Galápagos - Lava Lizards
   
Home

According to Swash and Still (2005): "Birds, mammals, and reptiles of the Galápagos Islands", and Fitter et al. (2000): "Wildlife of the Galápagos" there are 7 different species of lava lizards of the genus Microlophus (Tropidurus) found on the Galápagos islands. Newer literature suggest 9 or even 10 endemic species on the islands. The reptile checklist published by the Charles Darwin Foundation suggest that Microlophus indefatigabilis might be a subspecies of Microlophus albemarlensis. They are found on all major islands except Genovesa.

The nine different species are found on diffrent islands:

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis) : Santa Cruz, Santa Fe*

Santiago Lava Lizard (Microlophus jacobi) : Santiago

Floreana Lava Lizard (Microlophus grayii) : Floreana (Santa Cruz)

San Cristóbal Lava Lizard (Microlophus bivattatus) : San Cristóbal

Pinta or Common Pacific Iguana (Microlophus pacificus) : Pinta

Marchena Lava Lizard (Microlophus habellii) : Marchena (Santa Cruz)

Española Lava Lizard or Hood Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis) : Española (Santa Cruz)

Galápagos Lava Lizard (Microlophus albemarlensis) : Isabela, Fernandina (Española, Floreana, San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Santiago)

Pinzón Lava Lizard (Microlophus duncanensis) : Pinzón

*Benavides et al. (2009) suggest the Santa Fe lava lizard (Microlophus barringtonensis) to be a separate species

 

Going through my photos of lava lizards from my trip to the Galápagos in 2009, I noticed several photos of these spectacular reptiles, and decided to show some of them here. Since I only visited some of the islands, and the lizards are next to impossible to distinguish but live mainly only on distinct islands, I have photos of six of the species. Because some of the species can be found on more than one island, some of the names presented here may be wrong.

 

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis), Charles Darwin Reserach Station, Santa Cruz, November 3, 2009

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard, Charles Darwin Reserach Station, Santa Cruz, November 3, 2009, November 3, 2009

 

Floreana Lava Lizard (Microlophus grayii), Puerto Velasco Ibarra, Floreana, November 4, 2009

Floreana Lava Lizard, Pamta Cormorant, Floreana, November 4, 2009

 

Española Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis), Punta Suarez, Española, November 5, 2009

Española Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis), Punta Suarez, Española, November 5, 2009

 

Española Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis), Punta Suarez, Española, November 5, 2009

Female Española Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis), Punta Suarez, Española, November 5, 2009

 

Española Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis), Punta Suarez, Española, November 5, 2009

Española Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis), Punta Suarez, Española, November 5, 2009

 

Española Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis), Punta Suarez, Española, November 5, 2009

San Cristóbal Lava Lizard (Microlophus bivattatus), Punta Pitt, San Cristóbal, November 6, 2009

 

San Cristóbal Lava Lizard (Microlophus bivattatus), Punta Pitt, San Cristóbal, November 6, 2009

San Cristóbal Lava Lizard (Microlophus bivattatus), Punta Pitt, San Cristóbal, November 6, 2009

 

San Cristóbal Lava Lizard (Microlophus bivattatus), Isla Lobos, November 6, 2009

San Cristóbal Lava Lizard (Microlophus bivattatus)?, on a dead seal puppy. Isla Lobos, November 6, 2009

 

 

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis), Barrington Bay, Santa Fe, November 7, 2009

Alternatively considered a separate species; Santa Fe Lava Lizard (Microlophus barringtonensis)

 

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis), Barrington Bay, Santa Fe, November 7, 2009

 

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis), Barrington Bay, Santa Fe, November 7, 2009

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis), Isla Plaza Sur (South Plaza Island), November 7, 2009

 

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis), Isla Plaza Sur, November 7, 2009

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis), Isla Seymour Norte (North Seymour), November 8, 2009

 

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis), Isla Seymour Norte, November 8, 2009

Santa Cruz Lava Lizard (Microlophus indefatigabilis), Isla Seymour Norte, November 8, 2009

 

Santiago Lava Lizard (Microlophus jacobi), Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), November 9, 2009

Santiago Lava Lizard (Microlophus jacobi), Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), November 9, 2009

 


Santiago Lava Lizard (Microlophus jacobi), Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), November 9, 2009

Santiago Lava Lizard (Microlophus jacobi), Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), November 9, 2009

 

Santiago Lava Lizard (Microlophus jacobi), Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat), November 9, 2009