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Amblyrhynchus cristatus BELL, 1825

IUCN Red List - Amblyrhynchus cristatus - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaIguanidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
SubspeciesAmblyrhynchus cristatus cristatus BELL 1825
Amblyrhynchus cristatus albemarlensis EIBL-EIBESFELDT 1962
Amblyrhynchus cristatus hassi EIBL-EIBESFELDT 1962
Amblyrhynchus cristatus mertensi EIBL-EIBESFELDT 1962
Amblyrhynchus cristatus nanus GARMAN 1892
Amblyrhynchus cristatus sielmanni EIBL-EIBESFELDT 1962
Amblyrhynchus cristatus venustissimus EIBL-EIBESFELDT 1956 
Common NamesE: Marine Iguana
G: Meerechse 
SynonymAmblyrhynchus cristatus BELL 1825: 206
Iguana (A. [mblyrhynchus]) Cristatus - GRAY 1831: 37
Iguana (A. [mblyrhynchus]) Ater GRAY 1831
Amblyrhincus [sic] cristatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 195
Amblyrhincus [sic] ater — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 196
? Amblyrhincus [sic] Demarlii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 197
Hypsilophus (Amblyrhynchus) cristatus — FITZINGER 1843: 55
Hypsilophus (Amblyrhynchus) ater - FITZINGER 1843: 55
Oreocephalus cristatus - GRAY 1845: 189
Amblyrhynchus cristatus — STEINDACHNER 1876
Amblyrhynchus cristatus — BOULENGER 1885: 185
Amblyrhynchus cristatus — SWASH & STILL 2000 
DistributionGalapagos (Ecuador)

cristatus: Isla Fernandina (= Narborough I.)

albemarlensis: Isla Isabela (= Albemarle I.)

ater: Isla Pinzón (= Duncan I.)

hassi: Isla Santa Cruz (= Intefadigable I.)

mertensi: Isla San Cristóbal (= Chatham I.), Isla Santiago (= James I.)

nanus: Isla Genovesa (= Tower I.)

sielmanni: Isla Pinta (= Abington I.)

venustissimus: Isla Española (= Hood I.), Gardener Island;

Type locality: restricted to (Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1956) Narborough (Fernandina). Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: OUMNH 6176, Oxford University Museum of Natural History 6176
Holotype: SMF [venustissimus] 
CommentTerra typica: Mexico (in error) [BELL 1825].

Reproduction: Hybrids between Amblyrhynchus cristatus and Conolophus subcristatus have been reported by several authors (Lücker & Feiler 2002). Amblyrhynchus cristatus, Conolophus subcristatus and Conolophus marthae can hybridize and produce viable offspring (Tzika et al. 2008).

Habitat: partly marine.

Type species: Amblyrhynchus cristatus BELL 1825 is the type species of the genus Amblyrhynchus BELL 1825. 
  • Alberts, A.C.; Carter, R.L.; Hayes, W.K. & Martins, E.P. (eds.) 2004. Iguanas - Biology and Conservation. University of California Press, 356 pp.
  • Avery, D. F.;Tanner, W. W. 1971. Evolution of the iguanine lizards (Sauria, Iguanidae) as determined by osteological and myological characters. Brigham Young University Science Bulletin 12 (3): 1-79
  • Bell, T. 1825. On a new genus of Iguanidae. Zoological Journal, London, 2: 204-208 - get paper here
  • Bonetti, Mathilde 2002. 100 Sauri. Mondadori (Milano), 192 pp.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1886. On the species of Iguaninae. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 23 (122): 261-271
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1837. Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 4. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 570 pp. - get paper here
  • Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. 1962. Eine neue Rasse der Meerechse, Amblyrhynchus cristatus venustissimus, nebst einigen Bemerkungen über Amblyrhynchus cristatus cristatus. Senckenbergiana biologica 37: 87-100
  • Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. 1962. Neue Unterarten der Meerechse Amblyrhynchus cristatus, nebst weiteren Angaben zur Biologie der Art. Senckenbergiana biologica 43 (3): 177-199
  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, fasciculus primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller et Seidel, Wien: 106 pp. - get paper here
  • FRICK, MICHAEL G. 2010. Misconceptions about the ability of researchers to relocate the holotype of the Galapagos pink land iguana through the use of a passive integrated transponder. Zootaxa 2694: 57–58 - get paper here
  • Garman, S. 1892. The reptiles of the Galapagos Islands. From the collections of Dr. Geo. Baur. Bull. Essex Inst. 24: 73-87
  • Glaberman, Scott & Adalgisa Caccone 2008. Species-specific evolution of class I MHC genes in iguanas (Order: Squamata; Subfamily: Iguaninae). Immunogenetics 60:371–382
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [V Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp. [1830]
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • Higgins, P.J. 1978. The Galapagos Iguanas: Models of Reptilian Differentiation. BioScience 28 (8): 512-515
  • Hugi, Jasmina and Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra 2012. Life History and Skeletal Adaptations in the Galapagos Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) as Reconstructed with Bone Histological Data—A Comparative Study of Iguanines. Journal of Herpetology 46 (3): 312-324. - get paper here
  • Ineich, Ivan and Aurelien Miralles. 2014. Amblyrhynchus cristatus (marine iguana) polydactyly. Herpetological Review 45 (2): 322-323
  • Köhler, J. & Güsten, R. 2007. Herpetological type specimens in the natural history collections of the museums in Darmstadt and Wiesbaden, Germany. Spixiana 30 (2): 275-288 - get paper here
  • Lücker, H. 1994. Die Meeresechsen (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) von Galapagos. Sauria 16 (2): 3-8 - get paper here
  • Lücker, H. & Feiler, A. 2002. Beobachtungen einer Paarung zwischen Meerechsen-Männchen (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) und Landleguan-Weibchen (Conolophus subcristatus) auf Plaza-Sur/Galapagos-Inseln sowie Beobachtungen an einem adulten Gattungshybriden (Amblyrhynchus x Conolophus). Elaphe 10 (4): 49-54
  • MacLeod, A., V. Koch, et al. 2012. New highly polymorphic microsatellite loci for the Galápagos Marine Iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus. Amphibia-Reptilia 33(3-4): 533-536
  • Olson, Storrs L. 2014. The early scientific history of Galapagos iguanas. Archives of natural history 41.1: 141–153
  • Rassmann, K.; Trillmich, F. & Tautz, D. 1997. Hybridization between the Galapagos land and marine iguana (Conolophus subcristatus and Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on Plaza Sur. Journal of Zoology 242: 729-739
  • Steindachner,F. 1880. Uber eine neue peruanische Ungalia-Art , Ungalia taczanowskyi. Sitzungsb. Akad. Wiss. Wien, math.-natur-wiss. Kl., 80 1: 522-525 - get paper here
  • Steinfartz, S. & Caccone, A. 2006. A set of highly discriminating microsatellite loci for the Galápagos marine iguana Amblyrhynchus cristatus. Molecular Ecology Notes 6: 927–929
  • Swash,A. & Still,R. 2000. Birds, Mammals and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands. Pica Press, 168 pp.
  • Switak, Karl H. 1996. The iguanas of the Galapagos Islands. Reptiles 4 (8): 12-30
  • Van Denburgh, J., and J. R. Slevin 1913. Expedition of the California Academy of Sciences to the Galapagos Islands, 1905-1906. IX. The Galapagoan lizards of the genus Tropidurus with notes on iguanas of the genera Conolophus and Amblyrhynchus. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (ser. 4) 2: 132-202. - get paper here
  • Werning, H. 2010. Auf den Spuren von Darwin durch Südamerika. Teil 4: Galápagos - Der Darwin Archipel. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (81): 52-62 - get paper here
  • Werning, H. 2015. Die Rückkehr der Urzeitechsen Reptilia (Münster) 20 (114): 16-25 - get paper here
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