The headline makes this seem more ominous than it is, because there is not currently in invasive issue with Asian water lizards, but it must’ve been freaky for the golfers who saw the 6-foot reptile on the course! This one was an escaped pet, who made some national news when his escape was announced. Fortunately some good Samaritans notified him when “Poseidon” was spotted at TwinEagles. He was able to lure it with some frozen chicken and catch it without much difficulty. The Naples News story has the thrilling footage of the capture!
The Burmese Pythons have gotten a lot of press lately, and we have seen Nile Monitor lizards in Cape Coral, and mean old Tegus on the east coast, but it tends to get forgotten that there are invasive iguanas established in many places on Florida. They are not dangerous to people or animals, so they don’t get much press, but they are ubiquitous in certain areas.
They can be a problem, from invading housing developments and weakening retaining walls, but also to native flora and fauna. For instance: “In the Florida Keys, iguanas ate up the host plant for the endangered Miami blue butterfly in Bahia Honda State Park. Nearly 600 iguanas have been removed from the park in the last two fiscal years, according to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, but the quarter-sized butterflies haven’t returned.”