Sunday, April 10, 2011

non native

Got the bejeezus scared out of me this morning as I was potting plants on the patio. A foot long lizard scooted in front of me and then stopped to stare.  I've never seen a lizard this big on our property and as I got a better look at it I realized I had never seen this species either. After some quick research, gotta love the google machine,  I believe we have a West African Rainbow lizard or an agama agama africana living here.  Unfortunately my camera battery was charging so I didn't get a picture but I'll be on the lookout. I could not believe the size of this thing! I found a research paper, Distribution and Ecology of the Introduced African Rainbow Lizard in Florida, documenting the release of this species during Hurricane Andrew. Colonies were spotted as far north as Sanford in 2004 so they've had plenty of time to migrate north since. We also live across the street from a plant nursery so I can envision these illegal aliens hitchhiking in from South Florida. Or maybe they came in with all our new landscaping (Palm Trees). I'm already snake paranoid and now I've got to keep my eyes peeled for giant lizards. I know they are benign, but it's the idea of one actually getting on me that freaks me out. Pretty sure I'll have to be resuscitated if this occurs. I am also wondering where all the little green lizards, that I normally see,  have gone? Hope this bad boy doesn't have anything to do with their absence. If he is indeed eating native species then I'm going to have to go all Republican on him.  Lifted a picture from this site so you could see one...

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