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Crocodylus rhombifer CUVIER, 1807

IUCN Red List - Crocodylus rhombifer - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaCrocodylidae (Crocodylia, crocodiles)
Common NamesE: Cuban crocodile
G: Rautenkrokodil 
SynonymCrocodilus rhombifer CUVIER 1807: 51
Crocodilus planirostris GRAVES 1819: 348 (?)
Crocodilus gravesii BORY 1824: 109 (?) (nom. subst. pro C. planirostris)
Crocodilus Rhombifer — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 97
Crocodilus Gravesii — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 101
Crocodylus rhombifer — BOULENGER 1889: 287
Crocodylus rhombifer — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 671
Crocodylus rhombifer — ROSS 1998 
DistributionCuba (Zapata Swamp in the northwest, and possibly Lanier Swamp on Isla de Juventud)

Type locality: Unknown; attributed to Cuba by Duméril and Bibron (1836: 101).  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 7536, a whole specimen in the Academy of Sciences (Paris) and a MNHN skin and skull; both syntypes now unlocated. See also comments in KING & BURKE 1989. 
CommentFor illustrations see Barbour and Ramsden, 1919; Wermuth and Mertens, 1961; Vogel, 1965; Varona, 1966; Greer, 1971.

Phylogeny: This and other New World crocodiles are closely related to African C. niloticus, indicating a recent (Miocine or Pliocene) cross-Atlantic dispersal (MEREDITH et al. 2011).

Hybridization: Akkaraju et al (1996) present evidence for hybridization of C. acutus with C. rhombifer.

Distribution: C. rhombifer used to live in the Bahamas (Steadman et al. 2007). 
  • Akkaraju, S.R.; Ahlquist, J.E.; McMahan, W.; Parkinson, C.L. & Perlin, M.H. 1996. Confirmation of Cuba crocodile hybrids using DNA thermal profiling. Biotecnologia Aplicada 13 (1)
  • Augustine, Lauren A; Adam G Stern, Gustavo Sosa Rodríguez, Etiam Pérez Fleitas 2018. Crocodylus rhombifer (Cuban Crocodile) subcaudal scale irregularities. Herpetology Notes 11: 621-623 - get paper here
  • Augustine, Lauren, Kyle MIller and Gordon M. Burghardt. 2015. Crocodylus rhombifer (Cuban crocodile) play behavior. Herpetological Review 46 (2): 208-209 - get paper here
  • Augustine, Lauren, Pryes, Karissa and Evans, Matthew 2017. Social behavior in captive Cuban Crocodiles (Crocodylus rhombifer) at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park. Herpetological Review 48 (1): 75-82 - get paper here
  • Augustine, Lauren, Robin L. Saunders, Karissa Pryes, Matthew J. Evans and Kim Lovich. 2015. Crocodylus rhombifer (Cuban crocodile) aggressive behavior. Herpetological Review 46 (2): 207-208 - get paper here
  • Augustine, Lauren. 2016. Crocodylus rhombifer (Cuban Crocodile) Suspension incubation. Herpetological Review 47 (2): 240-241 - get paper here
  • Barbour, T. and C. T. Ramsden. 1919. The herpetology of Cuba. Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard Coll. 47: 69-213. - get paper here
  • Bory de Saint-Vincent, J. B. G. M. 1824. Dictionnaire Classique d’Histoire Naturelle. Vol. 5. Rey et Gravier, Paris. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1889. Catalogue of the chelonians, rhynchocephalians, and crocodiles in the British Museum (Natural History). British Museum, London, 311 pp.
  • Cuvier, G. 1807. Sur les différentes especes de crocodiles vivans et sur leurs caracteres distinctifs. Ann. Natl. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris 10: 8-86. - get paper here
  • De Sola, C.R. 1930. The Cuban Crocodile: An Account of the Species Crocodylus rhombifer Cuvier, with notes on its Life History Copeia 1930 (3): 81-83. - get paper here
  • DeSola, C.R. 1930. The cuban crocodile: an account of the species Crocodilus rhombifer Cuvier, with notes on its life history. Copeia 1930 (3): 81-83 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M. C. and G. Bibron. 1836. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 3. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 528 pp. - get paper here
  • Frank, M.; Jäger, M. & el Mohamed, M. 2015. Seltener Zuchterfolg bei reinerbigen Kubakrokodilen. Terraria-Elaphe 2015 (6): 8-9 - get paper here
  • Gramentz, D. 2010. Zum Schreckruf juveniler Crocodylus rhombifer CUVIER, 1807 und Crocodylus siamensis. Sauria 32 (3): 39-46 - get paper here
  • Graves, M. L. 1819. Sur deux nouvelles espèces de crocodile. Ann. Gen. Sci. Phys. Bruxelles 2: 343-353.
  • Greer, A.E. 1971. Crocodilian nesting habits and evolution. Fauna (Fauna Press, Rancho Mirage, CA) 2:20- 28.
  • Hastings, Alexander K.; John Krigbaum, David W. Steadman, and Nancy A. Albury 2014. Domination by Reptiles in a Terrestrial Food Web of the Bahamas Prior to Human Occupation. Journal of Herpetology Sep 2014, Vol. 48, No. 3: 380-388. - get paper here
  • Kunz, K. 2004. Krokodilfarming auf Kubanisch - Zur Situation von Crocodylus rhombifer. Draco 5 (20): 70-74 - get paper here
  • Meganathan, P.R.; Bhawna Dubey, Mark A. Batzer, David A. Ray, Ikramul Haque 2010. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of genus Crocodylus (Eusuchia, Crocodylia, Crocodylidae) and the taxonomic position of Crocodylus porosus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (1): 393-402 - get paper here
  • Meredith, Robert W.; Evon R. Hekkala b, George Amato c, John Gatesy 2011. A phylogenetic hypothesis for Crocodylus (Crocodylia) based on mitochondrial DNA: Evidence for a trans-Atlantic voyage from Africa to the New World. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60: 183–191 - get paper here
  • Meurer, A. 2015. Private Pflege und Nachzucht bedrohter Krokodile. Terraria-Elaphe 2016 (1): 66-74 - get paper here
  • Miles, Lee G.; Stacey L. Lance; Sally R. Isberg; Chris Moran; Travis C. Glenn 2009. Cross-species amplification of microsatellites in crocodilians: assessment and applications for the future. Conservation Genetics. 10:935–954 - get paper here
  • Milián-García, Y., E.L. Jensen, S.R. Mena, E.P. Fleitas, G.S. Rodríguez, L.G. Manchena, G.E. López & M.A. Russello 2016. Genetic evidence for multiple paternity in the critically endangered Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) Amphibia-Reptilia, 37(3): 273-281. - get paper here
  • Murphy, James B., Matthew Evans, Lauren Augustine and Kyle Miller. 2016. Behaviors in the Cuban Crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer). Herpetological Review 47 (2): 235-240 - get paper here
  • PAN, TAO; JIA-SHUN MIAO, HUA-BIN ZHANG, PENG YAN, PING-SHIN LEE, XIN-YUE JIANG, JIA-HUI OUYANG, YOU-PENG DENG, BAO-WEI ZHANG & XIAO-BING WU. 2021. Near-complete phylogeny of extant Crocodylia (Reptilia) using mitogenome-based data. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 191(4): 1075–1089. - get paper here
  • Piras, Paolo; Luciano Teresi; Angela D. Buscalioni and Jorge Cubo 2009. The shadow of forgotten ancestors differently constrains the fate of Alligatoroidea and Crocodyloidea. Global Ecology and Biogeography (Global Ecol. Biogeogr.) 18: 30–40 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez Schettino, Lourdes, Carlos A. Mancina & Vilma Rivalta González 2013. REPTILES OF CUBA: CHECKLIST AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (144): 1-96 - get paper here
  • Ross, Franklin D 1998. Crocodylus rhombifer. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 680: 1-18 - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Sommerlad, R. 2011. Krokodile – Reptiliengiganten in Gefahr. Reptilia (Münster) 16 (87): 16-22 - get paper here
  • Sommerlad, R.; Schmidt, F. & Ziegler, T. 2011. Threatened crocodiles in European zoos? Reptilia (GB) ?: 12-17 - get paper here
  • Sommerlad, R.; Schmidt, F. & Ziegler, T. 2011. Bedrohte Krokodile in Europas zoologischen Gärten? Reptilia (Münster) 16 (87): 24-29 - get paper here
  • Steadman,David W.; Richard Franz, Gary S. Morgan, Nancy A. Albury, Brian Kakuk, Kenneth Broad, Shelley E. Franz, Keith Tinker, Michael P. Pteman, Terry A. Lott, David M. Jarzen, and David L. Dilcher 2007. Exceptionally well preserved late Quaternary plant and vertebrate fossils from a blue hole on Abaco, The Bahamas. PNAS 104 (50): 19897-19902 - get paper here
  • Trutnau, L. & Sommerlad, R. 2006. Krokodile - Biologie und Haltung. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 646 pp. [review in Reptilia Münster 11 (6): 95-96]
  • Trutnau, L. & Sommerlad, R. 2006. Crocodilians. Their natural history and captive husbandry. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 646 pp. [review in Reptilia GB 48: 8-10]
  • Varona, L.S. 1966. Notas sobre los cocodriilos de Cuba y descripción de una nueva especie del Pleistoceno. Poeyana, ser. A, (16):1-34.
  • Varona, Luis S. 1986. Algunos datos sobre la ecología de Crocodylus rhombifer (Reptilia: Crocodylidae). Poeyana (313): 1-8
  • Vogel, Z. 1965. Herpetologische Beobachtungen auf Kuba (III). Aquar. und Terrar. 12 (10): 340-43.
  • Weaver, J.P.; Rodriguez, D.; Venegas-Anaya, M.; Cedeño-Vázquez, J.R.; Forstner, M.R.J. & Densmore, L.D. 2008. Genetic Characterization of Captive Cuban Crocodiles (Crocodylus rhombifer) and Evidence of Hybridization With the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). J. Exp. Zool. 309: 649-660 - get paper here
  • Wermuth, H., and R. Mertens. 1961. Schildkröten, Krokodile, Brückenechsen. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena. xxvi + 422 pp.
  • Wermuth,H. & Fuchs,K. 1978. Bestimmen von Krokodilen und ihrer Häute. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart - New York, 100 pages, [ISBN 3-437-30268-X]
  • Willis, Ray E. 2009. Transthyretin gene (TTR) intron 1 elucidates crocodylian phylogenetic relationships. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53 (3): 1049-1054 - get paper here
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