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Galapagos Lava Lizard

There are seven endemic species of Lava Lizard in the Galápagos. They are easily recognizable by their small size (up to 30 cm in length) and interesting coloring. Males and females of all species are wildly different. Males are up to three times heavier than females, have more patterned skin, and have a clearly visible black or yellow throat. Females, on the other hand, are smaller and have a bright red or orange throat.

All lava lizards also perform a characteristic “push-up” behavior to show territorial aggression or courtship tendencies; interestingly enough, this display is a vivid example of character divergence among species, since each of the islands’ populations (even ones harboring the same species) have a slightly different display pattern.

Lava lizards are omnivorous and feed primarily on small insects, arthropods, and plant material. Activity is closely dependent on daily temperature fluctuations, so you will probably see most lava lizards during the cool morning and mid-afternoon hours.

Location:
Ecuador

reptiles

Common local language name:
Lagartija

Scientific Name(s):
genus Microlophus

Origin:
Endemic

Incidence:
Common

Ecological status:
Least Concern

Where to See (Distribution, Range):
Lava lizards can be seen darting about on most islands of the archipelago (often under your feet—watch out!).

Habitat/ecosystem:
Beach, Green Highlands, Rocky Trails, Towns

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to The Galápagos Islands: Galapagos Land Iguana, Galapagos Giant Tortoise, Green Sea Turtle, Galapagos Snake, Galapagos Pink Iguana and Galapagos Marine Iguana.








05 May 2010




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