Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Being a cold-blooded reptile, much of the Barrington land iguana's day is spent regulating its body temperature. For many hours this iguana will bask in the sun and then in the midday heat it will retreat to the shade of cactus, rocks or trees (2) (6). At dusk, the iguana crawls into an underground burrow in order to conserve heat during the cooler nights (2) (6). While young land iguanas feed primarily on insects and other arthropods, this reptile becomes more herbivorous with age, with adult land iguanas eating mainly Opuntia cacti (5). They eat both the fruit and the spiny pads of the cacti, often without removing the spines, although they can sometimes be seen scraping the spines off with their claws (4). The succulent cacti provide the iguana with much needed moisture during the dry months in its arid habitat (6). Adult iguanas supplement this plant diet with some insects, centipedes and carrion (4). Adult males are territorial and will earn and defend a territory, measuring up to 20 metres across, through direct combat (2). Facing another male, the iguana will arch its back and swell its body in an attempt to look larger, and then aggressively butt heads, sometimes drawing blood (2). During the mating season, successful males may mate with up to seven females, each female laying her eggs within the territory of the male (2). Females dig burrows in the soil, into which they lay a clutch of around 2 to 25 eggs (6). Three to four months later, the eggs hatch and the young take up to a week to dig themselves out of the nest (2) (6). Due to predation by hawks, owls, snakes and herons, less than 10 percent of hatchlings survive (2), but should they survive, land iguanas can live for more than 50 years (6). A remarkable relationship exists between the Barrington land iguana and the birds of Santa Fe Island; whilst standing high on all four legs, ground finches and mockingbirds move over, around, and under the iguana, plucking ticks and mites from its scaly skin (2) (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

An impressive and robust reptile, the Barrington land iguana is a slightly lesser-known relative of the famous marine iguanas which inhabit the Galápagos. Reaching lengths of over one metre and with a ridge of spines running from the top of the head down the back (2), the appearance of this iguana evokes the time of the dinosaurs (4). The yellow head has numerous conspicuous, large scales, much larger than those which cover the body, and a flap of skin hangs loosely from the throat. The body is largely pale yellow with brown underparts (2). Two species of land iguana are found on the Galápagos Islands (5); this species can be distinguished from its close relative Conolophus subcristatus by being more uniformly yellow in colour and having more pronounced spines (4).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Continent: South-America
Distribution: Galapagos (Barrington = Santa Fe; Ecuador)  
Type locality: Barrington Island, Galápagos
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Peter Uetz

Source: The Reptile Database

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Historic Range:
Ecuador (Galapagos Islands)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

Found only on the small island of Santa Fe, also known as Barrington Island, in the Galápagos (5), which covers just 24 square kilometres (6).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Both Galápagos land iguanas are adapted to live in the dry lowlands of the islands (4). On Santa Fe, the Barrington land iguana can be found under the tall cacti (Opuntia species) that cover the island, and amongst the dense swathe of plants that cover the ground, particularly during the wet season, obscuring the Barrington land iguana from view (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 17.1 years (captivity)
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
D2

Version
2.3

Year Assessed
1996
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Reviewer/s

Contributor/s

History
  • 1994
    Rare
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Rare
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Rare
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
  • 1986
    Rare
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Current Listing Status Summary

Status: Endangered
Date Listed: 06/02/1970
Lead Region: Foreign (Region 10) 
Where Listed: Entire


Population detail:

Population location: Entire
Listing status: E

For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Conolophus pallidus , see its USFWS Species Profile

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

In the past, introduced animals have impacted the habitat of Santa Fe Island, which in turn may have affected the Barrington land iguana. Feral goats were once found on the island (7), wiping out large areas of vegetation which the iguanas depend on for food (4), but thankfully, the Galápagos National Park Service eliminated the goats from Santa Fe in 1971 (7). It has been suggested that predation by Galápagos hawks and native rats (Oryzomis species) have impacted numbers of the Barrington land iguana, but the observations of other scientists suggest that this is not the case. The native rats have never been seen trying to dig down to the buried iguana eggs, and whilst Galápagos hawks do prey on young land iguanas, this natural process is not likely to pose a significant threat (7) Currently, the primary threat to the Barrington land iguana is the forever present possibility of feral animals being introduced to the island. The devastating effect this could have has been shown by the presence of feral dogs on Santa Cruz Island, which virtually destroyed all populations of the other Galápagos land iguana, Conolophus subcristatus (7).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Since the Galápagos National Park Service eliminated feral goats from the Santa Fe in the 1970s, the natural vegetation has recovered well and the island has remained free from any exotic species that may threaten the land iguana (7). Being a National Park and World Heritage Site, the Galápagos Islands receive much conservation attention (8), from which the Barrington land iguana will naturally benefit. However, its existence on just a single, small island, means that this species will always be in a vulnerable position, and it is essential that this imposing reptile is monitored so that urgent actions can be implemented should any threats arise (7).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Barrington Land Iguana

Conolophus pallidus (the Barrington land iguana or Santa Fe land iguana) is a species of lizard in the Iguanidae family. It is one of three species in the genus Conolophus. It is endemic to Santa Fe Island in the Galapagos.[1][2]

Taxonomy[edit]

First described by American zoologist Edmund Heller in 1903, it has been questioned whether C. pallidus is a valid species in its own right or merely a variant or possibly a subspecies of the Galapagos land iguana found on other islands in the Galapagos.[3]

Etymology[edit]

Its generic name, Conolophus, is derived from two Greek words: conos (κώνος) meaning "spiny" and lophos (λοφος) meaning "crest" or "plume", denoting the spiny crest along its back. Its specific name, pallidus, is Latin for "pale", denoting its lighter coloration than C. subcristatus.

Morphology[edit]

The Santa Fe land iguana is similar in every detail to the Galapagos land iguana except that the Santa Fe land iguana is paler yellow in color with a longer more tapered snout and more pronounced dorsal spines.[1]

The Santa Fe land iguana grows to a total length (including tail) of 3 ft (0.91 m) with a body weight of up to 25 lb (11 kg).[4] Being cold-blooded, they absorb heat from the sun basking on volcanic rock and at night sleep in burrows to conserve their body heat.[4] These iguanas also enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the island's finches; the birds remove parasites and ticks providing relief to the iguana and food for the birds.[1][5]

Diet[edit]

Santa Fe land iguanas are primarily herbivorous, however some individuals have shown that they are opportunistic carnivores supplementing their diet with insects, centipedes and carrion.[1] Because fresh water is scarce on the islands they inhabit, land iguanas obtain the majority of their moisture from the prickly-pear cactus that makes up 80% of its diet: fruit, flowers, pads, and even spines.[1][4] During the rainy season they will drink from available standing pools of water and feast on yellow flowers of the genus Portulaca.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Freda (2006). "Land iguanas". Charles Darwin Research Station Fact Sheet. Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands. Archived from the original on 2007-06-06. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  2. ^ World Conservation Monitoring Centre (1996). Conolophus pallidus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 10/17/2007.
  3. ^ Rassmann, Kornelia; Markmann, Melanie; Trillmich, Fritz; Tautz, Diethard (2004), Tracing the Evolution of the Galapagos Iguanasn, Iguanas: Biology and Conservation (California: University of California Press): 71–83, ISBN 978-0-520-23854-1 
  4. ^ a b c d Rogers, Barbara (1990), Galapagos, New York: Mallard Press, p. 51, ISBN 978-0-7924-5192-1 
  5. ^ a b Kricher, John (2006), Galapagos: A Natural History, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, pp. 9,51,91,200, ISBN 978-0-691-12633-3 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!