Northern Curly-tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus)

Origin: Caribbean Islands
Sighted at: The Botanical Garden, Key West, FL

Once I arrived in Key West, I spent a whole day with my father, seeing the sights around town. We went exploring in the backwoods of the Botanical Gardens – a frequent destination of ours when I was a child!

As we crawled through the overgrowth, I spotted this bold little fellow – a curly-tailed lizard, which I’d never seen before! (Since you can’t quite see it in this photo, please take my word for it that this lizard’s tail is quite curly.) They were artificially introduced into South Florida in the 20th century, but they’ve apparently invaded the Florida Keys over the past couple of years.