Grand Cayman Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewis)
Common Name: Grand Cayman Blue Iguana
Scientific Name: Cyclura lewis
The Blue Iguana is the largest native land animal on Grand Cayman with a total nose-to-tail length of 5 ft (1.5 m) and weighing as much as 30 lb (14 kg). Its body length is 20–30 inches (51–76 cm) with a tail equal in length. The Blue Iguana's toes are articulated to be efficient in digging and climbing trees. Although not known to be arboreal, the Blue Iguana has been observed climbing trees 15 feet (4.6 m) and higher. The male is larger than the female by one third of his body size. The mature male's skin color ranges from dark grey to turquoise blue, whereas the female is more olive green to pale blue. Young animals tend to be uniformly dark brown or green with faint darker banding. When they first emerge from the nest the neonates have an intricate pattern of eight dark dorsal chevrons from the crest of their necks to their pelvic area. These markings fade by the time the animal is one year old, changing to mottled gray and cream and eventually giving way to blue as adults. The adult Blue Iguana is typically dark gray matching the karst rock of its landscape. The animal changes its color to blue when it is in the presence of other iguanas to signal and establish territory. The blue color is more pronounced in males of the species. Their distinctive black feet stand in contrast to their lighter overall body color. Male Blue Iguanas have femoral pores, which are used to release pheromones. Females lack these pores and have a less prominent dorsal crest, making the animal somewhat sexually dimorphic.