The next time I visit Everglades National Park, I’ll not only be looking for alligators, wood storks, liguus tree snails and deer — I’ll be watching out for pythons.
These pythons don’t belong in the Everglades, and they’re becoming a nuisance that’s gaining ground, the Miami Herald reports. There are more snakes (pets that people turned loose) turning up this year, they are spreading out more and they are consuming endangered native species, the article says.
The snakes are being trapped, but I have heard some people say they don’t think pythons will ever be exterminated from our natural areas; it’s too late.
A reader writes:
“Hello, I have been living in my house in West Palm Beach for about eight months now. I have never seen these lizards, but today I have seen two in my mango tree. The attached picture shows the smaller of the two. It is approximately 13-14 inches long, vivid green, with yellow/black markings around its head and neck. The first one I saw was considerably larger; it was about 18-20 inches long. Any help you could provide would be appreciated. Sincerely, Alan”
This is called a knight anole. Like most lizards in Florida, they are from the Caribbean and aren’t native to Florida. Knight anoles live around my house, too! One time, a knight anole even fell through my chimney, and it took me hours to get him out of the house! Sometimes, they fall right out of the trees (where they usually hang out), hit the ground and run right back up again. Rumor has it these guys have a nasty bite, so don’t try to handle them. (I used a swimming pool net with a long pole to capture the knight anole that fell through the chimney, then walked him — pole and all — outside.) Thanks for the photo! Nice shot.