The Christmas Iguana

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!