FPL | Spectacled Caiman
 

Spectacled Caiman

Origin: Central and southern America

Impacts: The Spectacled Caiman may be easily confused with the American alligator, although it is an exotic, non-native species.

The caiman and alligator have slight morphological and color differences. Adults may attain a length of 6-8 feet. They can become aggressive, however, if provoked or cornered.

Caimans inhabit freshwater marshes, heavily vegetated ponds, lakes, and canals. Caimans are established in southeastern Dade County, Florida, and have been reported in other areas, such as Everglades National Park.

These reptiles compete for food and habitat with the American alligator and are more aggressive.

Their introduction to Florida ecosystems is most likely the result of discarded pets.

 

Caiman crocodilius

Photo © F. Wayne King