Skip navigation
24/12/2015 Wildlife facts

The Christmas Iguana

Happy Christmas from everyone at the Galapagos Conservation Trust. We wish you all the best for the new year!

Photograph of Holly Forsyth

Holly Forsyth

Former Communications Assistant at Galapagos Conservation Trust

Did you know that marine iguanas come in a range of colours?

The marine iguana is the only lizard in the world with the ability to live and forage at sea and is endemic to the Galapagos Archipelago. There are six very similar subspecies, each from different islands, with those from Isabela and Fernandina being the largest. The adults are black for most of the year, however the males change colour during the mating season – with different subspecies adopting different colourations. On Santa Cruz they are red and black; on Fernandina they become dull green and brick red, and on Española they are most colourful turning bright green and red.

This has led to the Española marine iguanas earning the nickname Christmas iguana.

Marine Iguana © Robin Slater

What a great fact to share around the dinner table on Christmas Day!

Happy Christmas from everyone at the Galapagos Conservation Trust. We wish you all the best for the new year!


Related articles

22nd Nov 2022
Citizen science

Iguanas from Above: Citizen science in action

Find out how marine iguanas have become the subject of one of the most innovative citizen science projects in the Galapagos Islands.
Read more
5th Apr 2022
Citizen science

Project Update: Iguanas From Above 

With Citizen Science Month well underway, our volunteer Sam Ross explains how you can get involved with the latest citizen science project running in Galapagos, Iguanas from Above.
Read more
21st Dec 2021
News Research

Conservation in the digital age – drones in Galapagos

Technological innovation is changing the way that conservation work is carried out, such as the pioneering use of drones in Galapagos.
Read more
13th Dec 2021
Citizen science Wildlife facts

The mysteries of marine iguanas

How can citizen science help unlock the mysteries of Galapagos marine iguanas and help us conserve this endemic species?
Read more

Get the latest news from Galapagos

Join our mailing list to receive our monthly email newsletter, bringing you the latest news on Galapagos and our work to protect the Islands.

Share This Page