When you visit Puerto Rico, one thing you may not be prepared for is the wildlife you’ll encounter. Just as likely as it is in the United States to witness squirrels scurrying across lawns and in the park, in Puerto Rico you’ll probably see iguanas doing much the same thing. At first it can seem a little unsettling, but soon you’ll realize these lizards don’t really care too much about human interaction – they’d rather just enjoy the sun and munch on leaves and flowers.
But if you’re not prepared for a few close encounters with local lizards during your Puerto Rican adventure (and you’ll probably have them, given there are approximately 50 species on the island), why not take the opportunity to learn a little bit before you visit? Here’s some information on the lizards you may spot wandering around Puerto Rico.
Geckos: There are nearly 20 different species of geckos living in Puerto Rico. Most geckos eat insects, spiders and invertebrates. Some also eat nectar and fruits. The Monito gecko, which is native to Puerto Rico, is on the endangered species list.
Iguanas: There are several species of iguanas living on the island, including the Cuban ground lizards and green iguanas. They both are rather large iguanas – green can grow up to 6 feet and 15 or more pounds, and Cuban can grow up to 4 feet and nearly 12 pounds. Cuban tend to live on the land, while green live in trees. Both are largely herbivorous, but neither are native to Puerto Rico.
Anoles: Ten different anole species live in Puerto Rico, with the crested anole being the most common species seen. That’s because these anoles adapt very well to people and can easily live in areas populated by humans. One anole living on the island, however, was so elusive it wasn’t discovered until the 1960s. The dwarf anole only grows up to four inches long, making it easily avoid human eyes.
Worm Lizards: Worm lizards are an oddity, in that they lack legs and look like earthworms. They usually aren’t longer than one foot, and live on the insects they discover while burrowing. The Puerto Rican worm lizard is native to the island.
Various Others: Other lizards including amievas, skinks and galliwasps are endemic to Puerto Rico. They’re fast land dwellers that live on invertebrates and small vertebrates. Chances are you won’t see a galliwasp on your adventures – sightings of them are extremely rare and scientists know little about them.
Now that you’ve learned all about the lizard life on the island, why not come visit us and see our reptilian friends up close? Our booking is done through Twin Palms, Maria’s rental and onsite management. Please visit our booking page on this website to view the availability of Maria’s and fill out our convenient contact form. If you have any additional questions regarding Maria’s, you may call Twin Palms at 787-685-6648 (español: 787-930-9653). Thanks for staying with us at Maria’s!