Have you seen a lizard in the backyard of your Georgia home and wondered where it could have come from and exactly what type of lizard it is? There are over 18 species of lizards you might see in your backyard. Some of them are small, some large, and some can be a bit invasive.

Is it possible that there are poisonous lizards in Georgia? If you’re unsure of the answer to that question, then read on below as we list a few of the lizards in Georgia and a little bit about them.

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The 7 Lizard Species Found in Georgia

1. Green Anole (Small)

green anole on leaf
Image Credit: Brett Hondow, Pixabay
Species:Anolis carolinensis
Longevity:4 years
Good to own as a petYes
Legal to ownYes
Adult size:8 inches

The green anole can be found in many southern states, including Georgia. They are the only anole breed that is native to the United States. They make good pets and usually live around four years, though they can live up to eight years in captivity if they are well cared for.

You can find green anoles at almost any pet shop, and they are pretty inexpensive, usually under $20. Green anoles are carnivores, so you’ll want to feed yours crickets, mealworms, and waxworms so that he’ll remain in good health.

The lizard is also sometimes known as the American chameleon because of its ability to change colors from bright greens to browns. These reptiles spend most of their time hanging around in trees and can be found in forest areas with a lot of foliage and plenty of sunlight to offer.

The main threat to these reptiles in the wild is snakes and birds, but they are often preyed on by larger reptiles.

2. Brown Anole (Small)

Brown Anole
Image Credit: mvandepi, Pixabay
Species:Anolis sagrei
Longevity:3 to 4 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:8.5 inches

The brown anole, not to be confused with the green anole above, reaches 8.5 inches in size and usually lives between three to four years. This reptile is a carnivore and eats spiders, cockroaches, mealworms, waxworms, and even grasshoppers and crickets. It’s also said to be one of the easiest lizards to keep as a pet.

The color of this species can vary from brown to grey, and most have a yellowish or pale pattern on their backs. In addition, they feature orange or red throat fans and dark-colored tails.

This lizard was first introduced in Florida but can now be found in Georgia as well. They enjoy basking in the sunlight on warm days and can often be found hiding under tree bark, rotten logs, or shingles on cooler days.

Their biggest predators are snakes and birds.

3. Eastern Fence Lizard (Small)

eastern fence lizard
Image Credit: JamesDeMers, Pixabay
Species:Sceloporus undulatus
Longevity:2 to 5 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:7.25 inches

The eastern fence lizard is one of the only lizards that are native to Georgia, with rough scales. They range from being grayish in color to being black or brown. They are commonly found from the mountains to the coast and grow to a max of 7.25 inches. They live for two to five years, closer to five in captivity when they are cared for properly.

A carnivore, this lizard can be found eating a range of insects, including spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, and more. They are common lizards and can be found in abundance, especially in the edges of fields and in the woods.

Snakes, birds, cats, and larger reptiles are the enemy of the eastern fence lizard. These predators see them as food.

4. Texas Horned Lizard (Small)

Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum), Armstrong County, Texas, USA (28 April 2013)
Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum), Armstrong County, Texas, USA (28 April 2013) (Image Credit: William L. Farr, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Species:Phrynosoma cornutum
Longevity:5 years
Good to own as a pet?:No
Legal to own?:No
Adult size:4 inches

The Texas horned lizard is a lizard that was introduced to Georgia and South Carolina but is native to Texas. These lizards have flattened bodies that are almost circular. In addition, they have a row of enlarged scales around their heads, which give the appearance of horns, and is where their names come from.

At one time, the Texas hlrned Lizard was a common pet, but since they are a very small population, being found usually in sand dunes near the coast in Georgia, they are illegal to own. There seems to be no danger of them becoming invasive.

These lizards live for up to five years in the wild and reach around four inches. They are carnivores who eat mostly ants but will eat smaller insects if the need arises.

Texas horned lizards’ natural predators include snakes, hawks, other lizards, coyotes, cats, dogs, and more.

5. Six-Lined Racerunner (Small)

six lined racerunner lizard
Image Credit: Alice Wonder, Pixabay
Species:Cnemidophorus Aspidoscelis sexlineatus
Longevity:Up to 6 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:9.5 inches

The six-lined racerunner is true to its name with six yellow or white stripes down its back and is a common lizard throughout Georgia. However, it can’t be found in some areas of the mountains. Instead, the species is most often found where it’s hot and in open spaces, such as fields, sand dunes, and is always found on the ground.

This species is said to live up to six years and reach around 9.5 inches. They love the heat, and you can find them being active even in the hottest of heatwaves. They are carnivores known for their speed and like to eat mostly spiders and smaller insects.

Racerunners are super-fast, which makes them difficult to catch for humans and predators alike. Predators of this lizard include skunks, badgers, other lizards, and birds.

6. Eastern Glass Lizard (Large)

Eastern Slender Glass Lizard on stone
Image Credit: Peter Paplanus, PxHere
Species:Ophisaurus ventralis
Longevity:4 to 10 years
Good to own as a pet?:Yes
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:43 inches

The eastern glass lizard is a legless lizard that reaches up to 43 inches at full growth. They can live up to 10 years if properly cared for and are carnivores. They are long, slender, and resemble snakes in a way.

They are light brown to a greenish color and are found mainly in the sandy areas of Georgia, such as the Coastal Plain. However, they can also be found in the wetlands and flatwoods. If you find and grab an eastern glass lizard, it will promptly break off part of its tail; while its predator is busy watching the wiggling tail, the eastern glass lizard can easily make its escape.

This legless lizard eats insects, spiders, young rodents, and small reptiles. This species is quite common in many Georgia locations.

The natural predator of the eastern glass lizard is raccoons, opossums, hawks, and other predatory mammals.

7. Argentine Black and White Tegu Lizard (Invasive)

argentine black and white tegu lizard
Image Credit: reisegraf.ch, Shutterstock
Species:Salvatore merianae
Longevity:20 years
Good to own as a pet?:No
Legal to own?:Yes
Adult size:4 and a half feet

While there are no poisonous lizards in Georgia that have been found to date, the one invasive species that has been found is the Argentine black and white tegu lizard. This species was imported from Brazil as pets and have made their way into a few counties in Georgia.

This reptile has extremely sharp teeth and claws and seems to have set up housekeeping and started a population in at least two Georgia counties.

They eat insects, spiders, fish, small birds, turtles, and eggs. These lizards can swim and can easily be confused with a native reptile in Georgia, the juvenile alligator. Residents are being encouraged to take a picture and report it if they see this lizard when they’re out and about.

This species has very few predators, so it can easily get out of control. Though it is legal to own an Argentine Black and White Tegu in Georgia, it is not legal to release them into the wild where they eat native wildlife that is in need of protection.

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Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the species of lizards you can find in Georgia. From one invasive species to small and large lizards alike, you can be sure that when you’re in Georgia, there will be no lack of wildlife in the lizard family to entertain you.

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Featured Image Credit: Matthew L Niemiller, Shutterstock