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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.
ReproductionHybrids 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). 
TypesHolotype: OUMNH 6176, Oxford University Museum of Natural History 6176
Holotype: SMF [venustissimus] 
CommentTerra typica: Mexico (in error) [BELL 1825].

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 - get paper here
  • 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. 1956. 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., L. Unsworth, F. Trillmich & S. Steinfartz 2016. Mark-resight estimates confirm a critically small population size in threatened marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos. Salamandra 52 (1): 58-62 - get paper here
  • 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
  • MacLeod, Amy and Sebastian Steinfartz 2016. The conservation status of the Galápagos marine iguanas, Amblyrhynchus cristatus: a molecular perspective Amphibia-Reptilia 37 (1): 91 - 109 - get paper here
  • 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. 1876. Die Schlangen und Eidechsen der Galapagos-Inseln. Festschr. zool.-bot. Ges., Wien 1876: 303-329 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Vitousek, Maren N. and Gabriela Maldonado. 2011. Amblyrhynchus cristatus(Galápagos marine iguana) predation. Herpetological Review 42 (3): 425 - 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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