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Updated: 07/25/2014 08:00:01AM

A lizard out of place

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florida fauna • josh olive

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I was watching some people casting for snook and black drum under the north end of the U.S. 41 bridges when I saw something move in the concrete rubble. I focused on the area and saw it move again. It looked like a lizard — a big lizard. Have the spinytail iguanas spread this far away from Boca Grande? No, I realized — it’s too pale for an iggy. As I tried to get closer for a good look, it darted in between boulders and vanished.

That was several years ago, and I always wondered what I had seen that evening. Now I know. A couple weeks ago, I was turning right onto U.S. 41 from Bayshore Road. Traffic was steady, so I had a bit of a wait. Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement on the rocks at the mini golf range. I turned to look and there was a large, pale lizard looking back at me. I pulled the truck over to get a better view and it ran into the crevices, but there was another further down — and another, and another. And then I saw one that was much more brilliantly colored, with a powder-blue tail and a bright orange head.

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