Leiocephalus carinatus Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
Popular in the pet trade, the curly tail lizard is native to the Bahamas, and was introduced to Florida in the 1940’s to combat sugar cane pests. Curly tails are sturdy, robust-looking lizards that sometimes grow to a length of 28 cms (11 inches). Their curled tail which is held up in the air easily identifies them.
Curlytails are now common in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in Florida. They are seen in parking lots, along walls and around old buildings, especially where there are cracks and pieces of rubble. These lizards usually move on the ground but can also climb well.
Curlytails are sit-and-wait predators; they eat crickets, grasshoppers, ants and beetles. There is some concern that these introduced lizards will compete with and even feed on native species like the green anole.
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