Invasive SpeciesReptilesVideoWildlife

Caught On Video Reptilian Invasive Species In Florida: The Tegu

Tegus are an invasive species which reproduces quickly and eats a wide variety of food items, including small animals and eggs of many wildlife species. Tegus are now known to have breeding populations in Miami-Dade and Hillsborough counties.

It is believed the populations were founded by escaped or released pets. The black and white tegu is native to South America, specifically to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. Tegus are black and white in color with banding along the tail.

They can reach up to four feet in length. The lizards spend most of their time on land, though they can swim and may submerge themselves for long periods of time. Tegus can often be seen on roadsides or other disturbed areas. Like many reptiles, they are primarily active during the day and will burrow or hide overnight.

*Reporting your sighting will help wildlife managers better understand where the animals are found. Sightings can be reported over the phone to our exotic species reporting hotline at 1-888-Ive-Got1 (1-888-483-4681) or online at IveGot1.org. A phone app for reporting exotics is also available; search for the free IveGot1 app

Here are some fact about Tegus:

Tegus are native to South America.

The tegu’s diet includes fruits, vegetables, eggs, insects, cat or dog food, and small animals such as lizards and rodents.
Like many reptiles, tegus are most active during the daytime.
The tegu is a large species of lizard and can grow up to 4 feet in length.
In a burrow, a tegu can survive temperatures as low as 35°F (1.6°C).
Tegus spend the colder months of the year in a burrow or under artificial cover.
On average, a mature female tegu will lay around 35 eggs a year.
In Florida, tegu eggs hatch early in the summer.
Anything that attracts dogs, cats, or raccoons can attract a tegu!

 

 

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