The Argentine black and white tegu (Salvator merianae) is a large lizard that grows up to 4 feet long. It is black and white with banding along its tail. Hatchlings have green on their heads which fades after a few months.
Two other tegu species have been found in South Florida and have the potential to become invasive. The gold tegu (Tupinambis teguixin)grows to 2–3 feet long and has black and gold stripes down its body. Red tegus (Salvator rufescens) can reach up to 4.5 feet and the males have large jowls.
Tegus make amenable pets, as they tend to become acclimated to their owners and are generally quite docile as adults. They are intelligent and can even be house-broken. A healthy tegu can live for 15 to 20 years in the wild, and possibly even longer in captivity.