Florida's Yard Lizards
You see them when you work in the garden, entertain outdoors, or walk from your house to your vehicle.
They look a lot like the car insurance company's mascot, but are smaller and less chatty. Though prevalent in Florida, these little reptiles are shy. Most scurry out of the way when they see you coming. To read more about "Leaping Lizards" visit the University of Florida's Extension Service website.
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There are four prominent species of the lizards in Hillsborough County: green anoles, brown anoles, skinks, and geckos. Some are native. Others are invasive. None is harmful to humans or pets. Here are some other interesting facts about these lizards, according to the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Leaping Lizards blog.
These reptiles live in trees and shrubs, changing color based on the heat and sun. They can climb walls and even glass.
The lizards eat insects, and help moderate populations of spiders, mosquitoes, and flies. The invasive brown anole is known to eat young green anoles (pictured at the top.)
The Tropical House Gecko and Mediterranean Gecko are the types you're likely to see locally. These lizards are often found locally around your porch lights or garages.
These lizards spend most of their lives on the ground around leaf litter and rotting logs but will climb walls and vegetation to get to food.
Occasionally, one of the small lizards will slip into your house. Don't kill it! Try to catch the creature and release it outdoors.