The Culebra giant anole has not been since 1932! This incredibly rare species is known from just eight specimens and, despite extensive surveys across its historical range, this species has not been found since.
There have been a few unconfirmed sightings but it is likely they may be misidentified green iguanas. However, searches are still warranted on smaller islands to see if they are still extant.
This is a large species in the supergenus Anolis. This speciose genus comprises more than 400 species of anole and diverged from all other living reptiles more than 80 million years ago!
The reasons for the decline of the Culebra giant anole are unknown, although deforestation has occurred on all four islands across this species’ range. Finding out whether this species survives is a priority for the future conservation of this species. The establishment and management of new protected areas should also be a high priority.
- Order: Squamata
- Family: Dactyloidae
- Population: Possibly extinct
- Trend: unknown
- Size: 160mm
This species was found in the Virgin Islands of Puerto Rico and Britain and the US.
Habitat and Ecology
This species is reported to live on branches high in trees in Bursera and Ficus forests, most commonly when they were feeding on ripe fig fruits. This species lives in dryer areas with xeric-adapted vegetation – vegetation that has adapted to an extremely dry habitiat.