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Iguana iguana (LINNAEUS, 1758)

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Higher TaxaIguanidae, Iguania, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
SubspeciesIguana iguana iguana (LINNAEUS 1758)
Iguana iguana insularis BREUIL, VUILLAUME, SCHIKORSKI, KRAUSS, MORTON, HAYNES, DALTRY, CORRY, GAYMES, GAYMES, BECH, JELIĆ & GRANDJEAN 2019
Iguana iguana sanctaluciae BREUIL, VUILLAUME, SCHIKORSKI, KRAUSS, MORTON, HAYNES, DALTRY, CORRY, GAYMES, GAYMES, BECH, JELIĆ & GRANDJEAN 2019 
Common NamesE: Common Green Iguana
G: Grüner Leguan
E: Grenadines horned iguana, pink rhino iguana [insularis]
E: Saint Lucia horned iguana [sanctaluciae] 
SynonymLacerta Igvana LINNAEUS 1758: 206
Iguana minima LAURENTI 1768
Iguana tuberculata LAURENTI 1768
Lacerta Iguana — SHAW & NODDER 1795: plate 227
Iguana coerulea DAUDIN 1802
Iguana vulgaris LINK 1806
Iguana sapidissima MERREM 1820
Iguana sapidissima — WIED 1824
Iguana squamosa SPIX 1825
Iguana viridis SPIX 1825
Iguana coerulea SPIX (non DAUDIN) 1825
Iguana emarginata SPIX 1825
Iguana lophryoides SPIX 1825
Iguana lophyroides SPIX 1825 (fide FRANZEN & GLAW 2007: 225)
Prionodus iguana — WAGLER 1828
Hypsilophus tuberculatus — WAGLER 1830
Iguana (Hypsilophus) rhinolophus WIEGMANN 1834
Iguana tuberculata — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 203
Iguana rhinolopha — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1837: 207
Hypsilophus Rhinolophus — FITZINGER 1843
Hypsilophus tuberculatus — FITZINGER 1843
Iguana Hernandessi JAN 1857 (nomen nudum fide SMITH & TAYLOR 1950)
Iguana tuberculata — BOULENGER 1885: 189
Iguana rhinolophus — GÜNTHER 1885: 56
Iguana tuberculata — GÜNTHER 1885: 56
Iguana tuberculata — COPE 1886: 270
Iguana iguana rhinolopha — DUNN 1934
Iguana iguana rhinolopha — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 72
Iguana iguana rhinolopha — MERTENS 1952: 47
Iguana iguana rhinolopha — STUART 1963: 68
Iguana iguana — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 95
Iguana iguana — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 419
Iguana iguana — LINER 1994
Iguana iguana rhinolopha — MCNISH 2011
Iguana iguana — MATA-SILVA et al. 2015 
DistributionUSA (introduced to Florida and Hawaii)
S Mexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Jalisco, Puebla, Guerrero, Sinaloa, Nayarit), Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize,
Costa Rica, Panama
Colombia (Valle del Cauca), Ecuador, Brazil (Bahia, Pernambuco, Ceará, Sergipe, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Piauí, Acre, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba), Venezuela, Isla Margarita,
Guyana, Suriname, French French Guiana,
Peru, Bolivia (Beni, Pando, Santa Cruz), Paraguay,
Antilles: Virgin Island, Cayman Island, St. Barthelemy, Montserrat, Guadeloupe,
Ile Desecheo Saintes, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenadines, Grenada, Swan Island, Trinidad, Tobago, La Tortuga Island,
Isla San Andres, Isla de Providencia, Puerto Rico
Introduced to Taiwan (G. Norval, in AA)

insularis: Grenada Bank, Grenadine islands, Grenada; Type locality: Bequia, St Vincent & the Grenadines.

sanctaluciae: Saint Lucia; Type locality: Saint Lucia, West Indies

rhinolopha: Mexico (Yucatan peninsula); south to Panama fide STUART 1963: 68.

Type locality: “Indiis”  
Reproductionoviparous. Iguana delicatissima and I. iguana hybridize in nature (Breuil et al. 2009). 
TypesSyntypes: NRM (NHRM), another in the Gyllenborg collection in Uppsala.
Lectotype: ZMB 571; paratype: 3630 [rhinolopha]
Holotype: MCZ X-17620/R-79057, caught by James Lazell (10 April 1964). Paratypes: MCZ X-17619/R-79056, X-17621/R-79058, juveniles, from the same location and the same collector [insularis]
Holotype: MNHN-RA 2362, male, collected by Bonnecour(t) between 1850–1851 [sanctaluciae] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (insularis): We define the typical morphology of this new taxon based on our own observations on both adults and juvenile specimens on Palm and Union Islands (St Vincent & the Grenadines), complemented by the specimens from MCZ R-79056-57-58 collected on Bequia (also in St Vincent & the Grenadines) and R-79747 from Sandy Bay, Grenada. The latter four are young individuals with SVL from 128 mm to 135 mm, and thus lack some details specific to adults.
The iguanas from the Grenada Bank, including the Grenadines, are characterised by the following association of characters in adults compared with iguanas from Saint Lucia (I. iguana sanctaluciae ssp. nov., see below).
– In most old adults (both males and females), the green colouration and black bands fade to an almost uniform light cream to nearly white, except on the posterior end of the tail where the black banding persists;
– In old adults, the head is nearly light cream to white;
– The dewlap is predominantly white but may have some black scales;
– There are no black margins on the subtympanic plate and on the sublabial scales;
– The snout has 2 to 5 median horns (usually 3 or 4) and 2 to 6 less developed lateral horns on each side;
– The horns may or may not remain black throughout the animal’s life;
– There are light yellow scales on the head and on the dewlap in old adults;
– The tips of the dorsal spikes of mature adults during the breeding season are light yellow to light orange;
– The anterior part of the dewlap is rounded.

Diagnosis (sanctaluciae): Iguana iguana sanctaluciae resembles I. iguana insularis, but differs by the following association of characters:
– the scales of the jowls sometimes overlap;
– there are 7 or fewer triangular gular spikes of moderate size (cf. 8 or 9 exceptionally 10 gular spikes in I. iguana
insularis);
– the vertical bands on the body are thicker, black and remain well developed in old individuals (cf. narrow bands
on the body that fade with age in I. iguana insularis);
– the dewlap is black in old individuals (cf. creamy white in I. iguana insularis);
– the subtympanic plate and the associated 2–3 anterior scales have black pigmentation on their margins;
– Only the anterior dorsal spikes are orange in males (cf. most dorsal spikes have an orange hue in I. iguana insularis).

Comparisons. Because in the field there is greatest risk of confusing the new subspecies with invasive alien I. rhinolopha, which also has nasal horns, figures 8, 9 and 10 highlight the main morphological differences between the anterior parts of I. iguana sanctaluciae and I. rhinolopha. The two new subspecies are distinguished from I. iguana iguana, I. rhinolopha (considered here as a full species, see below) and I. delicatissima by the following combination of characters.
Colour hue and pattern. The head, body and tail are bright green in young individuals, becoming very pale greenish grey or creamy white with age (unlike I. iguana iguana, I. rhinolopha and I. delicatissima, which vary widely in hue but are rarely as pale). The body has 6–8 thin or thick vertical black bands (except in old adult I. iguana insularis, in which only faint traces of the vertical bands remain). These vertical black bands are present on the newborn I. i. sanctaluciae whereas they are generally absent in newborn Iguana iguana iguana and iguana rhinolopha. According to Henderson & Powell (2018), juveniles most frequently are uniform green but this point has to be checked for Iguana iguana insularis. The tail has black bands that are conspicuous at all ages (unlike I. delicatissima, which does not have vertical bands on the body or tail). The legs are not black even in old individuals (unlike the indigenous iguanas of Saba and Montserrat). Although the body of pale adults may have a pinkish hue, the body colouration of breeding males is never orange as in I. rhinolopha from Central America (Fig. 10).
With age the dewlap changes from green to entirely creamy white (I. iguana insularis) or completely black (I. iguana sanctaluciae) as the indigenous iguanas of Saba and Montserrat, but never orange (cf. I. rhinolopha, Fig. 9). The dorsal crest is often high, especially in males (unlike I. delicatissima), and of the same colour as the light part of the body and often pink-orange towards the tips. The iris is dark brown, not yellow to orange, and the white part of the eye is visible (unlike I. iguana iguana, I. rhinolopha and I. delicatissima). There is no black patch between the eye and the tympanum, and no pink on the jowls, as in Saba and Montserrat (Breuil 2013, 2016, Breuil et al. in prep.) but some breeding males have pale golden yellow on the jowls.
Scalation. Several scales between the nostrils are elongated to form horns (whereas nasal horns are absent from I. delicatissima and I. iguana iguana). There are 2 to 5 horns (usually 3–4) on the axial plane, and 1 to 3 smaller horns and sometimes up to 6 for I. iguana insularis on each side in adults (whereas lateral horns absent in I. rhinolopha). The horns are broad at their bases and the tallest are sometimes curved back (whereas the horns of I. rhinolopha are thin, straight and shorter). However, hatchlings and young juveniles of the two new subspecies have only very small horns.
The nostrils are prominent; their openings are from oval to circular, sometimes triangular in Iguana iguana insularis, looking from the side. There are some small to rarely medium conical scales on the occiput. There are 6–10 medium-sized gular spikes on the dewlap that extend to the half lower part. In adults, these spikes are triangular. A subtympanic plate is present (cf. absent in I. delicatissima) but it is relatively small: even in old adults the diameter of the subtympanic plate is no more than ± 20% the height of the tympanum (cf. 2–3 times the size of the tympanum in I. rhinolopha).
There are 2–3 scales of decreasing size anterior to the subtympanic plate, a characteristic not found in other species systematically present in I. i. sanctaluciae and sometimes in I. i. insularis. (This trait however resembles a feature of F1 hybrids between I. iguana iguana/Iguana rhinolopha and I. delicatissima: Breuil 2013, 2016). There are only few tubercular nape scales: fewer than 10 in I. i. sanctaluciae and up to 20 in I. i. insularis, small, not very prominent and dispersed, i.e. not arranged in more or less conspicuous rows as in I. rhinolopha (Fig. 10) and the largely melanistic iguanas of Saba and Montserrat populations (I. cf. iguana). This distinguishing character is present in hatchlings and throughout life, unlike some of secondary sex characteristics noted above.
Head. The head is relatively short and flat, and the dewlap is of medium size (cf. the large dewlap in I. rhinolopha). The scales anterior to the subtympanic plate overlap slightly in some individuals. The jowls do not appear swollen even in reproductively active males (cf. very well-developed jowls in breeding male I. rhinolopha). 
CommentPet trade. Colombia intended to export more than 600,000 specimens alone (cited in WÜSTER 1998 without a time span). Between 1991 and 2002 about 4.8 million iguanas have been imported to the United States; between 1990 and 1999 about 600,000 iguanas were imported to Europe (Schardt et al. 2009). Breeders have created variations in yellow, blue, and brown, in addition to the wildtype “green” specimens (Werning 2015).

Type Species: Iguana tuberculata Laurenti, 1768 is the type species of the genus Iguana LAURENTI 1768 (designated by Burt and Burt 1933:26). All designations of Lacerta iguana Linnaeus, 1758, as the type species of Iguana Laurenti, 1768 (by tautonymy or otherwise) are not valid as Lacerta iguana Linnaeus, 1758, was not an originally included species (Article 67.2 of the Code, ICZN 1999, Low 2016).

Subspecies: Even though most older author recognized two subspecies (iguana and rhinolopha) Lazell (1973) concluded that geographic variation is complex and does not justify the recognition of subspecies. I. i. rhinolopha is distinguished from iguana by only 2 or 3 small protuberances on the snout. Most recent authors don’t seem to recognize rhinolopha any more. The two subspecies insularis and sanctaluciae seem to be very similar if not indistinguishable genetically (Breuil et al./ 2019: 218, Fig. 12).

Distribution: not in Yucatan state (Mexico) according to GONZÁLEZ-SÁNCHEZ et al. 2017. 
EtymologyThe family name Iguana might be formed from Igoana, a name used by ‘‘Les habitans de Saint-Domingue, d’après Hernandez’’ (A. M. C. Duméril and Bibron, 1837: 199).
I. i. insularis is named after the numerous islands in the southern Lesser Antilles where the subspecies lives.
I. i. sanctaluciae is named after Saint Lucia which is the only island inhabited by this taxon. 
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