De la Sagra’s anole”, the Brown Anoles are native to Cuba and the Bahamas, being an introduced species in Florida.

These lizards have a remarkably large dewlap, ranging from yellow to orangish-red in color. Being sexually dimorphic, the males are significantly larger than their female counterparts. They have a light brown body with dark markings on their back and light-colored lines along their sides.

A distinguishing feature between both sexes is a light brown stripe on the back of the females, which is absent in the males.

Brown Anoles are also popularly bred as exotic household pets.

 

Knight Anole (Anolis equestris)

Knight Anole (Anolis equestris)

  • Family: Dactyloidae
  • Body length: 33-51 centimeters (13-20 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 10-15 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

The Knight Anoles are the largest species in the family of anoles. Endemic to Cuba, these lizards are often known as “Cuban giant anole”.

They display sexual dimorphism, with the males being larger in size than their female counterparts. Their body is a bright shade of green with lemon-yellow stripes on the sides of their face as well as on their shoulders, and a pinkish-white dewlap.

Although they cannot change their body’s color completely, you can occasionally witness mild color changes in the adults. Their species have been introduced in Florida.

 

Bark Anole (Anolis distichus)

Bark Anole (Anolis distichus)

  • Family: Dactyloidae
  • Body length: 12.7 centimeters (5 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 4 years
  • Conservation status: fairly common

Endemic to Hispaniola and the Bahamas, the Bark Anoles are a small species of anole lizards with highly varied body color ranging from green to greyish-brown.

Their species have been introduced in Florida, mostly greyish-brown in color with a pale-yellow dewlap. These lizards are primarily arboreal, often found resting on the tree trunks.

 

Skinks

Bluetail Mole Skink (Plestiodon egregious)

Bluetail Mole Skink (Plestiodon egregious)

  • Family: Scincidae
  • Body length: 9-15 centimeters (3.5-6 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 5-7 years
  • Conservation status: federally threatened

More popularly known as “Mole skinks”, the Bluetail Mole Skinks are a small skink species native to the southeastern United States.

These lizards have a shiny and cylindrical body colored in brown, growing narrower towards the tail. Their characteristic blue tail is only found in the juveniles; the adults’ tail is usually pinkish in color.

 

Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)

Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)

  • Family: Scincidae
  • Body length: 7-14 centimeters (3-5.5 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 2-3 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Found in the eastern United States, the Ground Skinks are among the smallest reptiles in North America. These lizards have an elongated body with a coppery-brown back and white or yellowish belly. They inhabit the coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests along the edge of a freshwater body such as ponds and streams.

 

Florida Sand Skink (Neoseps reynoldsi)

Florida Sand Skink (Neoseps reynoldsi)

  • Family: Scincidae
  • Body length: 10-13 centimeters (4-5 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 8-10 years
  • Conservation status: vulnerable

The Florida Sand Skinks are a species of skink lizards that are native to Florida. These lizards have such tiny legs that they almost appear to be legless.

Their tan-colored body is well-accustomed to living underground. While their forelegs have only one toe, there are two toes on their hind legs. They have a wedge-shaped head and small eyes with transparent lower lids.

 

Broad-Headed Skink (Plestidion laticeps)

Broad-Headed Skink (Plestidion laticeps)

  • Family: Scincidae
  • Body length: 15-33 centimeters (5.9-13 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 4 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Known for having wide jaws and a broad head, the Broad-headed Skinks are their genus’s largest species. Their population is widespread in the south-eastern parts of the United States, where they are found both in urban and forested areas.

They have an olive-brown body with a bright orange head and white undersides. Like the South-eastern Five-lined Skinks, the female Broad-headed Skinks have five light stripes running down their bodies, which are absent in the males.

 

South-eastern Five-Lined Skink (Plestidion inexpectatus)

South-eastern Five-Lined Skink (Plestidion inexpectatus)

  • Family: Scincidae
  • Body length: 12-21 centimeters (5-8.5 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 6 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Common in the south-eastern parts of the United States, the South-eastern Five-lined Skinks are medium-sized members of the Skink family.

These diurnal lizards live on the ground and have five characteristic stripes running along their body, that get lighter as they grow older. Their head is colored in a bright shade of orange, with their tail becoming dull blue or purple towards the tip.

 

Geckos

Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)

Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)

  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Body length: 10-13 centimeters (4-5 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 4-5 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Endemic to the Mediterranean region, the Mediterranean Geckos are now spread in different parts of the world. These lizards are a nocturnal species, and are also known as “Turkish Gecko” as well as “Moon Lizard”.

They have a purple to tan-colored body covered with black spots and stripes on their tail. Their snout is rounded, with lidless eyes and elliptical pupils. Their species have been introduced in several states of the United States, including Florida.

 

Indo-Pacific Gecko (Hemidactylus garnotti)

Indo-Pacific Gecko (Hemidactylus garnotti)

  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Body length: 10-13 centimeters (4-5 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 5 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

The Indo-Pacific Geckos are small-sized geckos found in Southeast Asia, Australia, the Philippines, India, and Polynesia.

They appear to have a greyish-brown body with light markings in the day, and look pale during the night, with a yellowish-orange belly. Their head has a long, narrow snout due to which they are known as “fox geckos”.

They are referred to as “Garnot’s house gecko” and “Assam greyish brown gecko”.

 

Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko)

Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko)

  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Body length: 30 centimeters (12 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 10-15 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

The Tokay Geckos are members of the family of true geckos that are endemic to the Pacific Islands and Asia. They have been introduced to the United States, where their range is currently shrinking due to the increasing urbanization. Their natural habitat is on trees and cliffs of the rainforests.

Their species is the second largest species of gecko lizards, with a small, flattened body and vertical pupils. They have a mud-yellow body covered in red specks all over and can change their skin color to blend in the background.

 

Ashy Gecko (Sphaerodactylus elegans)

Ashy Gecko (Sphaerodactylus elegans)

  • Family: Sphaerodactylidae
  • Body length: 7 centimeters (2.75 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 7-10 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

The Ashy Geckos are a small species of gecko lizard endemic to Cuba and Hispaniola. These lizards were first introduced in Florida in 1922 and have been living there ever since. Although they have a small body, they are the largest among North America’s “dwarf geckos”.

Their greyish-brown body is covered with white spots from head to tail with bold crossbands all over them. Like the other geckos, they become paler during the night as well.

 

Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia)

Tropical House Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia)

  • Family: Gekkonidae
  • Body length: 12.7 centimeters (5 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 3-5 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

The Tropical House Geckos are a small species of house gecko lizards that have been introduced in the Americas by humans. Originally, these lizards are endemic to sub-Saharan Africa.

They have a mud-brown colored body that turns darker at night to blend in with their surroundings. They are known for having remarkably large eyes, which help them catch their prey in a low light condition.

 

Madagascar Giant Day Gecko (Phelsuma grandis)

Madagascar Giant Day Gecko (Phelsuma grandis)

  • Family: GekkonidaeOpens in a new tab.
  • Body length: 30 centimeters (12 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 10-15 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Endemic to Madagascar’s tropical forests, the Madagascar Giant Day Geckos are large, diurnal geckos that are commonly bred as exotic pets.

These lizards are mostly green in color, with distinctive red spots on their back as well as two red bars on their face, extending to their nostrils. Their undersides are colored in a creamy shade of white, with short but thick limbs.

 

Iguanas

Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)

Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)

  • Family: Iguanidae
  • Body length: 3.9-5.6 feet
  • Lifespan: about 20 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

The Green Iguanas are herbivore species of iguanian lizards that inhabit trees. Endemic to Mexico, Paraguay, and Brazil, these lizards are considered to be an invasive species in several states of the United States, including Florida.

Although they have “green” in their name, they can be found in various colors.

Green Iguanas are known for having an incredible vision, being able to detect the exact shape and color of an object from a fair distance. Due to their attractive colors and calm temperament, they are often kept as pets.

 

Brown Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus)

Brown Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus)

  • Family: Corytophanidae
  • Body length: 61 centimeters (24 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 7-8 years

Conservation status: least concern

Introduced in Florida as a feral species, the Brown Basilisks are members of the family of helmeted iguanian lizards. These lizards are native to Central America, Mexico, and north-western Colombia.

They have a brown to olive-brown body with a three-part dorsal crest on their head, along the back, and tail. The males are larger in size than their female counterparts and have a larger crest as well.

 

Florida Scrub Lizard (Sceloporus woodi)

Florida Scrub Lizard (Sceloporus woodi)

  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Body length: 13 centimeters (5 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 1.7 years
  • Conservation status: near threatened

As their name suggests, the Florida Scrub Lizards are medium-sized lizards that are native to Florida. They have a brownish or greyish body with dark brown stripes running down their back, extending to their tail.

Both sexes appear somewhat similar, except for the turquoise patches on the male’s throat and belly that the females lack.

 

Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)

Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)

  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Body length: 10-19 centimeters (4-.75 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 5 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Often found in forest edges and rock piles, the Eastern Fence Lizards are medium-sized lizards found in the eastern parts of the United States.

These lizards have a grey-to-brown body with a dark stripe running down their back and keeled scales scattered all over them. They have a white belly with greenish-blue coloration on their sides. The males appear brighter than their female counterparts.

 

Black Spiny-Tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura similis)

Black Spiny-Tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura similis)

  • Family: Iguanidae
  • Body length: 2.7-4.3 feet
  • Lifespan: about 15 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Often referred to as “Black ctenosaur”, the Black Spiny-tailed Iguanas are the largest members of their genus and have also been declared the fastest running lizard globally. These lizards are endemic to Mexico and Central America and have been introduced in Florida fairly recently.

Their tail is covered with distinctly keeled scales, which lends them their name. Their body color ranges from grey to brown, with well-defined bands covering their uppersides and long spines running down the center of their back.

 

Lizards of the Teiidae Family

Amazon Racerunner (Ameiva ameiva)

Amazon Racerunner (Ameiva ameiva)

  • Family: Teiidae
  • Body length: 45-50 centimeters (18-20 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 4-5 years
  • Conservation status: fairly common

One of the most popular pet lizards, the Amazon Racerunners are lizards that are found in Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands. These lizards have been introduced to South Florida, where they are now widespread.

They have a pointed head, a long, streamlined body, and strong hind legs, with black specs along their sides. Amazon Racerunners display sexual dimorphism wherein the males have a bright green lower body while the females’ lower body is dusty green.

 

Rainbow Whiptail (Cnemidophorus lemniscatus)

Rainbow Whiptail (Cnemidophorus lemniscatus)

  • Family: Teiidae
  • Body length: 30.5 centimeters (12 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 1-4 years
  • Conservation status: endangered

Found in the Americas, the Rainbow Whiptails are autarchoglossanOpens in a new tab. lizards known for their ability to reproduce both sexually and parthenogenetically.

The body of these lizards is colored attractively in shades of blue and green, with a long and pointed tail. Rainbow Whiptails are one of the few reptiles that can survive on sand substrates.

 

Argentine Black and White Tegu (Salvator Merianae)

Argentine Black and White Tegu (Salvator Merianae)

  • Family: Teiidae
  • Body length: 3 feet in females; 4-4.5 feet in males
  • Lifespan: about 15-20 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Being the largest member of the Tegus lizards, the Argentine Black and White Tegus are autarchoglossan lizards endemic to Argentina. Although these lizards are born with an emerald green body, they acquire a black color after the process of shedding, with their tail banded with yellow and black.

They have a strong tail that they often use as a weapon. They display sexual dimorphism, wherein the males are much larger in length than their female counterparts.

 

Six-Lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineatus)

Six-Lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineatus)

  • Family: Teiidae
  • Body length: 30 centimeters (12 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 4-6 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Named after the six distinct green-yellow lines running around their body, the Six-lined Racerunners are medium-sized lizards native to Mexico and the United States.

These lizards display strong sexual dimorphism and have a body that is covered either in black, brown, or dark green. The males have a pale blue underside, while in females it is white. Their long, pointed tail is about twice as long as the rest of their body.

 

Other Lizards

Florida Worm Lizard (Rhineura floridana)

Florida Worm Lizard (Rhineura floridana)

  • Family: RhineuridaeOpens in a new tab.
  • Body length: 18-30 centimeters (7-12 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 16 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

The Florida Worm lizards are legless squamates that are endemic to Florida. Their body is covered with scales, with no limbs and reduced eyes that are barely visible.

The snout of these lizards is shaped like a shovel which helps them in burrowing. Being instinctive burrowers, they inhabit sand, soil, or leaf mold substrate throughout their lives, coming out only when heavy rains make their burrows inhospitable.

Other names they are known by are “Thunderworm” and “Graveyard snake”.

 

Rainbow Lizard (Agama agama)

Rainbow Lizard (Agama agama)

  • Family: Agamidae
  • Body length: 13-30 centimeters (5.1-11.8 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 25-28 years
  • Conservation status: fairly common

Native to sub-Saharan Africa, the Rainbow Lizards are also referred to as “Common agama” and “Red-headed rock agama”.

Their species had been introduced in southern Florida, where they are now a fairly common sight. These lizards display sexual dimorphism, wherein the males are larger than their female counterparts.

They have a white underside, brown-to-black limbs, and a light stripe on their tail, with about 6-7 dark patches on it. The body of the dominant male is blue with a yellow tail, while the females, as well as the subordinate males, have an olive-green body.

 

Northern Curly-Tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus)

Northern Curly-Tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus)

  • Family: Leiocephalidae
  • Body length: 10.5 centimeters (4.1 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 10.8 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

The Northern Curly-tailed Lizards are an active and robust lizard species endemic to Cuba, Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands. Their upper body is covered with keeled and pointy scales, with a tail that curves upwards.

These lizards were brought to Palm Beach in Florida in the 1940s to contain sugarcane pest, and are now found in other parts of the state as well.

 

Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis)

Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis)

  • Family: Anguidae
  • Body length: 30.5 centimeters (12 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 15 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

Native to the southeastern United States, the Eastern Glass Lizards are members of the family of legless lizards. The adults have a greenish above and yellow below, while the immatures are khaki-colored with two dark stripes running along their back.

These lizards’ neck is covered with irregular white marks, with their lateral grooves being covered with scales. They feed on a variety of insects like beetles, grasshoppers, as well as snails, mice, and the eggs of birds and other reptiles.

 

Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus)

Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus)

  • Family: Varanidae
  • Body length: 3.11-7.3 feet
  • Lifespan: about 15 years
  • Conservation status: endangered

Belonging to the family of the Monitor Lizards, the Nile Monitors are large lizards that are endemic to the sub-Saharan parts of Africa. These lizards have strong jaws, muscular legs, and body.

The juveniles have sharp teeth that grow blunt as they grow older. Their species was introduced to Florida, US, as early as 1990, and have since been inhabitants in the state. They are also called by the name of “African small-grain lizard”.

 

Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)

Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)

  • Family: Phrynosomatidae
  • Body length: 69 millimeters (2.7 inches)
  • Lifespan: about 5-8 years
  • Conservation status: least concern

The Texas Horned Lizards are the largest, as well as most widespread, species of Horned Lizards. These lizards are also referred to as “Horned toad” or “Horned frog” because of their blunt snout and rounded body.

Endemic to North America, they are found in Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina in the United States.

The Harvester Ants make up the main diet of these lizards, along with which they also feed on beetles, grasshoppers, and termites.

 

Conclusion: The Types of Lizards in Florida 

In Florida, the types of Lizards that you would commonly find are mostly members of the family of Iguanas, Geckos, Anoles, and Skinks. The next time you spot a lizard around your house or in the neighborhood, you will know exactly which one it is.

What Does Lizard Poop Look Like?

Lizard Names