11 November 2012

Lava lizard, Isla Isabela

The best known reptiles of the Galápagos archipelago are the iguanas (particularly the marine iguanas) and the giant tortoises. But others live here too: the secretive Galápagos snake (which I was fortunate enough to see), sea turtles (which I was fortunate enough to snorkel with), and nine species of lizards in the genus Microlophus, which every visitor will be bound to see.  M. albemarlensis inhabits Isla Isabela, where I spent ten days, and Fernandina, inaccessible to those, like me, not on expensive cruises. Female lava lizards can be easily identified by the orange throat and face; males lack this but have a black throat patch.

I never did manage to discover whether the orange specks were seeds of some plant or, more probably, mites.

[10 September 2011, Panasonic Lumix GH1, 14–45 mm at 45 mm, ISO 400, 1/250 at f8]

All content © 2012 Pete McGregor


The Elephant's Child said...

Love it. My partner went to the Galapagos and like you didn't do it in luxury. He loved it, and filled me with jealousy. The Galapagos birds are special too.

Zhoen said...

Lovely lava lizard, on isolated Isla Isabela.

Relatively Retiring said...

Love the rock, love the matching spots...not so keen on the mites, but still a good co-ordinating colour scheme.

pohanginapete said...

Elephant's Child: the birds there really are something. It's the only place in the world where I've ever had a bird land on my lens while I was photographing it.

Zhoen, these little lizards often lazed near indolent iguanas idling on igneous ..., er, ... rocks (dang!)

RR, I found another photograph of a lava lizard in a very different habitat but with the same tiny orange spots, and with some imagination I can almost see legs on some of them. I'm fairly sure they're mites. I guess they do add colour, both literally and metaphorically.

Zhoen said...


pohanginapete said...

Of course! Thanks Zhoen ;^)