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Cyclura nubila (GRAY, 1831)

IUCN Red List - Cyclura nubila - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaIguanidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesCyclura nubila caymanensis BARBOUR & NOBLE 1916
Cyclura nubila nubila (GRAY 1831) 
Common Namesnubila: Cayman Islands Ground Iguana, Cuban Iguana, Cuban Rock Iguana
caymanensis: Sister Islands Rock Iguana, Lesser Cayman’s Iguana 
SynonymIguana (Cyclura) Nubila GRAY 1831: 39 (in CUVIER; edit. GRIFFITH)
Cyclura nubila — COPE 1861: 123
Cyclura nubila — COPE 1886: 263
Cyclura nubila — SCHWARTZ & CAREY 1977
Cyclura nubila — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 396
Cyclura nubila — RODRÍGUEZ SCHETTINO 1999: 154
Cyclura nubila — BUCKLEY et al. 2016

Cyclura nubila nubila GRAY 1831
Cyclura Harlani DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 218 (partim)
Cyclura MacLeayii GRAY 1845
Cyclura macleayi — BARBOUR & NOBLE 1916
Cyclura macleayi macleayi — VARONA & GARRIDO 1970
Cyclura nubila nubila — SCHWARTZ & THOMAS 1975
Cyclura nubila nubila — SCHWARTZ & CAREY 1977
Cyclura macleayi — BONETTI 2002: 124
Cyclura nubila nubila — LEMM & ALBERTS 2012
Cyclura nubila nubila — BUCKLEY et al. 2016

Cyclura nubila caymanensis BARBOUR & NOBLE 1916
Cyclura caymanensis BARBOUR & NOBLE 1916
Cyclura macleayi caymanensis — GRANT 1941: 29
Cyclura nubila caymanensis — SCHWARTZ & THOMAS 1975
Cyclura nubila caymanensis — SCHWARTZ & CAREY 1977
Cyclura nubila caymanensis — SAWANNIA et al. 2013
Cyclura nubila caymanensis — LEMM & ALBERTS 2012
Cyclura nubila caymanensis — BUCKLEY et al. 2016
Cyclura caymanensis — HEDGES et al. 2019 
DistributionCuba, Isla de la Juventud (= Isla de Pinos), Archipelago de los Canarreos, Cayos de San Felipe,
Cayman I, Isla Magueyes, Puerto Rico.

Cyclura nubila nubila: Cuba, Isla de la Juventud; cayeréas and islands associated with Cuba; introduced on Isla Magueyes, Puerto Rico. Type locality: "South America?"; restricted by Schwartz and Carey, 1977, to Cuba.

Cyclura nubila caymanensis: Cayman Is.: Little Cayman I. and Cayman Brac; introduced on Grand Cayman I.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.29.88.
Holotype: MCZ 10534 [caymanensis] 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Size very large (SVL in males to 745 mm, in females to 623 mm); 3-8 (mode 5) scale rows between frontal and interparietal scales; azygous scales usually present (mode 3) in prefrontal suture; 4-11 (mode 6) scales between anterior canthal scales; 6-16 (mode 10) scales bordering frontal; first prefrontal rarely in contact with precanthal; 4~13 (modes 5 and 7) vertical rows of loreals; 10-16 (mode 13) suboculars to anterior border of tympanum; 5-14 (mode 8) sublabials to eye center; 2-6 (mode 3) rows of scales between infralabials and sublabials; 1-6 (mode 3) postmentals; 33-50 femoral pores in a single row; dorsal crest scales 9-22 between occiput and shoulder, 20-53 between shoulder and sacrum, 6-24 between sacrum and first caudal verticil, total dorsal crest scales between occiput and first caudal verticil 52-85; dorsal crest scales on neck always higher than body crest scales, body crest scales usually higher than postsacral crest scales; 35-93 scales around tail in fifth caudal verticil; 14-31 dorsolateral body scales in naris-eye distance; rostral scale always in contact with nasals. Dorsum: (1) dark, virtually patternless grayish to blackish, with dense, pale, buffy flecking to give a more or less dark-and-pale stippled effect, head either generally buffy to tan or bright blue; (2) greenish; (3) remnants of dark juvenile pattern greatly obscured but persisting as a series of vague, dark, diagonal lateral bars; juvenile pattern strongly chevronate with about 5-10 pale chevrons, apices pointed anteriorly, which break up laterally into buffy ocelli or a series of ovate fragments, all black-bordered, chevron interspaces stippled with black, middorsal portion of each pale chevron expanded to give a series of subrectangular or subcircular, pale, mid-dorsal blotches, the dark chevron borders persisting onto venter to midline, either as entire dark lines or as series of more or less circular or ovate, black-bordered, pale spots; tail in adults tan, in juveniles streaked with black and grays or vaguely ringed, rings not corresponding to caudal verticils (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 396).

Description (caymanensis): Grant 1941: 29 
CommentFor illustrations see Barbour and Noble, 1916 (as C. macleayi, C. caymanensis); Barbour and Ramsden, 1919 (as C. macleayi); Grant, 1941 (as C. macleayi caymanensis, C. m. lewisi); Vogel, 1965 (as C. macleayi); Vogel, 1966 (as C. macleayi); Carey, 1975; Schwartz and Carey, 1977.

Hybridization: C. n. nubila hybrizes with C. n. lewisi (SKUBOWIUS 2012).

Phylogenetics: C. lewisi nests within C. nubila fide Reynolds et al. 2022. 
  • Alberts, A.C., A.M. Perry, J.M. Lemm & J.A. Phillips 1997. Effects of incubation temperature and water potential on growth and thermoregulatory behavior of hatchling rock iguanas (Cyclura nubila) Copeia 1997 (4): 766-776. - get paper here
  • Alberts, A.C.; Carter, R.L.; Hayes, W.K. & Martins, E.P. (eds.) 2004. Iguanas - Biology and Conservation. University of California Press, 356 pp. - get paper here
  • Bakowskie, Ronny 2013. Über einen kleinen Tierpark im Nordosten Kubas. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (6): 46-48 - 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
  • Barbour, T. and Noble, G.K. 1916. A revision of the lizards of the genus Cyclura. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 60 (4): 139-64. - get paper here
  • Beovides–Casas, K. & C. A. Mancina 2006. Natural history and morphometry of the Cuban iguana (Cyclura nubila Gray, 1831) in Cayo Sijú, Cuba. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 29.1: 1-8
  • Bonetti, Mathilde 2002. 100 Sauri. Mondadori (Milano), 192 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1890. On the distinctive cranial characters of the Iguanoid lizards allied to Iguana. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 6: 412-414 - get paper here
  • Buckley, Larry J.; Kevin de Queiroz, Tandora D. Grant, Bradford D. Hollingsworth, John B. Iverson (Chair, Stesha A. Pasachnik, and Catherine L. Stephen (Iguana Taxonomy Working Group, ITWG 2016. A Checklist of the Iguanas of the World (Iguanidae; Iguaninae). Herp. Cons. Biol. 11 (Monograph 6) - get paper here
  • Burton, F.J. 2004. Revision to Species of Cyclura nubila lewisi, the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana. Carib. J. Sci. 40 (2): 198-203
  • Burton, F.J. 2004. Revision to species of Cyclura nubila lewisi Grand Cayman Blue Iguana. Carib. J. Sci. 40: 198-203
  • Christian, K.A., I.E. Clavijo, N. Cordero-Lopez, E.E. Elias-Maldonado, M.A. Franco, M.V. Lugo-Ramirez & M. Marengo 1986. Thermoregulation and Energetics of a Population of Cuban Iguanas (Cyclura nubila) on Isla Magueyes, Puerto Rico Copeia 1986 (1): 65-69. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1885. The large iguanas of the Greater Antilles. Amer. Nat. 19: 1005-1006
  • 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
  • Estrada, A.R. 1998. Anfibios y Reptiles Encontrados Durante 1988 y 1989 en Cayo Paredón Grande, Archipiélago de Sabana-Camagüey, Cuba. Carib. J. Sci. 34 (1-2): 106-112
  • Fenske, R. & T. Grellmann 1997. Beobachtungen an Kubaleguanen (Cyclura nubila) auf der Insel Cayo Largo del Sur vor Kuba. Sauria 19 (3): 3-7 - get paper here
  • García, Miguel A. and Glenn P. Gerber 2016. Conservation and Management of Cyclura Iguanas in Puerto Rico. Herp. Cons. Biol. 11 (Monograph 6) - get paper here
  • Geißler, L. 2005. Exkursionen im Westen Kubas. Reptilia (Münster) 10 (56): 42-49 - get paper here
  • González, Amnerys; Vicente Berovides, Dorka Cobián, Leonardo Espinosa, Julio Milián, Gretel Abad, Ernesto Palacio, Manuel Alonso-Tabet, Manuel López, and Yairen Alonso 2016. Monitoring the Density of the Cuban Rock Iguana (Cyclura nubila nubila) from Protected Areas in Southern Cuba. Herp. Cons. Biol. 11 (Monograph 6) - get paper here
  • González, R.A., V. Berovides y D. Cobián. 2007. Densidades de la iguana (Cyclura nubila nubila) en algunas áreas protegidas de Cuba. CUBAZOO 16:39-42
  • González, R.A., V. Berovides y M.A.Castañeira. 2004. Variación intrapoblacional de la densidad y las características de los refugios de la iguana cubana (Cyclura nubila nubila) en Cayo del Rosario, Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cuba. Revista Biología 18(1):50-56
  • Grant, C. 1941. The herpetology of the Cayman Islands. Bulletin of the Institute of Jamaica, Science Series [1940] (2):1-56
  • 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
  • Grellmann, T., R. Fenske & A. Helmdag 1995. Beobachtungen der Kubaleguane Cyclura nubila Gray auf der Insel Cayo Largo del Sur vor Kuba. Sauria 17 (3): 19-21 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2002. Kurz vor der Ausrottung: der Blaue Leguan von Grand Cayman. Iguana Rundschreiben 15 (2): 9-10
  • Krüger, B. 2008. Herpetologisches zwischen Kolumbus’ Landungspunkt und der Karibik - Kubas mittlerer Osten. Reptilia (Münster) 13 (69): 44-49 - get paper here
  • Lemm, J.M. & Alberts, A.C. 2012. Cyclura. Elsevier / Academic Press, 221 pp.
  • Malone,C.L.; Wheeler,T.; Taylor, J.F. & Davis,S.K. 2000. Phylogeography of the Caribbean Rock Iguana (Cyclura): implications for conservation and insights on the biogeographic history of the West Indies. Mol. Phylogen. Evol. 17 (2): 269 - get paper here
  • Pagoda, P. 2011. Ein Monat als Volontär in der Karibik - der Blauen wegen. Elaphe 19 (1): 65-72
  • Perera, A. 1984. Aspectos de la ecomorfología de Cyclura nubila nubila (Sauria:Iguanidae). Ciencias Biológicas 11: 129-141
  • Perera, A. 1985. Datos sobre la dieta de Cyclura nubila (Sauria: Iguanidae) en los alrededores de Cayo Largo del Sur, Cuba. Poeyana 291:1-12
  • Perera, Antonio 1985. Datos sobre abundancia y actividad de Cyclura nubila (Sauria: Iguanidae) en los alrededores de Cayo Largo del Sur, Cuba. Poeyana (288): 1-17
  • Reynolds, R. G., Miller, A. H., Pasachnik, S. A., Knapp, C. R., Welch, M. E., Colosimo, G., ... & Iverson, J. B. 2022. Phylogenomics and Historical Biogeography of West Indian Rock Iguanas (genus Cyclura). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 107548 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez Schettino, Lourdes (ed.) 1999. The iguanid lizards of Cuba. University Press of Florida, 428 pp.
  • 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
  • Sawannia, K.; Goetz, M. & Foerster, K. 2013. Bedroht im Paradies. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (5): 80-83 - get paper here
  • Schardt, M. 1998. Haltung und Nachzucht des Kuba-Wirtelschwanzleguans Cyclura nubila nubila (GRAY 1831). Elaphe 6 (2): 6-11
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Schwartz, A. and Carey, M. 1977. Systematics and evolution in the West Indian iguanid genus Cyclura. Stud. Fauna Curaçao and Carib. Is. 53(173):15-97. - get paper here
  • Skubowius, Bernd 2012. Ein Besuch bei der Reptilien-Auffangstation der Phoenix Herpetological Society. Draco 13 (50): 79-85 - get paper here
  • Starostová, Zuzana; Rehák, Ivan; Frynta, Daniel 2010. New haplotypes of Cyclura nubila nubila from Cuba changed the phylogenetic tree of rock-iguanas: a challenge for conservation strategies? Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 134-143 - get paper here
  • Varona, Luis S.;Garrido, Orlando H. 1970. Vertebrados de los Cayos de San Felipe, Cuba, Inclyendo una nueva especie de Jutía. Poeyana (75): 1-26
  • Vogel, Z. 1965. Herpetologische Beobachtungen auf Kuba. Aquar. und Terrar. 12 (7):235-39.
  • Vogel, Z. 1966. Herpetologische waarnemingen op Cuba (II). Lacerta 24 (8): 59-60. - get paper here
  • Werning, H. 2012. Zwischen Anolis und Cycluren: Unterwegs auf Puerto Rico. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (95): 100-109 - get paper here
  • Wissman, Margaret 1995. In search of the Grand Cayman blue rock iguana (Cyclura nubila lewisi). Reptiles 3 (2): 56-57
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