Currently viewing the category: "Reptiles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: 5-lined Skink
Location: Tampa, Florida
May 21, 2016 9:01 pm
I saw this interesting little guy in my backyard In August a few years back. I used google and came up with an identity of: Eumeces inexpectatus, the Southeastern five-lined skink.
I hope that’s right. It didn’t mind me holding it at all, but was probably happy to go its own way after I bugged it for pictures.
Signature: Shell

Southeastern Five Lined Skink

Southeastern Five Lined Skink

Dear Shell,
With its blue tail, this Southeastern Five Lined Skink is sure a pretty lizard.  We don’t have many reptiles represented on our site, so your submission is a very welcomed addition.  According to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory:  “Young have a bright blue tail while adult males’ stripes may fade and a reddish or orange coloration may develop on the head.”  It seems your individual may be a male nearing maturity.  The site also states:  “Southeastern five-lined skinks may be found on the ground or in trees, but are generally less arboreal (tree dwelling) than broadhead skinks. Although sometimes seen in the open, these lizards are most often found beneath logs or under tree bark. When pursued, these lizards generally run for the nearest tree or log and can be quite difficult to capture. Like many other lizards, southeastern five-lined skinks will break off their tails when restrained, distracting the predator and allowing the lizard to escape.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Desert Grassland Whiptail Lizard
Location: Tampa, Florida, USA
May 11, 2016 8:44 pm
I discovered this lizard in my Tampa, Florida backyard. According to wikipedia**, it ventured far!
Excerpt:
Habitat: The desert grassland whiptail is mostly found in the deserts of southern to central Arizona and along the Rio Grande river in New Mexico. It is also found in the deserts of northern Mexico. A. uniparens is commonly found in low valleys, grasslands, and slight slopes.
**Some have argued that the species’ range is expanding due to overgrazing.
Signature: Leapin Lizards

Six Lined Racerunner, we believe

Six-Lined Racerunner, we believe

Dear Leapin Lizards,
While we agree that your individual greatly resembles the Desert Grassland Whiptail Lizard,
Aspidoscelis uniparens, pictured on Reptiles of Arizona, Florida is so far from its range in Arizona and New Mexico, we do not believe overgrazing has caused it to naturally spread to your yard.  Florida is no stranger to non-native species, and we believe keeping exotic pets, and a parthenogenic species that does not need sexual contact to reproduce since all individuals are females that lay viable eggs without a mate really does constitute being an exotic pet, could result in an accidental or intentional introduction to your habitat.  While we acknowledge that possibility, we question your identification.  We believe this is far more likely a Six Lined Racerunner, Aspidoscelis sexlineata, a native, related species from the same genus that looks quite similar.  The Six Lined Racerunner is pictured on the Florida Museum of Natural History site.

Six Lined Racerunner, we believe

Six-Lined Racerunner, we believe

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Snake, Worm?
Location: San Antonio, TX
March 29, 2016 11:53 pm
I live in San Antonio, TX, and have seen these little guys around my house about 4-5 times now. It’s been around this fall-spring time where the weather is a bit warm or a bit chilly. I thought it was a worm, but zooming in on the picture, wonder if it might be a snake. I have 3 cats, and the little guy doesn’t move too fast but is very squirmy/wiggly. His squirmy/wiggly movements are pretty quick, though it’s more like a zig zag motion that doesn’t get him very far. I’m mostly concerned what might happen if a kitty catches and eats him. If you’re able to help, I’d greatly appreciate it!
Also, sorry I couldn’t get more pictures. He’s wiggly so it’s hard to get clear ones. I added in the clothespin to help with size.
Signature: Dealer’s choice :)

Legless Lizard

Snake, we believe

We believe this is a Legless Lizard, though your image does not make an exact identification easy.  If we are correct, the Legless Lizard is harmless.  We haven’t the time right now to research if the Legless Lizard is found in Texas.

Thank you so much! I appreciate the quick response.

Comments are beginning to pour in.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is it?
Location: NSW, Australia
February 13, 2016 9:53 pm
Found this odd looking thing near the house today and we have never seen anything like it. Any ideas?
Signature: Freaked out

Spiny Thing

Spiny Thing is Leaf Tailed Gecko tail

Dear Freaked Out,
This does not look like an insect or arthropod.  It look Reptilian to us and we do not believe this is a complete creature.  How large was it?
  The best guess we have right now is that a Lizard that was eaten by a predator that left behind the hard, spiny skin after biting off the head and legs.  The first Spiny Lizard we found in Australia is the Thorny Mountain Devil, or Moloch, but according to the University of Texas site, the Thorny Mountain Devil is not known from New South Wales, but only the western parts of Australia.  The Inland Bearded Dragon pictured on the Reptiles of Australia site and on FlickR looks like a possible match.  It is described on Long Island Herpetological Society site.

Spiny Thing

Spiny Thing is Leaf Tailed Gecko tail

Thanks so much for your reply. I can’t believe hadn’t even considered that it might not be a complete creature.
You’ve put me on the right track to what I now believe to be the tail section from a broad leaf tailed gecko.

Thanks for writing back with the actual species.  The Southern Leaf Tailed Gecko, Phyllurus platurus, pictured on Featured Creature looks spot on.  The site states:  “This cryptic creature is the Broad-tailed Gecko or Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko (Phyllurus platurus). It truly is a master of disguise – and deception. First of all, it will lay perfectly flat on the bark of a tree to camouflage itself when not hunting. With it’s big, leafy-looking tail, the gecko blends in perfectly. Its tail is used for extra fat storage and also as a useful defense mechanism. You see, when and if the lizard feels threatened, it has the ability to detach its tail to confuse predators. It will regenerate later on, though the color and details will be entirely different from the original body.”

Facebook Comment from Tracy
Yes. Definitely a leaftail gecko tail. We get heaps of them in our house and they are lovely. They drop their tail when threatened or attacked and will regrow another one although it will be smaller. Hope this one only lost his tail…

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Roadkill:  Gopher Snake

Roadkill: Gopher Snake

Subject:  Gopher Snake found unresponsive in street
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, March 21, 2015 11AM
Late Saturday morning, Bettie called to say hikers were poking  a snake with a stick in the street.  We immediately picked up the unresponsive snake which “yawned” and then started to quiver over parts of its body.  It hasn’t moved in two days but we thought it might be coming out of hibernation.  This poor lethargic Gopher Snake, probably a female, and fully four feet long, has been kept in a cabbage crock by our editorial staff until this evening.  Greg Pauly from the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, who we spoke with at length this evening, asked us to put it in the freezer to preserve it for the museum because based on our description, Greg determined it was dead.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Alligator Lizards
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 5, 2014 & July 12, 2014
While these are not the largest Alligator Lizards we have seen, the two individuals were between 10 and 12 inches long.  The first individual was repelling down the logs and the second larger individual was sunning in the late afternoon rays.

Alligator Lizard

Alligator Lizard

Alligator Lizard

Alligator Lizard

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination