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What Do Lizards Eat in Hawaii

What Do Lizards Eat in Hawaii?


Hawaii is known for its vibrant biodiversity, and among its diverse wildlife are several species of lizards. These reptiles can be found in various habitats across the islands, from forests to gardens, and even in urban areas. Lizards in Hawaii have adapted to the unique ecosystem and have specific dietary preferences. In this article, we will explore what lizards eat in Hawaii and provide some frequently asked questions about these fascinating creatures.

Dietary Preferences of Lizards in Hawaii:

1. Insects and Invertebrates:
Lizards in Hawaii primarily feed on insects and invertebrates. They have a particular fondness for ants, beetles, spiders, and termites. These small creatures provide a rich source of protein and nutrients for the lizards, helping them maintain their energy levels and overall health.

2. Fruits and Nectar:
Some lizards in Hawaii, such as the gold dust day gecko, also consume fruits and nectar. They have a specialized tongue that allows them to lap up the sugary nectar from flowers. Fruits, such as bananas, papayas, and mangoes, are an occasional treat for these lizards and provide them with additional vitamins and minerals.

3. Small Vertebrates:
While the majority of a lizard’s diet consists of insects and fruits, some larger species, like the green anole, may occasionally consume small vertebrates. This can include small frogs, skinks, or even baby birds. These instances are relatively rare, as lizards primarily rely on insects and invertebrates for sustenance.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. Are lizards in Hawaii harmful to humans?
A1. Most lizards found in Hawaii are harmless to humans. They are generally shy creatures and will avoid human contact whenever possible. However, it is important to remember that all wildlife should be respected and observed from a safe distance.

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Q2. Can lizards be kept as pets in Hawaii?
A2. Yes, certain species of lizards can be kept as pets in Hawaii. However, it is essential to ensure that the species you choose is legal to own and does not pose a threat to the local ecosystem. Always research and follow the guidelines provided by the state’s Department of Agriculture before acquiring a pet lizard.

Q3. Do lizards in Hawaii have any predators?
A3. Yes, lizards in Hawaii do have predators. These can include birds, larger reptiles like snakes, and even some introduced mammalian species such as cats and rats. Predation is a natural part of the ecosystem, and lizards have developed various adaptations to avoid becoming prey.

Q4. How can I attract lizards to my garden in Hawaii?
A4. If you’re interested in attracting lizards to your garden, creating a suitable habitat is crucial. Provide hiding spots such as rocks, logs, or dense vegetation, and ensure a water source is available. Avoid using pesticides, as they can harm the lizards and their food sources.

Q5. Are lizards important for Hawaii’s ecosystem?
A5. Yes, lizards play an important role in Hawaii’s ecosystem. They help control insect populations, which can prevent the spread of diseases and protect native plants. Additionally, lizards serve as a food source for other predators, contributing to the overall balance of the ecosystem.


Lizards in Hawaii have a varied diet that primarily consists of insects and invertebrates, with some species consuming fruits and occasionally small vertebrates. While they are generally harmless to humans, it is crucial to respect their space and maintain a safe distance. Understanding the dietary preferences and behaviors of lizards in Hawaii allows us to appreciate and protect these unique creatures that contribute to the island’s rich biodiversity.

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