Types of Galapagos Iguanas
The scientists carried out genetic and morphological studies and a total of 11 subspecies of marine iguanas could be distinguished, 5 of them were just recently discovered.
Galapagos iguanas, although not exclusively marine, they depend to a great extent on the sea. Despite being considered marine, they only spend 5% of their time in the water.
The smallest marine iguana in the Galapagos is located on the Genovesa Island and the largest in Fernandina and Isabela island; Isla Española on the other hand, has the most colorful iguanas, with green and red spots. The red pigmentation is obtained from an algae that blooms during the warm months. As you can see there’s a lot of variety in color, size and shape within the Galapagos iguanas.
The daily activity of the iguanas depends or is determined by the temperature and the state of the tide.
Española Marine Iguana – Amblyrhynchus cristatus venustissimus
First, let’s start with the Española Iguana. This Iguana is not the most common in the islands, but we start from it because it is our favourite!
This iguana will definitely caught your eye! It has an amazing mix of red, green, yellow and black colours, that varies from one to another. They get this amazing colours in the mating season, in other to be more attractive, same way we dress cool when we have a date. The rest of the year they have a darker skin, and black is the predominant colour.
You will find it above the rocks around Española Island.
Isabela Island Iguana -Amblyrhynchus cristatus albemarlensis
You will find several iguana types around Isabela Island, even more if you visit Punta Albermarle, where iguanas are the queens of the area.
However, albemarlensis is a unique specie found all around the Isabela Island territory and in Tortuga island, at Isabela‘s south east . If you go for a walk to Concha Perla to do free snorkeling or take a walk along the Flamingos lake, you’ll find these iguanas chilling and laying around very still, almost looking like a rock. They do needs cause they need the sun. You can differentiate the male from the female because males usually have a very cool punky mohawk with very stiff crest