Galápagos land iguana close-up

Galápagos land iguana

Galápagos land iguanas are a part of the Galápagos Islands’ unique fauna. They were once present in such large numbers that in 1835 Darwin could not find a site free from burrows to pitch a tent. Today this island is called Santiago and not a single land iguana is to be found there. Due to the dry and arid conditions on these volcanic islands, Galápagos land iguanas obtain most of their food and moisture from the pads, fruits and even spines of the prickly pear cactus. These large, heavily built lizards sport a spikey crest running along the neck and back; they can be over a metre long.

Did you know?
Galápagos land iguanas get relief from ticks by allowing local finches to pick them off their skin.

Scientific name: Conolophus subcristatus

Rank: Species

Common names:

land iguana


Map showing the distribution of the Galápagos land iguana taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Galápagos land iguana can be found in a number of locations including: Galápagos. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Galápagos land iguana distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Desert Desert
Desert and dry scrubland describes any area that receives less than 250mm of rainfall a year. Not just the endless, baking sand dunes of popular conception, it includes arid areas in temperate regions.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 1996

Classified by: IUCN 2.3


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Reptiles
  5. Scaled reptiles
  6. Lizards
  7. Iguanas
  8. Conolophus
  9. Galápagos land iguana


BBC News about Galápagos land iguana

  • New species of land iguana A spectacular pink type of Galapagos iguana promises to rewrite the family's evolutionary history in the islands.