Mom Blog

The Fearless Lizard Hunters

I grew up in Florida, where lizards are just a part of everyday life. They are literally everywhere outside and often make their way inside as well. I spent a lot of my time catching lizards when I was little, and now my son is taking up the hobby. I never thought I’d be 46-years-old and wandering around my yard trying to catch lizards again, but here we are! My son is allowed to keep them for one night and then he has to release them the next day.

Mediterranean House Gecko
Mediterranean House Gecko

We usual catch the extremely common Anole, which is the type of lizard you see scurrying all over the place outside. Sometimes we find skinks. One time we found a crazy looking glass snake (actually a lizard!) If we go out around nighttime, we can catch the weird looking little house geckos. They are small and almost clear looking or pink. But yesterday we caught a new one that I had to look up – the Mediterranean House Gecko. It has a neat pattern and is covered in little bumps. They are smaller than the usual Anole, but larger than the regular house gecko.

The one lizard that we haven’t run across yet here in North Florida is the iguana. It gets too cold up here, which causes them to freeze and fall out of trees. Frozen iguanas are more common in south Florida, when there’s a cold front that dips into the 30s or 40s. The cold stuns them, but they recover when they warm up. If we ever did find an iguana, that would be one I would be glad I had a net for! Those things have sharp teeth, unlike the little anoles and geckos where a bite feels like a light pinch.

Mediterranean House Gecko next to shell

Lizard Hunting Skills

I always snatched them up with my hands, but my son likes to catch lizards with a net. I’m not quite as nimble as I used to be, so I’ve started using the net as well. I buy them by the five pack on Amazon. They are flimsy and fall apart eventually, but we have enough for all his friends to use one when they come over and I don’t care if they get lost or broken. They work well enough, and I like the telescopic feature. Click here to find these nets on Amazon. If you happen to find these sold out, there are a ton of listing with the same nets. I’ve ordered from three different places and they’ve all been the same.

bug and butterfly catching nets for kids 5 pack

Mother of Dragons

Did you know you can also hunt for lizard eggs too? That was one of my favorite things to do. You can usually find them partially buried under rocks or bricks. They are white and about the size of a short pinkie nail. I’ll post a pic next time we find some! The outer shell is very soft and fragile so be careful if you find them and don’t squish them. Of course, it’s best to leave them where you find them, but if you have a situation where you have to move them, then you can still keep them safe.

If I’m moving a container in the garden and uncover lizard eggs, then I try and put them in a sheltered spot similar to where I found them. But when I was little, I’d keep them in a ventilated little box lined with dirt so I would be able to see them when they hatched and then release them. It’s important to have a lid that you can see through, so you don’t disturb the eggs obsessively checking on them. They need to be kept warm and humid, just like the hot Florida summer.

Just make sure you remember to go back and check on them often! I forgot to check mine one summer and my mom found the box on my dresser. She opened it up and a bunch of baby lizards popped out! I was glad they were all ok and set them all free. My mom was only a little traumatized by the incident, lol.

Do hunt for lizards, butterflies or bugs with your kids? What’s your favorite thing to catch?

** As if to prove my point about them being everywhere, an anole popped up in my house yesterday!

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