Florida, known for its diverse wildlife, is home to numerous species of lizards, but a common concern for residents and visitors alike is whether any of these reptiles pose a threat. The question “Are lizards in Florida poisonous?” is frequently asked, and the simple answer is no, none of the lizard species native to Florida are poisonous. However, it’s important to note that there are a couple of venomous species present, specifically, the introduced Mexican Beaded Lizard and the Gila Monster.
Mexican Beaded Lizard (Heloderma horridum)
Mexican Beaded Lizards are one of two venomous species found in Florida, although they are not native. They have a venom gland in the lower jaw, and venom can be delivered when they bite. While the venom of a Mexican Beaded Lizard can cause significant discomfort, it is rarely life-threatening to humans.
Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)
The Gila Monster, like the Mexican Beaded Lizard, is a venomous species that is not native to Florida but can be found there, generally as escaped or released pets. A bite from a Gila Monster can be extremely painful but is usually not deadly to humans.
While these venomous species can be found in Florida, they are very rare, and encounters with humans are infrequent. The majority of lizards that Floridians and visitors are likely to encounter are completely harmless. This includes species like the Green Anole, Brown Anole, and various species of geckos, skinks, and iguanas.
Are lizards in Florida poisonous?
No, lizards in Florida are not poisonous. However, there are two species, the Mexican Beaded Lizard and the Gila Monster, which are venomous but not native to Florida.
What should I do if I’m bitten by a venomous lizard in Florida?
If bitten by a venomous lizard, seek medical attention immediately. While the venom is not typically life-threatening, it can cause significant pain and discomfort.
What are some common lizards in Florida?
Some common lizards in Florida include the Green Anole, Brown Anole, and various species of geckos, skinks, and iguanas.