Note: Largest Central American lizard. Males can reach 2010mm length and 4kg weight; females 1440mm and 2.9 kg.
Habitat: Lowland rainforests and dry forests. Adults usually seen in trees.
Biology: Common, diurnal, arboreal. Excellent swimmers who dive into the water to escape predators.
Food: Young are mainly herbivorous with occassion meals of insects. Adults are almost entirely herbivorous.
Note: May occur singly or in in groups of 12-20 with a clear hierarchy.
Breeding Season: Mid-November through January.
Predation: Young are preyed upon by snakes, basilisks, birds, and mammals. Adults are food for crocodiles, vultures, large hawks, and large mammals. Additionally, iguanas and their eggs are a prized food item in Latin America.
Source: Savage, Jay M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 935pp.
Back to Tortuguero 2004 Trip Page