FIU: Cuban Brown Lizard Discovered In Bermuda

December 12, 2015

A non-native species of lizard — the Cuban brown anole — has been discovered in Bermuda, according to Florida International University [FIU] biology student James Stroud.

An update on the FIU website said, “A two-year conservation project studying the island’s lizard populations led to the discovery of the Cuban brown anole, a species once rumored to inhabit the North Atlantic island, but was never verified until now.”

“The Cuban brown anole most likely reached Bermuda by human transport,” said Mr Stroud, who is a Ph.D. student in the Kenneth Feeley Lab.

“These lizards hitch rides between ports as unintended stowaways amongst cargo, usually in nursery plants and building materials. Although further research is needed to confirm it, this route of introduction seems likely.”

“We have discovered that the Cuban brown anole does not yet overlap its distribution with the Bermuda skink,” continued Mr Stroud.

“Therefore, the potential effects of the non-native brown anole on the native Bermuda skink are currently unknown. This topic forms part of our ongoing research interests in Bermuda.”

Photo by James Stroud:


The story on the FIU website added, “After surveying all of Bermuda, Stroud found populations of the Cuban lizard at all life stages indicating they are thriving in the central part of the island.

“He also found the established Jamaican anole continues to be found all over the island, but the Antiguan anole has significantly expanded into areas where the Barbadian lizards live.

“The discovery was made alongside former FIU doctoral student Sean Giery and Bermuda’s Department of Conservation Services.

“The introduction of the Cuban anole could pose difficulties for the endangered Bermuda skink, the island’s only native lizard species.

“Also known as a rock lizard, the skink is listed as critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s [IUCN’s] Red List, the world’s authority on the conservation status of plant and animal species.

“According to the researchers, Cuban brown anoles excel at thriving outside of their native geographical area.

“The lizards can live in a variety of natural and human-made habitats, and feed on a variety of prey, potentially putting them at an advantage to other lizard species who might not be as tolerant.”

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Category: All, Environment, News

Comments (14)

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  1. Terry says:

    Antiguan, Barbadian, Cuban………

    Oh no!!!!!!!!!!

    None from Syria yet……………….

  2. some beach says:

    Friendly liddow dinosaur!

  3. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Must have came in with those Uighurs a little while back from Guantanamo Bay. Like a thief in the night!

  4. Delia says:

    Let’s hope we don’t have snakes or iguana accidentally imported next since we do have a cargo ship coming in weekly from Florida – which is overrun by them. Just like the black widow spiders found on some produce in Southampton. We need some better protective measures with these types of imports.

  5. Proud FIU Alumni says:

    So cool to see people from FIU studying my island :) when I started there no one really knew what or where Bermuda was. #FIU#Alumni

  6. Y-gurl says:

    Did it have a visa? Da Cubans are comin…….

  7. Gavin Hanke says:

    Why don’t we train specialist collectors to catch lizards like this from exotic “alien” occurrences and supply them to the pet trade. It would help control their numbers where they had been introduced, would provide employment, and would take pressure off other species in the pet trade which are taken from their reapective native ranges… just a thought.

  8. Will says:

    The more lizards the merrier I say..keep these damn flies down!

    • Onion Juice says:

      The toads were doing a good job until we killed them off with pesticides.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Or when we started running over them with the thousands and thousands and thousands of cars here .

        Remember in the old days the crushed land crabs on South Shore Road , especially on a Saturday or Sunday morning ?