This page last edited on

01 August, 2008

Local Wildlife:  Page 3



This gecko was photographed at night which is why the picture isn't so good. You rarely see them in the daylight so they are difficult to get a good a picture of.  I have families of them living in my patio glass sliding doors.  They crawl up in the metal frame and live there during the day.  You can see them coming out at night.  Occasionally I see them in the house, mostly in the metal frame of a window sill.  I can usually catch them and put them outside but like lizards, their tails fall off when you touch them so half the time I lose them as they lose their tails! They are fairly fast and very shy of humans, especially the tiny babies which are the hardest to catch in the zoo house.  But I have rescued my fair share of them so I shouldn't feel too bad. Besides, they are actually wonderful to have in the house as they eat insects like ants which is just ever so helpful!


  This baby gecko was found dead in my bedroom closet. It might be one that I saw in the kitchen days before that I couldn't catch to put outside. I feel bad when I find them dead in the house. It must have just died because the ants had not come in to clean it up, called the "clean up crew."  As you can tell from the photograph, geckos are not green as the GEICO insurance company would like you to believe! Their version of a gecko looks much more like an anole than a gecko. Don't they have a herpatologist advising them???

  One of the most unusual creatures to visit Diane's Zoo is this green heron. I say unusual because after living in the zoo house for nine years it showed up! And that was only because I had put in the goldfish pond in the back.  On about the third day that I had water in it I came out in the early morning and saw it. I was not only excited but fascinated and very amused.  My ornithology was rusty so I quickly got my bird book and binoculars out and confirmed that that it was a green heron, which is what I thought it was. 







  As you can see, the heron is sitting on an electrical wire which is directly above the pond.  These pictures were taken on July 4, 2004, six months after I put the pond in so he's still coming around waiting to get lucky on his quest to eat my goldfish! NEVER!! While I absolutely adore that I have the privilege to have had multiple encounters with this bird, I in now way relish the thought of why he's actually there!  It is fairly common to have a pond's fish stock depleted by herons and egrets and it's a constant source of irritation to people like me who enjoy having fish in their ponds.







  The first time I saw the heron it really was bold with me which was surprising. He was so intent on getting the fish that he didn't leave the edge of the pond until I got too close for his comfort.  When I invaded his personal space he flew up to the fence and sat on it and then moved down it and finally when I approached him by the fence, he let out a loud call and flew into the tree on the other side of the fence. After he flew away I noticed the little darling ate three of my goldfish! Boy was I disturbed at that! But then I realized he was just being a green heron and doing his job, which is to eat fish. I just want him to look for work elsewhere!





  I had one neat experience with more more than one of these green herons.  When I came out early one morning about two weeks after installing the pond, there was one heron by the pond, probably the same one that I had seen before. After it got annoyed with me watching it, it flew onto the fence and then another green heron came over and caused a commotion between the two. One flew into the tree on the other side of the fence and one flew underneath my patio roof, calling loudly as it flew in chaos and landed on the lattice fence surrounding the patio. It stayed there a few seconds and flew back underneath the roof and left the yard. The one in the tree flew away shortly thereafter. I didn't see any green herons until July 4, 2004 and have only seen once since at the front pond. That is not to say they haven't shown up but I am usually outside before the sun comes up and then come out frequently in the morning and those are the times I've seen them except on July 4. That appearance was in the afternoon in the heat of the day which surprised me. I have a short video clip of the one by the front pond in the player on page 2.

  This is a slug that was cleaning up the tortoise food area.  I guess they do the same thing as the snails. They both emit a slimy substance as they move along.  I enjoy seeing them and realize they have a purpose in life so if they happen to live at Diane's Zoo so much the better! They are fascinating to watch.








     This curly tailed lizard is huge! Not until about 2003 did I see any in the yard. They were initially brought to south Florida from The Bahamas in the 1940s to help eradicate insects in the sugar cane fields. However, they have now become an invasive species. Many people say they have cut down the anole population but I have not seen them eat any anoles. I still have plenty of anoles and now plenty of curly tailed lizards. Recently I've seen a lot of baby curly tailed lizards which are just darling. The feral iguanas and the curly tailed lizards do not like each other. I say that because I have seen them chasing one another quite a few times. I suspect they are both territorial.






     Notice how the lizard blends in with the bark on the ground. These lizards do not change colors. They eat insects and occasionally I see them eating the greens in the tortoise pen. I have certain ones that live in the tortoise pen but they still go from the front to the back yards. I also have one in the back yard that lives under the ramp to the back yard from the patio. He is indeed huge so he's eating quite well! Overall I probably have dozens of them. I rarely go outside and don't see any. They are super fast and very timid around people. One time I was emptying a bag of dog food into the metal container and a very big curly tailed lizard scared the gizzards out of me when it was emptied from the bag to the container! I guess it went into the bag and couldn't get out. I promptly caught it and let it go in the yard. It was definitely a cool experience because normally you could never catch them but he was trapped in the container so I was able to get capture him.





     You see a lot of the curly tailed lizards on my driveway as they cruise from one part of the yard to the next and often travel across the driveway.  The front yard is enclosed by a lattice fence with flowering vines. The curly tail lizards and the iguanas love the fence because there are plenty of insects to eat on it from the vines and it provides protection and habitat for them. Like the iguanas, I often see them running on the railing of the lattice fence. I really love seeing all the local reptiles that live in south Florida. I think if I lived in a colder climate I would suffer from lizard withdrawal!



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DISCLAIMER:  This website was set up to SHARE my OWN experience with my reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens and local wildlife and to post pictures and video of them. It was NOT SET UP to offer my opinion or expertise on ANY QUESTION that I am asked and what I post on this website should not be taken as "EXPERT ADVISE" or how to take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, ponds/fish, gardens or local wildlife. I AM NOT A REPTILE RESCUE GROUP, GUINEA PIG RESCUE GROUP, VETERINARIAN, REPTILE EXPERT, GUINEA PIG EXPERT, PONDS/FISH EXPERT, GARDEN EXPERT OR WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR! I have limited experience with reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens, therefore, I am NOT QUALIFIED to give out advise or answer questions and you, as a visitor to this website, should not take anything on this website as expert advise or accurate information.  I present this website for fun and fun only - NOT as a reference website to instruct anyone on how to properly take care of reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish or gardens.  I share how I DO THINGS for my reptiles, guinea pigs, local wildlife, ponds/fish and gardens and this is not intended for others to take as expert advise or to mimic. Furthermore, my political views are my own and not intended to offend, annoy, hurt or demean any person, entity or organization. I express my views as an American who has the right to free speech under the Constitution of the United States of America. Please feel free to set up your own website and express your views, post your pictures and video and share with the rest of us in cyberspace what your little corner of the world is like. Thank you very much for your kind understanding in appreciating the value and contents of this website.


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