Currently viewing the category: "Reptiles"

spider/ brown anole carnage
Dear bugman-
We saw this spider kill a brown anole in a swamp in Big Cypress National Preserve. It was about 4- 4 1/2″ in diameter. We couldn’t figure out exactly what species it was, we were hoping you could help. These spiders are all over this part of the preserve, would they ever bother humans? We also just thought it was a cool picture for your website, we hope you use it. Thanks bugman.
Lisa and Jimi

Hi Lisa and Jimi,
Awesome photo of one of the Dolomedes Fishing Spiders. They walk on water and dive below the surface to catch fish as well as catching lizards on trees.

Thanks so much for your prompt reply. I had to laugh at your response. I do get my nails done, but at the same time I am fascinated by bugs, lizards – critters in general. I’m a birder and I love to photograph wildlife. I know most women cringe at critters, but not me! Too bad you can’t identify our backyard lizard. I can’t identify him myself, using photos on the internet – I’ll copy a picture of him just for the heck of it, but I know you’re an expert on bugs, not lizards.

Hi Suze,
You have a tropical iguana running around your yard. Many people keep them as pets and they
escape or outgrow their homes, and they release them. They find the Florida climate very hospitable,
just like people, and they continue to grow and even reproduce. They love swimming pools as well.
Please continue to write when you have questions.

Dear Editors,

Greetings, I can’t stand any kind of bugs or reptiles, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn about them. Would you kindly help me identify this “iguana,” so when I’m working in my gardens I know what’s coming towards me, and call it by its name and ask it to leave? By the way, the one in the picture, we found it dead. That’s why it posed so well on my helper’s hand.
Thank you for your effort on this matter.
Kindly, F. Sevillano

Dear Kindly Sr. Sevillano:

Though lizards are not my forte, it appears to me as though you have found a very young specimen of alligator lizard, one which met with an untimely, unnatural death. Not being in possession of a set of Encyclopedia Britannica, I tempted fate by trying to locate information for you on the internet. My search led me to the San Diego Natural History Museum Field Guide. There I learned that the Southern Alligator Lizard goes by the scientific name Elgaria multicarinata. The Southern Alligator Lizard has a slender body up to seven inches long, and relatively small legs. An individual that has never suffered the traumas of a caudal autonomy (loss of its tail) may have a tail twice the length of its body, making for a 21 inch long lizard. If the tail is lost, it can regenerate, though it is usually shorter and differently colored. The lizards tend to be brown to yellow ochre and adults are marked with dark cross bands. The species is common in the Los Angeles Basin( and is often found in yards and gardens. Alligator Lizards aren’t easily intimidated by humans, and, while not poisonous, can inflict a painful bite. They have an ornery disposition and if you decide to catch one, expect to get nipped. They eat mainly insects and snails, which make them the gardener’s friends, but they have also been known to eat small birds and mice, frogs and other lizards. Perhaps your helper would like to bring his lizard by my place some time so I can verify my identification through a thorough first-hand investigation.

(01/19/2004) Iguana
FYI: The lizard shown on your "Iguana" page is a fence lizard also commonly known as a "Blue Belly" in Southern California. They are common, non aggressive and tend to bask in the sun on walls wood piles etc. Boys frequently catch them, I spent a majority of my childhood doing so. They have a blue throat and sometimes blue sides hence- blue belly (we aren’t very accurate with our use of English here in CA). I hope this helps you and the site. I originally found your excellent site by looking up wind scorpions to try to discover the name of the awful monstrosity that attacked me in Death Valley one night. I hope they aren’t endangered because I ended up shooting it after it repeatedly advanced on me in an aggressive pose. Thanks for the help and the cool site.

Thanks Chad, for the info and compliments. That is a very old letter and I totally forgot we had that page, which was a quirky question with an equally quirky answer. Wind Scorpions are not endangered. How about that one from the Desert Storm veteran which he calls a Camel Cricket. Glad our Southern California specimens arent that big.

Hello, I have found 3 of these things in my apartment. I live on the third floor, in Dallas, TX. These things are freaking me out to tears! They look to be about an inch long, have a snake-like scaly appearance, and fish-like eyes and triangle-shaped head. They look like a cross between a little lizard and fish. The three I have found have all been dead, in various stages of decomposition. This is the weirdest creature I have ever seen and I have to know what it is or I may never walk in my apartment without shoes again! HELP!

Hi Melissa,
Do you have a cat? It looks like you have dead lizards that have been chewed on by a cat. I say this because my cat frequently brings small lizards in the house and leaves their carcasses behind furniture and various other places.