Monday, November 03, 2008

Iguana compare and contrast

Not a lot to say about this post - I just thought a quick compare and contrast of all our various iguanas would be cool.

AI closeup

Cyclura pinguis - the Anegadan iguana, the most primitive member of the group.


Cyclura cornuta - the Rhinoceros Iguana


Its next door neighbour; Ricord's Iguana, Cyclura ricordi


and Cyclura lewisii, the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana.

black iguana2

Of course we shouldn't forget plain old Iguana iguana.


tina said...

Pretty neat indeed. The first one is so full of texture I just want to pet it. What in the world is sticking out of its back/crest whatever that is?

tai haku said...

That is a pit tag (I think that's the correct spelling) - it allows one to visually identify each individual at distance as each one has a different combination of coloured beads - so this little chap would be known in the books as yellow-red-red.

tina said...

Ah, a pit tag huh. Pretty interesting. Yellow red red he is:)

Anonymous said...

I've never seen an Iguana Iguana so black... wow.

tai haku said...

Dracus - thanks for dropping by. Dark Iguana iguana are not so uncommon out here in the caribbean but this is a particularly spectacular specimen. That being said since writing this post I read on fieldherpforum that there is a good chance some of the caribbean islands I. iguana will be split into new species and that some of the black populations are among these (eg those on Saba).
This individual is probably a first generation introduction and I'm reasonably confident he came from down the island chain so whilst for now he is indeed the blackest Iguana iguana either of us have seen he may turn out to be a different species in the end.