Geckos are lizards that belong to the Gekkonidae family. They’re usually small, nocturnal, and insectivorous.
These lizards have cells in their eyes that give them a bright glow when light hits them at night—so if you’re out after dark and see a shiny pair of eyes staring back at you, it’s probably a gecko!
There are almost 1,500 different species of geckos around the world, but most of them can be found in Florida.
What types of geckos are found in Florida?
Florida is a great place to live, but it’s also a great place to find some of the most unique geckos in the world.
If you’re more interested in nature than in interacting with friends and neighbors, you’ll probably learn a lot more about geckos by visiting Florida than you ever would by hanging out at home.
Here are some of the best types of geckos found in Florida:
1. Broadhead Skink
The Broadhead Skink (Plestiodon laticeps) is a small, terrestrial skink that is native to southeastern North America.
It is often mistaken for the five-lined skink, which has a similar range and appearance. This species is one of the most abundant reptiles in Florida.
The Broadhead Skink has a gray or tan body with darker stripes on its back. Its tail is usually dark brown or black with a white stripe at the base and another near the tip.
A pale stripe runs down each side of its body from behind its eyes to its legs. The underside of its neck and throat are usually pinkish white.
Broadhead Skinks are typically less than 6 inches long from snout to tail tip but can grow up to 10 inches long if conditions are favorable. Their diets consist primarily of insects and other invertebrates such as spiders, sowbugs (roly polys), crickets, and insect larvae such as caterpillars.
2. Bark Anole
The Bark Anole (Anolis distichus) is a small, slim lizard that has a brown or gray body with green, yellow, or blue bands on its sides.
These lizards are usually found on tree trunks or fence posts where they can easily escape predators. They feed on insects and other small invertebrates.
This species was introduced to Florida from Puerto Rico in the early 1960s and has spread throughout most of central and southern Florida.
3. Brown Anole
The brown anole (Anolis sagrei) is the most common and widespread terrestrial reptile in Florida.
It is a slender lizard with a long, pointed snout and small eyes that can be gray, brown, green, or black.
There are two dorsal color patterns: brown with dark spots or a greenish-gray body with white spots. The belly is usually white with black spots or stripes.
The female anole’s tail has two rows of large scales along its entire length, while the male has enlarged femoral pores on his inner thighs and small spines on his lower back legs.
The brown anole can be found in nearly all types of habitats throughout Florida — from scrubby areas near homes to forests and swamps.
They prefer open areas with little vegetation where they can easily spot predators before they are seen by them.
4. Brown Basilisk
The Brown Basilisk is also known as the American Chameleon. It is one of the largest species of lizards in North America.
The Brown Basilisk can grow to be up to two feet long and live up to 16 years in captivity. It gets its name from its ability to blend into its surroundings by changing color to match its surroundings.
This gecko is native to Florida but has been introduced into other parts of the country where it may not be native such as California, Texas, and Arizona.
The Brown Basilisk has a brown or gray body with black spots on its back and tail.
The spots on its back are smaller than those on its tail which resemble eyespots used by other basilisks for defense against predators. They also have small black bands around their body that fade as they age.
This lizard has large ears that allow them to hear prey moving through leaves while they hide in trees waiting for it to pass by underneath them so they can catch it!
5. Butterfly Lizard
The butterfly lizard is one of the most commonly seen geckos in Florida. Although they are not native to the state, they have been introduced from other parts of the world.
They can be found in many different colors, including brown, green and blue.
The butterfly lizard is small, about 3 inches long, but it’s one of the fastest reptiles you will ever see.
These lizards are very quick on their feet and can run up to 3 miles per hour!
6. Coal Skink
The coal skink is a small gecko that can be found throughout Florida and southern Georgia.
These skinks are usually brown or black in color with stripes running down their backs and sides. They are known for hiding under logs or rocks on hot days.
The coal skink feed on insects such as beetles and roaches which makes them useful predators in your yard or garden. They lay around 10 eggs at a time which hatch after about two months.
7. Eastern Fence Lizard
The Eastern fence lizard is one of the most common species of gecko in Florida. It can be found in a variety of habitats, including scrub, pinelands, and sandhills.
This lizard is tan or brown in color with four dark stripes on its back.
It usually has three or four dark spots on its throat and belly. The Eastern fence lizard grows up to six inches long and makes a hissing noise when threatened or disturbed.
8. Florida Scrub Lizard
The Florida scrub lizard can be found throughout much of the state except for coastal areas.
It has two rows of keeled scales along its back and sides which curl under when it’s threatened or disturbed.
This species is grayish-brown in color with darker streaks along its back that runs from head to tail tip. It has small blue eyes and short legs with five toes on each foot.
The Florida scrub lizard’s tail is short and thick when compared to other species of lizards found within this area of Florida.
9. Florida Sand Skink
The Florida Sand Skink is a small lizard that lives in sandy soils throughout most parts of Florida except for the panhandle region where it is replaced by the similar Five-lined Skink (see below).
The Florida Sand Skink has a long tail with five distinct black stripes on it. Its body coloration varies from light brown to dark gray depending on its location within its range.
10. Florida Worm Lizard
The Florida worm lizard is a small gecko that is found throughout the state of Florida. They are one of the most common lizards here and can be found in urban areas as well as natural areas.
They are usually pale or pinkish in color. These lizards are nocturnal and will spend the day hiding under logs, rocks, or other debris. They feed on insects, worms, and insect larvae.
11. Green Anole
The green anole is another common lizard in Florida that can be seen in many different locations throughout the state.
There are about 30 species of anoles that can be found here but the green anole is one of the most common species.
These lizards have a very long tail which accounts for about half its total length and they often sit on top of branches to bask in sunlight during the daytime hours.
Green anoles also eat insects such as butterflies and moths along with spiders and other small invertebrates that they find on plants or on tree trunks.
12. Green Iguana
The green iguana (Iguana iguana) is another type of lizard that is native to Central America but also found in Florida where it thrives due to mild temperatures year-round.
These lizards can grow up to five feet long and weigh over 50 pounds! They eat plants, fruits, flowers, and small animals such as insects, earthworms, or lizards if they get hungry enough!
They stay active all year round but during the winter months, they hibernate underground so they don’t die from freezing.
13. Jamaican Giant Anole
The Jamaican giant anole is native to Central America and the Caribbean. It is the largest species of anole found in North America, with a maximum size of 10 inches from snout to vent.
The body is dark green or brown with a yellow stripe running down each side of its body.
This species has a prehensile tail which it uses to hang from branches while hunting for prey or basking in the sun.
It also has enlarged toe pads that allow it to climb trees and other vertical surfaces.
14. Knight Anole
Knight anole, also known as the Cuban knight anole is a medium-sized gecko with short legs and long tails.
They live in trees or bushes and eat insects such as crickets and grasshoppers.
Knight anoles can grow up to 10 inches long but can live up to 20 years old if they are well cared for during their lifetime.
Knight anoles come in many different colors such as greens, browns, yellows, and oranges!
15. Mediterranean House Gecko
The Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) is another common species found in Florida.
The Mediterranean House Gecko is grayish-brown with dark spots on its back and light spots on its flanks.
It can be found around homes and buildings throughout Florida where it feeds on insects such as roaches, crickets, and spiders.
16. Nile Monitor
The Nile monitor is one of the largest lizards in the world. It is native to sub-Saharan Africa and can be found in many parts of Florida, including Miami Dade County.
Nile monitors are highly venomous and have large claws that they use to tear apart their prey.
They are opportunistic predators who will eat anything from insects to small mammals and reptiles.
Nile monitors are also known for their ability to climb trees, making them difficult to capture if they escape from captivity.
17. Northern Mole Skink
Northern mole skinks are small lizards with brown scales on their backs and lighter shades on their bellies.
They have short legs with long toes which allow them to dig through loose soil quickly for food or shelter.
Northern mole skinks have been found in many counties across Florida including Orange County, Osceola County, Polk County, and Brevard County.
18. Oustalet’s Chameleon
Oustalet’s chameleon (Chamaeleo oustaleti) is a species of chameleon native to the island of Madagascar.
It has been introduced to Mauritius and Réunion and is found in forests from sea level to 1,500 m altitude.
It grows to a maximum length of about 120 mm (4.7 in).
The color pattern consists of a light green background with blotches and streaks of orange or yellow, with black markings on the sides of the head, neck, and limbs.
19. Rainbow Whiptail
The rainbow whiptail is another small species that live in Florida.
This gecko has bands of color that run down its back from head to tail, with a white belly and blue underbelly, which gives it its name.
These geckos live near streams and ponds in the state’s forests and wetlands.
20. Six-Lined Racerunner
The six-lined racerunner is a common lizard found in the southeastern United States.
It is found in Florida and much of the Southeastern U.S., where it can be found in fields and gardens, on shrubs and trees, and under leaf litter.
The six-lined racerunner has a brown body with six yellow lines that run down its back.
The belly is white or orange with dark spots. The tail ends with a bright blue spot on each side. This species grows to about 10 inches long.
What do geckos eat in Florida?
Geckos are a common sight in Florida, but they can also be found all over the world. There are currently over 1,000 species of geckos and they come in a variety of colors and patterns.
These little lizards have adapted to eat just about anything they can get their tiny mouths on. Geckos are omnivores and they feed on insects, fruit, and even other animals (including other geckos).
They eat insects because insects are their primary source of protein. Geckos are insectivores and they will eat any insect that they can catch including flies, crickets, moths, cockroaches, beetles, locusts, and more!
They also like to eat fruit because it provides them with vitamins and minerals that help them stay healthy. Geckos will eat almost any type of fruit including berries such as blueberries or raspberries as well as apples and bananas.
Geckos will also eat smaller lizards such as other species of gecko in order to survive when there isn’t enough food available for them to eat. Some species of gecko even hunt birds or small mammals if it is necessary for survival!
What are the common geckos in Florida?
These geckos are commonly found in Florida.
- The Mediterranean Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus
- The Indo-Pacific Gecko, Hemidactylus garnotii
- The Tropical House Gecko, Hemidactylus mabouia (commonly called the Dog-Faced Gecko)
- The Brown Anole, Anole sagrei (often called the Cuban Brown Anole or De la Sagra’s Anole).
- Hanging-Leaf Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus)
- Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
- Common Brown House Gecko (Hemidactylus robustus)
- Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis)
Some of you may be wondering why geckos are so popular with pet owners. It’s understandable; they are cute after all and coveted for their interesting characteristics.
Geckos are unique because they can change color to blend into their surroundings; they don’t have eyelids and their sight is based on movement, rather than a focus (they have three eyelids though); and they have some odd behaviors like eating their own skin!
It is this uniqueness that makes them one of the most desired pet reptiles in the world. Whether you’re looking for a lizard for your first pet reptile, or you’re an established reptile owner looking for something different, this guide will give you insight into each species of gecko.