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Observing Florida Lizards

Birds and wildlife fascinate me. I enjoy observing them and photographing them wherever I go. I share what I learn here.

You might ask about the stripes on this lizard, but it isn't a tiger-lizard. Those are the from the pattern of the screen making shadows on the reptile.

You might ask about the stripes on this lizard, but it isn't a tiger-lizard. Those are the from the pattern of the screen making shadows on the reptile.

If you find the Geico gecko fun on television, then you’ll love having these green or brown lizards to observe. The green anole can change color to brown. I’ve even seen it mid-change as it ran along the rail of my screen room. (It won’t give you details of insurance deals or speak in a posh accent though.)

Below, you find some fun facts about Florida lizards and lots of my photos of them.

If you live in Florida or visit that state, you'll have lots of fun watching the lizards. I do. Keep your camera at hand to capture their antics.

Lizards Are Great Climbers

They easily climb on screens, plants, the aluminum framework of my screen room. They also can jump down from great heights if they feel threatened.

They easily climb on screens, plants, the aluminum framework of my screen room. They also can jump down from great heights if they feel threatened.

The Geico Gecko on My Patio

I've found where the celebrity lizard hangs out, the one in the Geico television commercials. You would think he would be in Hollywood where I imagine the commercials are filmed. Not so. He appears to have found his way to my patio where he enjoys the company of the many brown lizards who live there. I'd noticed the green one and assumed they were just changing colors. Geckos do that.

When I photographed the green one, I enlarged the photo on my computer. I recognized him right away as the one I'd seen on television. He must be incognito as he does ordinary lizard activities like scurrying around on all four feet and eating small bugs off my potted plants. Perhaps he does those ordinary lizard things to throw the paparazzi off.

I haven't tried to engage him in conversation, as I'm sure he gets pestered a lot by fans. The other lizards on the lanai seem to accept him as one of them and treat him like any normal lizard.

Aphids for a Lizard Lunch

This one is snacking on little aphids that it finds on my patio plants. Look at the leaf above his head and you'll see the aphids.

This one is snacking on little aphids that it finds on my patio plants. Look at the leaf above his head and you'll see the aphids.

What Do Lizards Eat?

When I opened a bag of potting soil, little creatures skittered around in the dirt. Ugh, bugs. Having grown up in the country, I'm not a wimp but don't like being surprised.
Oh well, I needed to use that dirt with my potted plants, so I tried to ignore the little guys while scooping out what I needed. Naturally, the bugs weren't happy about my invasion of their space and ran around frantically.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed lizards scurrying about on the patio. I'm used to them as they are plentiful in Florida. They aren't usually so active though. I focused my attention on the nearest lizard just in time to see him gobble up one of the insects escaping from my bag of dirt.
He paused there with insect legs sticking partly out of his mouth and looked around. Probably looking for dessert to go with his lunch. Now I know what lizards eat.
How about you? Are you comfortable with lizards in your outdoor living space?

Lizard Camoflage

You need to look closely to see the green lizard on the sweet potato leaves in the photo above. It can change its color to brown to match dirt or to green to match leaves.

You need to look closely to see the green lizard on the sweet potato leaves in the photo above. It can change its color to brown to match dirt or to green to match leaves.

Have You Seen These Kinds of Lizards?

Lizard Changing from Green to Brown

You still see remnants of the green coloring but within a few more seconds, it will be all brown.

You still see remnants of the green coloring but within a few more seconds, it will be all brown.

Lizards Shed Their Skin

You probably know about snakes shedding their skin as they grow bigger. Maybe you've even seen the dry, almost translucent skin they've left behind somewhere.

Lizards shed their skin also. Recently, I found one right in the middle of casting off the old skin. It doesn't come off in one piece the way a snakeskin does. Because of the legs, the skin comes apart and flakes away.

A Lizard as It Sheds Its Skin

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observing-florida-lizards
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Birds And Bees Do It. Lizards Do It Too.

I'm a bird watcher and an observer of nature. Capturing wildlife with my camera is a favorite hobby of mine and I create web pages about all sorts of creatures from caterpillars to frogs to alligators. Whenever I'm outside, on the patio or out on the golf course, I have the camera with me. You never know when you'll have a chance to get a photo of an animal.

Just yesterday, I spotted two lizards on the edge of the fountain on our patio. I grabbed the camera and started taking photos from different angles. I'd never seen lizards being this chummy before.

Midway through the photo session, it finally sank in that this pair wasn't just hanging out together. They were fooling around. Making whoopie. Yes, these lizards were in the middle of procreation.

I had to go look it up online to see if they lay eggs or give live birth (answer: eggs). So some weeks down the line, we'll be having baby lizards around. Now for anyone who is prudish, I recommend covering your eyes. I'm adding the photo for the lizards after this explanation. Think of it as your National Geographic moment for the day.

The look on the lizard's face could mean, "hey, lady, could we have a little privacy here."

Two Lizards Mating

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Virginia Allain

Comments

Jo Miller from Tennessee on February 22, 2019:

Really great photos. We have a few small lizards here, but nothing so interesting as yours.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 19, 2019:

You have captured some great photos for this article and combined them with interesting observations and information.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on February 17, 2019:

Hello, Virginia, I am also a natural student of nature. Lizards interested me before I went to school. I have seen them eat ants, dried fish, and vegetable cooking ingredients, not to talk of the wild floral world.

I have seen them mate, lay eggs, and the eggs hatcg while I was six years old. In Africa, a lizard that jump (I do not say fall) from a great height says that he was so lucky his tail is not broken, and must be the strongest being on mother earth!

The wall geeko is reverend as the guardian of the house. There was this spice locally call "Nguna" or monitor lizard. She was also reverend. Killing them means your relation in the family can die. Nguna is now rare and dieing out.

Thanks for such interesting story with beautiful pictures. I lives in Nigeria.

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