The Black Ctenosaur Iguana goes by a few different common names consisting of the Black Spiny-tailed Iguana, the Black Iguana and the Black Ctenosaur.
The Black Ctenosaur has been observed from Honduras to parts of Colombia in Central and South America. It in habits wet and dry tropical forests, wet and dry deciduous forests and in urban areas it may be found in people’s gardens. In Costa Rica it can be found in Marino Ballena National Park, Carara National Park, Palo Verde National Park, Guanacaste National Park, Corcovado National Park and Barra Honda National Park to name a few places.
Mating & Reproduction
Males begin courting females by bobbing their heads in the months of April through much of the rainy season. They consummate the relationship by chasing a female and dominating her. Gestation ranges from eight to ten weeks, and the female will lay a clutch of as many as 30 eggs in a nest that she has dug out typically in the sand. Once the eggs have hatched in about 90 days’ time, the young iguanas must dig their way out of their burrow.
Black Ctenosaur Iguanas regularly make a meal of chicks, rodents, birds, bats, frogs, lizards, eggs, crabs, spiders and insects. As they get older, they may begin to include more vegetation in their meals including flowers, leaves, stems and fruit. They are diurnal, and spend many hours basking in the sun to help regulate their cold body temperatures. They prefer a rocky environment and are very adept climbers.
The Black Ctenosaur is the fastest running species of lizard, and has been clocked reaching a speed of 21.7 miles per hour by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Their name of Ctenosaur stems from two Greek words. The first being Cteno comes from the Greek word for comb, and the second word saura stands for lizard. This name comes from the way the lizards tail resembles a black comb.
Where to see it in Costa Rica: Marino Ballena National Park, Carara National Park, Palo Verde National Park, Guanacaste National Park, Corcovado National Park, Barra Honda National Park
Diet: chicks, birds, rodents, bats, frogs, lizards, eggs, crabs, spiders, insects, flowers, leaves, stems, fruit
Migration Pattern: non-migratory
Habitat: wet and dry tropical forest, wet and dry deciduous forests, gardens
Size: length=1-1.5 m weight=5 kg
Species: Ctenosaura similis