Skip to comments.Large, Invasive Lizard Taking Over Parts of Florida
Posted on 03/01/2014 3:45:16 PM PST by nickcarraway
The Tampa Bay area seems to be a fertile breeding ground for an exotic lizard that wildlife officials want to keep from becoming the state's next invasive species problem.
More than 100 black-and-white tegu lizards have been spotted in Hillsborough County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The area is now considered home to one of three tegu breeding populations in the state.
Wildlife officials have spotted more than 100 of them between Riverview and Gibsonton. The animals, which are native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, do not belong in the habitat in southwest Florida, and FWC is concerned about animals that call the area home losing their habitat because of the invasive lizards.
"People buy these cute little lizards at the pet store and then they grow to be too big for an aquarium and they are too expensive to feed and then they just set them free in the preserves," said FWC biologist, Tessie Offner.
Offner has spent the last three years catching tegus, which can grow to 4 feet long. They have no known predators according to the FWC.
"They produce rapidly, laying between 25-50 eggs at a time," said Offner. "They eat everything from plants to other animals with bones and shells- also amphibians, and birds."
She said their stomachs contains an acidic liquid that can dissolve animal bones and shells, like the gopher tortoise's, within days and it comes out like they never ate anything solid.
"We had a whole gopher turtle preserve on our 1,100 acres and now they are all gone," said volunteer horse rescue worker, Marvel Stewart. "We see four to five a week on our property."
Stewart lives in Lithia along with other homeowners who have been reported sightings of the lizards.
"One got into our horse shed, and thankfully the horse was not in there at the time, but if it had been it would have been bad because the horse would have bucked, and possibly hurt herself trying to run from the lizard," said Stewart.
The FWC has set 28 traps in the parkland and dozens more on private property to help catch them.
They lure the lizards in with a raw chicken egg and then trap them and humanely euthanize them.
if they paid those rednecks down there, $10 buck a lizard, there wouldn’t be one left for a 1000 miles.
Ya’ mean Mooch-elle flew down there? Horrors!
Now why would a TV station in Grand Rapids Michigan do this story???
I was picturing Bill Clinton.
“humanly euthanized them”.....
Whatta waste...chop their heads off and save time and money!
Tegu’s are nasty bastards
Tegus are nasty bastards
and Liberals don't belong in the habitat of the United States of America (which has nothing to do with this article, but I thought I'd mention it).
Shoot them. Target practice. Load up and let em have it!
Convince the Japanese that they’re an aphrodisiac. They’ll be hunted to extinction in no time.
That’s way too sensible a solution for modern state DNRs.
Open a Lizard Dog fast food joint and make a fortune.
I thought this was about Valeria Jarrett.
Now is the time to allow anyone and everyone to kill them. If neccessary, pay bounties on these things.
That’s the way to go! Get a Food Network chef to come up with a recipe, like a creole, and market it as a delicacy.
The only reason Florida does not have more tropical species is that the last ice age wiped them out and they have not been able to make it back through Mexico, Texas, and the Gulf Coast - YET. There are a lot of unfilled habitat niches in Florida and they will be filled one where the other. You can’t freeze nature into place.
You can only do so many stories on ice, snow and cold over the past two months before people start yawning with boredom...........
A good liberal solution would be to import anacondas to eat them... Never let a crisis go to waste.
Thats the way to go! Get a Food Network chef to come up with a recipe, like a creole, and market it as a delicacy.
Better kill them as quick as possible before PETA or some Progressive group gets them on the endangered species list to block any and all economic activity .... just because they are undocumented illegal lizards means nothing to Progressives!
Just doing the jobs US lizards won’t do!
Yeah, I thought at first this was a teaser for the new Godzilla movie coming out in May.
Here is a photo of a full grown b/w tegu with a ranger to show you how big they are:
Am I correct in saying, then, that the lizards are not dangerous to humans?
No. They area safe for grown humans, but they eat cats and small dogs. :-)
Chuck Norris uses live Tegus for condoms.
Iguana tastes nice but is a bit tough. Marinated and then put on the BBQ it is great.
How do these things taste? If they taste like Iguana there is a solution?
A guy I know raises them and they are very docile around humans as long as they are well fed.
He’s got one that is older and it is more like a dog than a lizard. It follows people around looking for treats. Not saying they aren’t a disaster in some places, but under the right circumstances, they are probably the best large lizard to keep as a pet. Far better than an iguana.
I know...was born/raised in GR..now live in NW Indiana..Chicago stations seem to be running a loop of snow stories!!!
Freaked me out when the monster bit the head off the cop trying to shoot it with his revolver.
They taste like chicken. It’s illegal to harm them. Spread the word.
1953- The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. I remember it well, saw it at the old Fly-In Drive-In (near the local airport).
Full disclosure: I knew 50’s but looked up the year. I turned ten that fall.
Harryhausen’s first solo movie.
A good liberal solution would be to import anacondas to eat them... Never let a crisis go to waste.How about Burmese pythons?
My what big teeth you have. :) What’s your opinion about the new movie coming out?