Did you know that reptiles are found on every continent except Antarctica? These scaly or bony skinned critters have been admired and feared by many people since the dawn of time. Florida reptiles range from tiny to massive, and our swamp-like ecosystem is perfect for their cold-blooded bodies.
Are you curious about Florida’s lizard species in your backyard or when you come to visit? Here in Florida, we love our reptiles, and we’re excited to share the wide variety that calls the Sunshine State home! Read on to learn more.
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What are Reptiles?
Cold-blooded vertebrates are reptiles. They have dry, scaly skin or bony plates, and most lay soft-shelled eggs. Reptiles live in most areas of the world like jungles, forests, deserts, swamps, and even your backyard!
What Do Reptiles Eat?
Reptiles’ diets are almost as diverse as their environments, but most of them are carnivores. Large reptiles like crocodiles and alligators eat birds, fish, deer, and turtles. Smaller reptiles like snakes and lizards prefer insects, frogs, and small birds and mammals.
Domesticated small reptiles have similar diets but prefer white feeder mice, which they can dine on from the safety of their tanks. In Florida, it isn’t legal to own a crocodile or venomous reptile as a pet. Alligators can be owned if the correct permit is acquired.
A Look at Florida Reptiles
Several reptile species call Florida home, from native to invasive varieties. There are four main categories of reptiles in Florida:
Category One: Lizards in Florida
When it comes to Florida lizards, they come in all shapes and sizes! In fact, geckos in Florida are so common that they’re called “house lizards” in Southern Florida. Some of the most common types are:
Category Two: Snakes in Florida
Florida snakes come in two main classifications: venomous and nonvenomous. When in Florida, it’s critical to understand the difference and learn how to identify the safe types so you can keep you and your family safe.
- Coral Snake
- Black Racers
- Garter Snakes
- Rat Snakes
Category Three: Turtles and Tortoises in Florida
From land to waterways, turtles and tortoises can be found all over Florida. You can find them swimming in the sea, sunbathing on logs, or burrowing underground.
The different types you will see in Florida are:
- Sea Turtles
- Gopher Tortoises
- Box Turtles
- Snapping Turtles
- Softshell Turtles
Category Four: Alligators and Crocodiles in Florida
When people think of Florida, they most often think of the reptilian giants found in most fresh waterways. They love to bask in the sun and float in the water, and they are a must-see anytime you visit the state. In Florida, the American Crocodiles and Alligators call this state home.
Appreciating Florida’s Reptiles
Learning how vast Florida reptiles are is the key to appreciating this state’s natural beauty. From Florida lizards large and small to snakes and turtles, our reptiles are something to respect and protect!
For more articles about all the great things that Florida has to offer, check out these other informative articles on our blog!