CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/WYFF) - Eight more non-native black and white tegu lizards have been spotted around South Carolina since the initial report from Lexington County in August, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Two were seen in Berkeley County, five were seen in Lexington and Richland counties in the Midlands and one in Greenville County in the Upstate. SCDNR said that five of them have been removed from the wild.
“It is important that this species does not establish in our state,” State Herpetologist Andrew Grosse said.
SCDNR said that the tegus can reach up to 4 feet in length and weigh more than 10 pounds as adults.
The tegus that were removed from the wild measured between 2 and 3 feet long, and according to SCDNR, they had been eating toads, insects and muscadines.
However, the agency said that tegus are voracious omnivorous lizards that can eat a variety of prey including birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians, fruits, vegetables, insects and eggs.
SCDNR continues to investigate all reports of sightings and asks that if anyone sees one to report it to Andrew Grosse at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately, with a photo, location, time and date that the lizard was seen.