Southern Florida is plagued by some of its finest attributes: a warm, subtropical climate and heavy human disturbance makes it the perfect substrate for exotic/non-native species to become established. Although some are more detrimental than others, some seemingly innocuous, and all overshadowed by bigger problems such as habitat destruction, the fact remains that Florida is rife with these species and more are being introduced yearly.
My wife and I found this little critter in the neighborhood of a Reptile dealership earlier in the year. The Tentacled Snake, Erpeton tentaculatum had never previously been recorded in the wild in Florida. Though not likely a member of a population, such escapees (or releases, I don’t know which one this individual represents) do have potential to spread nasty diseases and cause other injury. There’s a general ecological principle that only 10% of exotic species released in an environment survive, and only 10% of those (or 1% of the whole) will become established: it kind of gives you the idea of how many animals have been released in Florida. Sporadically, I’ll post pictures and little blurbs about some of Southern Florida’s exotics.
Look for my and Dr. Kenneth Krysko’s publication on thisindividual in the newest issue of IRCF (http://www.ircf.org/about/ircf-membership/reptiles-amphibians/)