The Argentine Black and White Tegu in South Florida: Population Growth, Spread, and Containment
Argentine black and white tegu (Salvator merianae).


Invasive species


How to Cite

Harvey, Rebecca G., and Frank J. Mazzotti. 2016. “The Argentine Black and White Tegu in South Florida: Population Growth, Spread, and Containment: WEC360/UW405, 11/2015”. EDIS 2016 (1). Gainesville, FL:3.


Florida is home to more nonnative species of reptiles and amphibians than anywhere else in the world because of its subtropical climate, large areas of disturbed habitats, and thriving trade in exotic pets. Although pythons have received the majority of public attention, invasive lizards also pose a significant threat to south Florida’s native wildlife and ecosystems, and a good example is the Argentine black and white tegu. Learn more about this exotic lizard in this 3-page fact sheet written by Rebecca G. Harvey and Frank J. Mazzotti, and published by the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department, November 2015.


Harvey, M. B., G. N. Ugueto, and R. L. Gutberlet, Jr. 2012. "Review of Teiid morphology with a revised taxonomy and phylogeny of the Teiidae (Lepidosauria: Squamata)." Zootaxa 3459:1-156.

Klug, P. E., R. N. Reed, F. J. Mazzotti, M. A. McEachern, J. J. Vinci, K. K. Craven, and A. A. Yackel Adams. 2015. "The influence of disturbed habitat on the spatial ecology of Argentine black and white tegu (Tupinambis merianae), a recent invader in the Everglades ecosystem (Florida, USA)." Biological Invasions 17:1785-1797.

Mazzotti, F. J., M. A. McEachern, M. R. Rochford, R. N. Reed, J. Ketterlin Eckles, J. J. Vinci, J. Edwards, and J, Wasilewski. 2014. "Tupinambis merianae as nest predators of crocodilians and turtles in Florida, USA." Biological Invasions 17:47-50.

McEachern, M. A., A. A. Yackel Adams, P. E. Klug, L. A. Fitzgerald, and R. N. Reed. 2015. "Brumation of introduced Tupinambis merianae (Squamata: Teiidae) in southern Florida." Southeastern Naturalist 14(2):319-328.

Meshaka, W. E., Jr. 2011. "A Runaway Train in the Making: The Exotic Amphibians, Reptiles, Turtles, and Crocodilians of Florida. Monograph 1." Herpetological Conservation and Biology 6:1-101.