Saturday, July 2, 2022

Galapagos Lava Lizard

The Galapagos lava lizard is also known as the Albemarle lava lizard (Albemarle is an alternate name for Isabela Island). There are 7 species in the Galapagos Islands and another 15 species along the Pacific coast of South America. Location is the best identifier as appearance alone is not enough to tell them part. 
Found at Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. 
Males are 6 to 7 inches long and females are 4 to 7 inches long. The tail is often as long as the body. They are slim and have pointed heads. Individuals can be gray, green, brown and black and males tend to be more colorful, with yellow specks or gold stripes. Males also have a distinct spinal crest across the ridge of the back and rougher skin with more patterning. Females can have a red throat or head. 
Found at Espinoza Point on Fernandina Island.

Note the ridge along the back spine. I'm not sure if it is a male or a female, because the ridge is not as significant as the ridge on one below.  

I originally thought this one had very distinctive markings, but the flecks are all sand. 

They are found on all of the Galapagos Islands but Genovesa, Darwin and Wolf. The Galapagos lava lizard is found on ten of the central islands (Baltra, Fernandina, Isabela, Santa Cruz, Santiago, Santa Fe, Daphne Major, North Seymour, South Plaza and Rabida) and the other six species are named after the single islands they are found on (Espanola, Floreana, Marchena, Pinta, Pinzon and San Cristobal). 
The best selection was found at Urbino Bay on Isabela Island. We spent a good amount of time hiking there. This is a male with a greenish ridge and some rust red on the belly. 

A female with red on the head and neck. 

1 comment:

  1. The ridge on the back is very iguana-like, but overall they are much cuter than their iguana cousins.