What’s your first thought when you hear the words “the one that got away?” You might think of a forfeited opportunity of love or fortune, but I’m almost sure an orange and black lizard does not immediately come to mind!
Well, welcome to the modern interpretation of “the one that got away.” Say ‘hello’ to the Agama picticauda (Peter’s rock agama) possibly roaming in your backyard if you live in South Florida. Recently spotted in Charlotte County, leisurely lounging on the trunk of a cabbage palm, was a Peter’s rock agama. There have also been reported sightings in St. Lucie County.
The Peter’s rock agama is native to East Africa, and its presence in Florida is believed to be the result of imported pets gone wild (escaped captivity or deliberately released). More information on this agama is available at this link.
If you happen to spot one as you wander, you can report sightings at EDDMaps.org or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invasive species website.