IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

Foraging during the day both in trees and on the ground, this species primarily feeds on flowers, fruits, young buds and leaves. Allen's Cay iguana is also reported to be opportunistically carnivorous, and tourists regularly feed them everything from table scraps to fresh produce. Unusually, a report also exists that the Exuma Island iguana is coprophagous, actively foraging for the faeces of the zenaida dove, Zenaida leucocephala, and the white-crowned pigeon, Columba leucocephala (2). The Allen's Cay iguana has been seen mating in mid-May, followed by nesting from mid to late June, whereas that Andros iguana mates in April, nesting in May and June (4). Cyclura species usually dig a subterranean nest chamber in sand or soil. However, Andros iguanas predominantly use termite mounds, providing a dry habitat and a relatively high and constant temperature for egg incubation (4). Although initial attempts by Allen's Cay iguanas at digging nest burrows are often abandoned, females defend the burrow site during the entire time of construction, and most continue that defence for at least three to four weeks after nest completion between mid-June and mid-July (5). Conversely, while female Exuma Island iguanas have also been observed actively defending an incomplete nest, they do not appear to protect the nest site after their eggs have been laid (2). Although not all females will reproduce each season, the largest Allen's Cay iguana females usually nest annually. Clutch size ranges between one and ten eggs, with larger, older females typically producing larger clutches. Allen's Cay iguana hatchlings apparently emerge in late September and early October, after about 80 to 85 days incubation (5). Clutch sizes for the Andros iguana range from 4 to 19 eggs. After approximately 75 days incubation, hatchling Andros iguanas emerge in August and September. Female sexual maturity is not attained until approximately 12 years of age in the Allen's Cay iguana and 8 years of age in the Andros iguana, but this very slow rate of development is offset by a long lifespan of up to 40 years (4) (6).

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Source: ARKive

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