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How Was The Tegu Lizard Brought To Florida?

Tupinambis merianae (Argentine black and white tegu) was brought into the United States through the pet trade, and breeding colonies have been established in Hillsborough County (central Florida), as well as Miami-Dade and Broward Counties (southern Florida).

How did the Tegu lizard get here?

It is endemic to South America, and it is a large lizard with black and white markings on its back and sides. The question is, how did this invasive species find its way to the United States? Yackel Adams claims that some Americans grow tegus for the pet trade, and that these creatures are being released into the environment, either purposefully or accidently, as a result.

Why is the TEGU invasive to Florida?

The Argentine black and white tegus are not native to Florida, and they are classified an invasive species because of the negative impact they have on the state’s natural fauna. On 25 public properties in south Florida, this species can be collected and humanely killed at any time of year and without the need for a permission or hunting license.

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Where did Tegus originally come from?

This popular term refers to a group of lizard species that are members of the Teiidae and Gymnophthalmidae families and are found around the world. Tegus are endemic to Central and South America, and they are a kind of lizard. They may be found in a wide range of environments and are well-known for their huge size and predatory tendencies.

How do Tegus affect Florida’s ecosystem?

Tegus have been observed digging into alligator and turtle nests in Florida and consuming the eggs. A tegu population that is increasing and spreading poses a threat to local fauna such as crocodiles, sea turtles, ground-nesting birds, and small mammals, among other species.

Is it illegal to own a TEGU in Florida?

The state of Florida has added 16 additional high-risk nonnative reptiles to its Prohibited Species List. Pet owners will no longer be able to acquire tegu lizards or green iguanas after April 29, among other nonnative reptiles that have been made illegal. It is mandatory for those who already possess one to get it registered and microchipped.

Where did the TEGU invade?

They’ll eat just about everything, and they’re wreaking havoc on the Southeastern United States. According to Rebecca Renner of National Geographic, in Venezuela, the black-and-white tegu is known as el lobo pollero, or “the chicken wolf,” because of its penchant for robbing chicken coops.

Are Tegus poisonous?

Tegus are not hazardous to people, whether they are kept as pets or found in the wild. Including their tail, they measure an average of three feet in length, and they are not renowned for attacking anything that is larger than their own body.

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Will a tegu bite?

These may be used by a tegu to smash hard snail shells, eggs, difficult nuts and fruit, and notably little bones, in addition to other things. Several studies on the aggressiveness and bite performance of these 3–4 foot long lizards have showed that they are capable of biting with 1,000 newtons of power. This is near to the upper end of the spectrum for big dog bites.

Do Tegus make good pets?

When it comes to tegus, blue argentine tegus are a highly popular choice for pet owners. One explanation for this is that they have a smaller average size, but they are also quite docile. In fact, with the correct husbandry procedures, certain blue tegu lizards may even be housed in pairs.

How many TEGU species are there?

What Is a Tegu Lizard and Where Can I Find One? In Central and South America, the Tegu is the common name for two different families of lizards (the Teiidae and the Gymnophthalmidae), both of which are native to the region. There are nearly 400 different species of lizards in these two families, with a combined range of more than 1,000 miles between them.

Where are Tegu lizards found in Florida?

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, they are generally found in South Florida, but have been discovered as far north as St. Lucie County in recent years. It’s likely that the problem began with tegu lizards being released by their owners or when they fled from their enclosures. Almost anything, from bananas to gopher tortoise babies, is on the menu for these creatures.

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Are TEGU edible?

Tegu (Tupinambis) species are the biggest lizards found in South America, with some reaching up to three meters in length. Many of these lizards are killed, and their skins are in high demand; the flesh is consumed by rural and indigenous peoples in large quantities.

How much does a TEGU cost?

Argentine Tegus are available for purchase at around $200 USD. A healthy lizard may be obtained from a variety of breeders, thus it is critical that you choose a trustworthy breeder in order to obtain one.

How can we get rid of Tegus?

Tegu lizards are sometimes mistaken with nile monitors, which are also lizards. Cage trapping with a positive set is the most effective technique of removal, hence it is preferable to seek assistance from a trained specialist.

How do Tegus impact human health?

Tegus are not a threat to humans in any way. According to Kristen Sommers of the Florida Fish and Animals Impact Management System, the presence of tegus is comparable to that of any other nonnative invasive species that is destructive to native wildlife and natural environments. Tegus also “may represent a concern to human health and safety,” she says.

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