Florida Nature and our Fun Little Critters. By Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach REALTORĀ®

Real Estate Agent with Florida Property Experts
Daytona Beach Real Estate and Fascinating Facts, by Lisa Hill, "THE SMART CHOICE!"

green anole lizard in FloridaThis is going to be a short little blog post about one of Florida's little green critters. I guess I should clarify that sometimes they're brown. And sometimes they're tan. And sometimes they're somewhere in between. They're lizards of course. They're the little buggers that dart in the door when you're not looking, leaving you desperately trying to catch them before the cats do (if you have cats) or perhaps you're just trying to get them out of your house!

Being a native of this area, I find them amusing, and I know how fast they are! Those suckers are hard to catch! But what amuses me even more is when people are frightened of these toothless, powerless, even helpless little creatures with the unique ability to re-grow their tails.... Silly humans. So afraid of them, that they pick them up by the tail. Tsk tsk. The lizard then releases their tail, which continues to flop and flail aimlessly about. This works like a charm to divert the attention of our cats, while the lizard sneaks quietly away. (God made such cool stuff!)  =D

But I'm writing this post to clarify one particular misunderstanding.... Lizards are NOT chameleons! We do not even have chameleons in Florida, except as pets. We do however, have lizards, geckos and salamanders. Salamanders have stripes, are multi-colored, and like dark, damp places. Although my favorites are the geckos, which I think are adorable. I love the way they wiggle, in a kind of slithery manner when they run, whereas lizards and salamanders run in a straight line.

But what we see everywhere... and I do mean everywhere... are most likely lizards. But for some reason, visitors to Florida seem to think that lizards are chameleons. And the one trait that chameleons have, that neither lizards, geckos, nor salamanders have, are bulbous, protruding eyes that rotate all the way around. So I'm really not sure why our lizards are so frequently called chameleons. I guess it's because of their ability to change colors, which is how they protect themselves... by blending in with their surroundings. But geckos can do this too, although their base color is usually bright green. When I was younger, most of our lizards were bright green, but over the years we're finding more and more of the brown ones. I'm not positive, but I believe the lizards with the brown primary, or base color, have migrated here and brown lizard by Magnus Rosendahl-FreePhotochanged the habitat of our primarily green "anoles". But they're still all lizards.

So this little post is to set the record straight. When you move to Florida and find these small, harmless, toothless, sometimes tail-less critters in your house, in your garage, on your porch, on the sidewalk, on your windows, and falling off your garage door as you open or close it, they're just lizards.

But on the rare occasion that you find a little green wiggly thing sitting high up on the wall in your house, moving about half the speed of a lizard, and with little suction cup feet, like tiny little tree frog feet, those will be geckos. (Not to be confused with Geiko- lol).

So welcome to Florida! Land of the lizards, geckos and salamanders. But NOT the chameleons! (Unless it's someone's pet) And for heaven's sake, don't freak out about every little thing! If you've decided to live in a tropical climate, you can expect to find tropical creatures.

**Now for an extra special tip! LOL... If you manage to catch one of those speedy little lizards, be sure to grasp them gently around their soft little bellies, then tap lightly on their nose until they open their mouths. Your final step is to clip it on your ear lobe. Ta Dahhh! Lizard earring! (I offer that little tidbit at no charge!)

Now if I haven't scared you off, and you'd like to move to Daytona Beach (or anywhere in east Volusia county), I'd love to help! For information on buying real estate, << click here.  For information on selling real estate, << click here.

For general information on buying or selling real estate in Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Ponce Inlet, Ormond Beach, and the cities around and in between, visit my primary web site at www.DaytonaBeachRealEstateSales.com.

Lisa Hill Daytona Beach realtor

list real estate with lisa hill and adams cameron realtors and get it sold

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Comments (15)

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Lisa, I love those little critters!! In fact I love most of our Florida critters. Snakes included.

May 25, 2009 09:33 AM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

Yer so cute, sis........ geckos are everywhere in FL....unfortunately so are poisonous snakes..... it is best to watch where you step sometimes when outdoors in FL......

Here's hoping lots of business comes your way!!


May 25, 2009 10:41 AM
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

When I lived iOkinawa we had these geckos that were fun to watch.  Of course every once in awhile one would surprise you and appear in a place you weren't expecting them, like the kitchen but at least I knew they harmless.

May 25, 2009 11:17 AM
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

I love the lizards but dang, the roaches are like B52 bombers and the gigantic spiders ... well, I'll admit I'm petrified of spiders! However, I lived in FL for a few years, and survived with very fond memories.

May 25, 2009 08:10 PM
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

Really they are a novelty here and harmless- now the Palmettos...another story!

May 26, 2009 09:51 AM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

LOL at all of you! And I totally agree about the Palmetto bugs/roaches. Eeeeww! Those darn things live in Palm Trees and shrubs. You never know when one will  FLY out at you!  I've never learned to even tolerate those disgusting things. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. Yuck! lol

May 26, 2009 10:31 AM
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Lisa, I don't mind most of the critters in FL, but as someone said above, I hate spiders and I'm not crazy about Palmetto Bugs (especially the ones that double as taxis).  

May 26, 2009 06:52 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Jack- Roach taxis? I must have missed those (thank God) but what are they carrying?

May 27, 2009 05:07 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Hey, Lisa - That's Anole carolinensis. It's common name is "American chameleon," although it is not a chameleon. However, "chameleon" also refers to an ability to change rapidly, which the anole lizard can do with its color.

We had them everywhere in Texas. I loved the little things. A lot of fun to play with when you're young.

May 27, 2009 12:36 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Russel- Well that would explain the confusion, if I thought even half the folks new the real name... lol   And what do you mean young? Who says you have to be young to play with them? I still make lizard earrings =D 

May 27, 2009 02:16 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Lisa, the green ones are also called 'green anoles' - Russel is more technical than I - and they are being replaced by the brown lizards from Cuba, who eat the young of the green anoles. The Green anoles are mostly found now in wooded areas whereas 10 years ago they were everywhere. Isn't it fun to watch them 'puff' when they mate?


May 27, 2009 03:02 PM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Sharon- I alluded to that, but I don't have the scientific evidence to back it up, so I didn't want to give any definites. I only mentioned "anoles" once. And I hadn't heard specifically that the bigger, brown ones were from Cuba, but I think it's pretty obvious that they're driving out the anoles =(

Oh, and I found a photo online, of the puffed up chest, but it wasn't in a Creative Commons zone, so I couldn't use it. I was bummed about that.

May 28, 2009 02:39 AM
Matt McLaughlin
The Pest Force - Myrtle Beach, SC

Hey Lisa, I used to wear these lizards on my ears like ear rings, haha. No harm, when I put my hand under their feet they would run down my arm and away. Amazing fact about the anole, not only do they grow their tails back but the disconnected tail will grow into a lizard it's self, I am kidding :)


The Palmetto Bug is nothing more than a good old American cockroach! I think you know that already Lisa, haha but for the sake of real estate in the south lets just call them Palmetto Bugs :)

May 29, 2009 06:24 AM
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Lisa, I'm not going to venture a guess at what the Roach Taxi is carrying around. Well, not in writing.

May 29, 2009 08:07 AM
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Matt-  Quite frankly, I usually just call them "roaches". But, from what I've been told, our "palmetto bugs" are smaller than cockroaches found elsewhere. (Can you imagine? Bleh!)

Jack- Great. Now my imagination will take over. Unfortunately, it's usually much worse than reality  >.<

May 29, 2009 10:05 AM

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