Hawaii Lizards: A Guide to the Reptiles of Hawaii

  • By: Lizard Resources
  • Date: September 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

The common Lizards in Hawaii are Geckos, Skinks, and Anoles. endangered lizards on Maui are the Kaua’i Island Night Lizard, the Hawai’i Tree Gecko, and the Maui Anole.

What are Hawaii Lizards?

If you’re looking to learn more about the reptiles of Hawaii, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of lizards that can be found in the Aloha State. From geckos to skinks to iguanas, there are a variety of lizards that can be found in Hawaii. Keep reading for more information on these amazing creatures!

What are the Common Lizards Live in Hawaii?

The common lizards that inhabit the Hawaiin Islands are: What are Hawaii Lizards

Geckos

  • The Northern Pacific Gecko, Hemidactylus garnotii. It has been recorded from all main islands of the Hawaiian archipelago and on many small islets and rocks. This species is a common house lizard in Hawaii, living around buildings and farms where it feeds on insects.
  • The Tokay gecko,. The Tokay gecko is an arboreal lizard native to Asia and widespread in the Hawaiian Islands. It is also known as “house gecko”.
  • The Brown Anole Lizard, Anolis sagrei, from Cuba and Hispaniola . This species has been introduced to Kaua’i, Oahu, Maui and Hawai’i Island. It is now well established on all these islands where it is often found in open habitats such as urban areas, plantations and gardens. The brown anole lizard feeds mainly on insects but will also take spiders, small reptiles and amphibians
  • The Green Anole Lizard, Anolis carolinensis. This species was first recorded from the island of Hawai’i by Henshaw (1892) and has since been found on all main islands of the Hawaiian archipelago except Niʻihau. It is most common in disturbed habitats such as gardens, parks and agricultural land but can also be found in native forests. The green anole lizard feed on small invertebrates and occasionally other lizards.
  • The Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis from western North America . This species was introduced to Kaua’i in the 1970s but is now believed to be extinct on the islands.
  • The Mediterranean Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus. This species was first recorded from the island of Hawai’i by Henshaw (1892) and has since been found on all main islands of the Hawaiian archipelago except Niʻihau. It prefers to live in buildings and other human-made structures where it feeds on insects.
  • The Mourning Gecko, Lepidodactylus lugubris. This species has been introduced to Kaua’i and Oahu in the 1970s but is now believed to be extinct on both islands (Kraus et al. 2001). It prefers to live in buildings and other human-made structures where it feeds on insects.
  • The Common House Gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus. This species is the most common lizard in the Hawaiian Islands and can be found on all main islands. It prefers to live in buildings and other human-made structures where it feeds on insects.

Skinks

  • There are also a number of skinks that inhabit the Hawaiin Islands, including:
  • The Kaua’i Striped Skink, Lygosoma laterale kauaiense from Kaua’i . This recently described species is known only from two specimens collected on Mount Waialeale, Kaua’i. It is a small (total length = 100 mm) skink with 11 dorsal scales rows and alternating dark and light stripes.
  • The Oahu Skink, Emoia atrocostata from Guam . This species has been introduced to several islands in the central Pacific including Hawai’i where it is now widespread on all main islands except Niʻihau. It prefers to live in buildings and other human-made structures where it feeds on insects but will also take spiders, small reptiles and amphibians
  • The Hawaiian Skink, Emoia caeruleocauda from Samoa . This species has been introduced to Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands where it is common along with two other invasive lizards: Hemidactylus frenatus and Anolis sagrei.
Jacksons Chameleon in Hawaii

Where can you find Lizards in Hawaii?

Lizards can be found in a variety of places all over the Hawaiian Islands. Some common locations include: in trees, on rocks, and under bushes. They are also often seen sunning themselves on warm paved surfaces. Lizards can range in size from very small to quite large, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings when looking for them.

They are found on all the Hawaiian islands except for Kaho’olawe.

Are any of The Lizards endangered in Hawaii?

All the lizards in Hawaii are endangered. A few species are critically endangered and one was only recently discovered on Maui island.

The endangered lizards on Maui are the Kaua’i Island Night Lizard, the Hawai’i Tree Gecko, and the Maui Anole.

The Kaua’i Island Night Lizard is a small lizard that lives in mesic and wet forests on Kaua’i island. It has golden brown scales with black spotting and is about four inches long.

The Hawai’I Tree Gecko is a small gecko found only on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii. They have green or gray body coloration with white spots or bands running down their backs. They are usually less than two inches long.

The Maui Anole is a small anole that was only recently discovered on Maui island in 2001. It is olive green to brown dorsally with five dark stripes on its back.

It has a distinct yellow stripe running down the flanks and a bright red throat fan in the males. The females are about four inches long, and the males are about five inches long.

Are there any Hawai laws or regulations in place to protect their Lizards?

Hawaiian Lizards are protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which protects species from being killed or harmed. It also prohibits the trade, transportation, and sale of endangered animals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is responsible for enforcing these laws in Hawaii.

What are the Hawaiian Islands?

The Hawaiian Islands are a chain of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are located about 2500 miles southwest of California. The chain consists of eight major islands and over 120 smaller islands.

The largest and most populous island is Oahu. Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is located on Oahu. Other major islands include Maui, Kauai, and the big island of Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Islands were formed by volcanoes that erupted from the ocean floor. The oldest islands are Kauai and Niʻihau which formed about five million years ago. The youngest island is Loʻihi which is still active and has not yet reached the surface of the ocean.

The climate in Hawaii is tropical with temperatures ranging from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The islands are surrounded by coral reefs which make them a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling.

What do Lizards eat on the Hawaii Islands?

The diet of lizards consists of a wide range of food. It all depends on the species of lizard and its habitat.

The most common types of lizards in the Hawaii Islands are:

  • Geckos (the most commonly seen)
  • Skinks (seen less frequently than geckos)

The gecko is an insectivore which means that it mainly eats insects as well as spiders, worms, centipedes, millipedes and sometimes small amphibians or reptiles such as skinks. They also eat fruits such as papaya because they enjoy sweet foods while skinks are omnivorous meaning they will eat anything including green vegetation like plants and grasses.

Final Thoughts – What are Hawaii Lizards?

The most common types of lizards in the Hawaii Islands are:

  • Geckos (the most commonly seen)
  • Skinks (seen less frequently than geckos)

Some are more endangered than others