COLUMBIA, S.C. — Officials with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) responded Tuesday to recent reports about non-native black and white tegu lizards appearing in Georgia.
Officials with SCDNR say there have been no reports of this non-native reptile in South Carolina to date, but they continue to monitor the situation.
This species is popular in the pet trade and appears to be established in parts of Georgia and Florida.
Hatchling tegus are between 6-8 inches but can grow to up to 4 feet in length and 10 pounds as adults.
Tegus are omnivorous lizards that eat a variety of prey, including eggs of ground-nesting native wildlife, such as alligators and gopher tortoises and birds, such as turkey and quail.
The establishment of any non-native wildlife can have serious impacts on native species.