I found four eggs in my yard, so I carefully moved them (without
turning them - that kills many eggs) into a bug box to see what came
out. They turned out to be Curly Tailed Lizards.
Curly Tails, Leiocephalus carinatus, are not native to Florida. They seem to like it
here though, because every year I see them in more places than the year before.
They're a much larger, heavier bodied lizard than our common
Brown Anole lizards, and sometimes when I walk by and startle one, it
startles me back with the sudden noise it makes scurrying off through a
noisy dry leaf or two.
I put the ruler beside the newly hatched lizard to give some idea of how
big they are when they hatch. I couldn't believe how large it
was compared to the egg.
In this photograph, you can see the newly hatched lizard, as well as
the closed eye and nose of the hatchling about to emerge from its egg.
In this photo, the baby Curly Tail Lizard is on the right, and a fairly
large Brown Anole
is on the left:
Curly Tail Lizards obviously get their common name from the way they
always hold their tail in a curl. I finally snuck up on one
to get this picture of how they usually stand on a warm sunny sidewalk with
their tail curling up into the air. Now I need to work on getting the
shot from the sunny side instead of the shadow side.
While other Florida lizards tend to be
in the trees a lot, these Curly Tailed Lizards stick to the ground. I
never seen one climb. I have seen them burrow. In fact, there's a little
hole under my porch that wasn't there before they moved into my area,
and I strongly suspect that it was dug by the Curly Tail that lives in
it now. I enjoy the thought of the little bug eater guarding the
entrance to my home.
I only saw this next lizard briefly, but to my untrained eye it appears
to be a curly tailed lizard, and it was undoubtedly climbing:
The lizard saw me before I saw it, which made it considerably more
difficult to sneak up for a close-up, but I managed to get one before it
scurried off to hide.