Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Environment

Four foot Tegu lizards invade Tampa

See also

Tampa has become a host for new invaders...Tegu lizards from South America. According to Florida Fish & Wildlife officials, the lizards have established a breeding colony in eastern Hillsborough where there have been over 100 sightings of the lizards (map). Tegus have also established breeding colonies around Miami-Dade County and Panama City, can grow up to 4 feet and weight 30 pounds, and live up to 20 years. They pose a high threat to local wildlife and a low threat to humans.

More Photos

The problem with non-native species is that they tend to have very few enemies so they usually increase their populations quickly. Their increased numbers then generally devastate the local wildlife populations since they compete for food, and the local wildlife becomes their prey. Female Tegus lay ~ 35 eggs a year, and although Tegus are omnivores Gopher Tortoises and Scrub Jays are at high risk because they are ground dwellers.

There are several species of Tegu lizards most of which are black and white, but they can also be red, blue, or golden. Like other lizards they can swim, and they burrow underground at night. If you happen to see one, the official protocol is to take a photo of it and call 888-483-4681 to report your location.

FL F&W - Tegu Fact Sheet

Advertisement

News

  •  Day 17
    Israel continues their ravaging bombardment on Gaza as the conflict wages on
    Video
    Video
  • MH17 victims arrive home
    40 bodies of the MH17 plane crash return to a somber homecoming in Holland
    Top News
  • Military advisers to Ukraine
    President Obama announces the deployment of military advisers to Ukraine
    Politics
  • Bubonic plague in China
    A bubonic plague outbreak in Yumen prompts China to quarantine the city
    World News
  • Air Algierie disappearance
    A flight headed from Burkina Faso to Algeria disappears from radar over Mali
    Headlines
  • Windows Phone training portal
    Microsoft launches Windows Phone training portal in attempt to woo consumers
    Tech