Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Tegus in Florida

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Abbotsford, BC

    Default Tegus in Florida

    I know there are plenty of invasive reptiles in south Florida, you hear about Burmese pythons, rock pythons, nile monitors, and iguanas all the time but this is the first account I have read about tegus, apparently they number in the thousands in two distinct populations.

    This is from Volume #14 Issue #38 7/10/14

    Invasive lizards threaten Florida's turtles, alligators

    By Zachary Fagenson

    MIAMI Sun Jul 6, 2014 7:01pm BST
    (Reuters) - An invasive lizard first spotted in southern and central Florida about a decade ago has become the latest concern for wildlife officials after the four-foot-long, black-and-white tegu was caught on video stealing alligator and turtle eggs from their nests.
    Scientists from the University of Florida during the spring and summer of 2013 planted several cameras in the Everglades around nests containing dozens of eggs.

    “We captured images of tegus removing (up to) two eggs per day until an examination of the nest on Aug. 19 revealed no remaining eggs,” University of Florida professor Frank Mazzotti wrote of one alligator nest in a forthcoming study, conducted with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, to be published in journal Biological Invasions this summer.

    Mazzotti said the species, found naturally in Argentina and parts of South America, is thought to have first arrived in the U.S. via pet traders sometime in the early 2000s. Since then its population has boomed thanks to an ability to withstand cold and large clutch sizes containing up to 30 eggs.

    “Any species that is a predator and eats high up the food chain and is introduced into a novel environment has potential for causing serious ecological damage,” said Mazzotti, a member of the UF's team of wildlife researchers known as the "Croc Docs."
    Florida, and particularly the Everglades, is home to dozens of invasive species that have escaped into the wild or been released by pet owners after growing too large. Most famously wildlife officials have struggled to contain Burmese pythons, and occasionally encountered some nearly 20-feet (6-meters) long, even preying on adult alligators.

    Mazzotti said tegus are split into two groups, one in the Everglades and another near Tampa on the state’s west coast. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimated the size of the South Florida group in the low thousands, and Mazzotti said more than 400 have been trapped in the last year.

    “We can’t contain them,” he said.

    (Editing by David Adams and Marguerita Choy)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central FL


    The population in Tampa have been there for years. This is information from the FL FWC:

    "There may be an established population southeast of Tampa in eastern Hillsborough
    and western Polk counties, Florida. Specimens and credible observations exist...
    [near a nature preserve] and contains the following natural habitats: sand pine scrub,
    xeric oak scrub, scrubby and mesic flatwoods, hardwood hammock, freshwater marsh,
    cypress swamp, and hardwood swamp (Resource Management Office 2006). The east end of
    the preserve contains 486 ha (1200 ac) of restored phosphate-mined land that consists
    of improved pasture and numerous lakes (Resource Management Office 2006). An
    adult tegu was first collected in the preserve in June 2006 (Fig. 3), and tegus have
    been subsequently observed here. For example, 2 juvenile tegus were observed
    escaping into gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows during a 20-min visit
    on 18 August 2006 (Kaiser, pers. comm.). Three juvenile tegus have been
    subsequently trapped from 10 tortoise burrows, although 1 escaped while being
    removed from the trap. Tegus, including hatchlings, have also been observed on
    private property in the area in 2006."
    Laura R (FL)
    1.0.0 Colombian Tegu
    1.4.0 Argentine B&W Tegu
    1.2.0 Red Tegu
    1.2.0 B/WxRed Tegu
    1.0.0 Green Ameiva (yet another teiid)
    7 other lizards
    1 little gator
    3 FL box turtle
    1 Sulcata tortoise
    16 snakes
    5 fuzzy pets
    4 little frogs
    a bunch of creepy bugs
    and a partridge in a pear tree


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts