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Unidentified lizard
Unidentified lizard  
QUESTION: Before I left FL there was this lizard that I saw and I couldn't identify it. I thought I would come to this site and see if I could find someone who might be able to help identify it. Can you help? It's tail is almost always curled up. Here is a picture.

ANSWER: This is an invasive species that's become common in Florida, called (obviously enough) a Northern curly-tail lizard. :) Leiocephalus carinatus armouri.

It's native to the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Cuba, but was introduced to the mainland US in Palm Beach, FL, in the 1940s in a misguided attempt to control sugar cane pests.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok. Thanks. Is it poisonous and if someone tried to catch it with their bare hands would it bite?

Answer
The only dangerously venomous lizards are Mexican beaded lizards, Gila monsters, and Komodo dragons.  All others are harmless. :)

As for it biting - yes, of course it would bite if you caught it.  They're wild animals. :)

If you want a pet lizard, I recommend purchasing a captive-bred baby from a reputable breeder.  It will already be acclimated to captivity, and be healthy.  Wild lizards carry parasites, so they require veterinary care in order to survive in captivity.  The vet care would cost more than simply buying a healthy captive bred animal, and there's no guarantee that a wild caught lizard could adapt to captive conditions, even so.  

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Donna Fernstrom

Expertise

My particular focus is on snakes and lizards, but I have a decent smattering of knowledge of turtles and crocodilians as well, plus the experience to get relevant information quickly if I don't have it on hand in my brain. I can answer questions on captive care, diet, breeding, incubation of eggs, starting hatchlings, and more. I am particularly experienced with ball pythons, Lygodactylus geckos and other small lizards with similar care requirements, leopard geckos, and garter snakes.

Experience

I am a professional breeder of ball python morphs, Lygodactylus (dwarf) geckos, and mourning geckos. I have begun working with Irian Jaya carpet pythons, and plan to expand to include more gecko species in the future. I also have a background breeding leopard geckos, and have kept several other species of small lizards, snakes, and a water turtle.

Organizations
Nebraska Herpetological Society (nebherp.org)

Publications
I have many care sheets published on my own website.

Education/Credentials
High School Graduate. Extensively self-taught due to high interest in wildlife and reptile care.

Awards and Honors
Fauna Classifieds board of inquiry Good Guy Certification

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