South Carolina is home to a variety of lizards.
These lizards are either native to the area or have been introduced. No lizards native to the Palmetto State are poisonous to humans or pets. Some lizards may carry disease. Make sure to wash your hands if you come into contact with one.
Below is a list of lizards you may encounter while in the state of South Carolina.
Family Polychridae (Anoles)
- Green Anole: This little guy is a fan favorite. Their toes have adhesive pads to facilitate climbing. The male sports a dewlap or throat fan is three times the size of the female’s and bright red. A female’s dewlap is lighter in color, ranging from white to pale pink. Males can extend a pronounced dorsal ridge behind the head when displaying or when under stress. Females have a prominent white stripe running along their spine, a feature most males lack.
- Brown Anole – Introduced
- Family Phrynosomatidae (Spiny and Horned Lizards)
- Eastern Fence Lizard
- Texas Horned Lizard – Introduced
- Family Teiidae (Racerunners)
- Six-Lined Racerunner
Family Scincidae (Skinks)
- Coal Skink
- Five-Lined Skink: The five-lined skink has five white or yellow stripes, two on either side and one down their back. Juveniles boast a bright blue tail, which will fade as they age. Male’s stripes may fade, as they develop a red to orange coloration on their heads.
- Southeastern Five-Lined Skink
- Broadhead Skink
- Mole Skink
- Ground Skink
Family Gekkonidae (Geckos)
- Mediterranean Gecko – Introduced: Mediterranean geckoes emit a distinctive, high-pitched squeak or chirp, possibly expressing a territorial message
- Indo-Pacific Gecko – Introduced
Ophisaurus (from the Greek ‘snake-lizard’) looks just that – like a snake and is more than not confused for one. Although most species have no legs, their head shapes, movable eyelids, and external ear openings identify them as lizards.
- Eastern Glass Lizard
- Slender Glass Lizard
- Mimic Glass Lizard
- Island Glass Lizard