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Galapagos Land Iguana

Galapagos Land Iguana
© www.pgoimages.com
Photographer: Per-Gunnar Ostby of www.pgoimages.com

Galapagos Land Iguana© www.pgoimages.com
Photographer: Per-Gunnar Ostby of www.pgoimages.com

Galapagos Land Iguana Range Map (Galapagos Islands)
Galapagos Land Iguana Range Map
(Galapagos Islands)
Latin Name Conolophus subcristatus
Conservation Status Vulnerable
Location Galapagos Islands
Colour Yellowish
Length Over 1 m (3.3 ft)
Habit Terrestrial
Breeding Oviparous

Main Characteristics

Galapagos Land Iguanas grown to over 1 m (3.3 ft) in length, they weigh up to 13 kgs (28.7 lbs) and they have a life expectancy of up to 60 years. They are yellowish in colour and they have a spikey dorsal crest that runs along their neck and back.

They have a heavy body and thick, powerful legs. On their toes they have long, sharp claws and they have a short, blunt head.

They are active during day and they maintain their body temperature by basking in the sun. When they get too warm they retreat into the shade.


Galapagos Land Iguanas are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. They are native to 6 of the islands; Fernandina, Isabela, Santa Cruz, North Seymour, Hood and South Plaza. They are found in drier, scrub areas of the islands and they live in burrows.


Galapagos Land Iguanas are primarily herbivorous and 80% of their diet is made up of the prickly-pear cactus. They also supplement their diet with insects and carrion if they are available.

As water is scarce on the Galapagos Islands, they obtain most of their water from their food, but during the rainy season they will drink from standing pools of water.


Male Galapagos Land Iguanas aggressively court females and after mating females go to find a suitable place to lay their eggs. On some of the islands they can travel up to 15 kms (9 miles) to find a suitable nesting site.

The females make a burrow that is approximately 45 cms (18 inches) deep in which they lay 2 - 25 eggs. They will guard the nest for a few days after laying to ensure that no other females lay their eggs in the same place.

After 90 - 110 days the young iguanas hatch and dig their way to the surface. During the first few years of their life they are very vulnerable and they reach maturity between 8 and 15 years of age.


The main predators of Galapagos Land Iguanas are feral animals, such as cats, dogs and pigs, that have been introduced to the islands and birds of prey.

Interesting Facts

It is estimated that there are between 5,000 and 10,000 Land Iguanas on the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Land Iguanas are also known as:
Land Iguana

Similar Animals

Marine Iguana
Barrington Land Iguana
Galapagos Pink Land Iguana


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