Ctenosaura similis, 08 May 2014

Ctenosaura similis, the Black spiny-tailed iguana;
Miami-Dade county, Florida (08 March 2014).

When it comes to iguanas, South Florida sports more than just the well-known Green iguana. This is a Black spiny-tailed iguana, a Central American species now well-established throughout various stretches of the southern peninsula. You can find them in the Miami area, as well as the Gulf Coast region from Sarasota south to around Naples. They also pop up from time to time further north (not all that far south from where I live in Volusia County, Florida). Though they are excellent climbers, this species hangs out quite a bit on the ground, especially around rocky, hard surfaces. They’re quick to retreat into whatever sturdy crevasse may be around. This individual was photographed on rocky terrain beneath and adjacent to a pedestrian footbridge at a municipal park.

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