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Florida becomes home to new invasive lizard species

Florida has been know to have some freaky wildlife issues and now there’s one more. According to USA Today on Wednesday, Tampa Bay is experiencing an invasion of a new lizard.

The tegu is taking over Florida.
Flickr Creative Commons, mikebaird

The lizard is called a tegu, is black and white has now claimed Tampa Bay as one of three breeding grounds in Florida. More than 100 of these little guys have been seen around the area, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

These scaly crawlers aren’t even from these parts, but originally are native to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay. The Southwestern region of Florida isn’t really where these guys belong. Furthermore, officials are worried that the invasive species is going to out native lizards from their home.

An FWC officers says that these lizards begin as pets, but when they become too big and expensive to feed, owners will set the lizards free. Oh, by they way, these “pets” can grow up to four feet long and produce about 25-50 eggs at a time. To top that off, currently they have no known predators as far as the FWC knows.

Other than having the ability to take over rapidly, the lizards have a little scare factor going on. FWC biologist Tessie Offner says that the lizards’ stomachs have an acidic liquid that dissolves bones and shells.

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