Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole).
Photo: 06/16/11, 11 am.

We have plenty of these common lizards in our yard and on occasions in our living room which seems to attract them magically. This is the green anole (Anolis carolinensis). They can drop (and regrow) their tail to evade predators. I wonder whether the darker grayish tail of the left fellow is due to such an event. They also change color to fit the situation. Brown indicates distress. They eat small insects such as moths and crickets. 

Apalone ferox (Florida Softshell Turtle) ♀.
Photo: 07/05/20, 11 am.

For four days, this softshell turtle was an uninvited visitor in our pool. She clearly wanted to get out (I think), but raising the water level, trying to lift her out with the pool skimmer, grabbing her, using a huge wooden board as a ramp, ... nothing worked. But then suddenly I saw her at the fence; she must have finally climbed out on the board. These turtles are pretty much aquatic and fast-moving in water and on land. While this species is omnivorous, its diet consists largely of fish, insects, crustaceans, frogs and mollusks. 


Coluber constrictor priapus (Southern Black Racer).
Size: approx. 600 mm. Photo: 04/08/12, noon.

This snake surprised me while I was looking for insects in my beautiful jasmine-covered trellis. It seems to be a Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus). They can reach a length of over 60 inches and feed on rodents, frogs, birds, and lizards. They kill they prey by suffocation or crushing. This snake held itself in the jasmine at a height of approx. 6 ft. and did not move at all.  


Elaphe guttata (Corn Snake).
Photo: 04/15/07, 3 pm.

I found this one under my garbage can (twice over 12 years). This could be a corn snake (Elaphe guttata). They reach lengths of up to 6' and are not dangerous to humans, but then again doesn't the venomous copperhead look very similar? 

Eumeces laticeps (Broadheaded Skink).
Size: approx. 200 mm. Photo: 08/14/11, 1 pm.

more later. 

Hemidactylus turcicus (Mediterranean Gecko).
Size: approx. 100-150 mm. Photo: 09/01/18, 9 pm.

The Mediterranean Gecko has sticky toe pads and vertical pupils. Its skin is bumpy/warty. This introduced old-world species is almost completely nocturnal. It is firmly established in Florida and always found close to human developments. Geckos can make squeaking or barking noises. The small photos were taken on 08/08/11 around 11 pm. 


Plestiodon fasciatus.
Photo: 07/05/20, noon.

A juvenile (American) five-lined skink. They are one of the most common lizards in the eastern US. Skinks sacrifice their tail and run to a shelter to escape death as the disconnected tail continues to twitch. Skinks may also utilize biting as a defensive strategy. Some scientists speculate that these skinks are bad-tasting to many predators. 

Terrapene carolina.
Photo: 05/01/04, 2 pm.

Another very rare visitor who appears somewhat angry about my intrusion. More later. 

Trachemys scripta (Yellow-bellied slider).
Size: approx. 300 mm. Photo: 04/19/19, 9 am.

I believe this turtle is a yellow-bellied slider which is the most common turtle species in the southeastern US and often kept as a pet. I saw this turtle in my pool during fairly heavy rain. I was so excited that it let me come close that I didn't correct my camera settings, hence the fuzziness. After the rain stopped, the turtle didn't give me a second chance and immediately dived to the bottom of the pool whenever I left the house. I had no idea that turtles have such good eyes! The following day, we finally succeeded extracting the very tired looking turtle from the pool and brought it to our lake.