Monday, June 09, 2008

Poolside surprise

Because the Caribbean has a number of endemics its possible to see some amazingly rare animals surprisingly easy and purely by chance. In fact a friend recently took his visiting family to an offshore island and was shown an animal by the local naturalist there who then revealed that this had doubled the number of people alive who'd seen the animal. This isn't quite in that category but these Ameiva were lounging around our Antiguan hotel's pool.


I took the opportunity of catching them cold in the morning to get some shots. There are about 35 species of Ameiva spread accross the Caribbean and they fill a kind of mini-Monitor lizard niche. When I came down to identifying this they turned out to be Ameiva griswoldii, a highly endangered endemic. I don't think anyone told the 5 lounging around the pool they were so at risk.


If they were they seemed pretty at peace with it.


Hugh said...

As one who has studied endangered lizards on oceanic islands I believe I am qualified to say "What a beauty!"

tai haku said...

Thanks and stay tuned Hugh - without giving too much away, over summer the endangered endemics featured should get rarer and prettier.