Galapagos Reptiles

The Galapagos reptiles can be easily approached and observed.

They are classified into 22 species out of which 17 are considered to be endemic to these Islands, this means that they can only found or seen in the Galapagos Islands.


Galapagos is well known for its amazing variety of endemic reptiles and especially for the marine Iguana which is the only lizard that has the sea as its main environment.

The lizards in Galapagos are part of the land reptiles and are classified into three categories: Iguanas, Lava Lizards and Geckos.

The land reptiles are: Tortoises, Snakes, Land Iguanas, Lizards and Geckos. The marine reptiles are classified into two groups: Marine iguanas and Sea turtles.

Reptiles in Galapagos are so abundant that even Charles Darwin said that these islands are a paradise for reptiles

The weather in Galapagos is dry and hot throughout the year and the reptiles have developed special skills to adapt themselves to these hard conditions.

Description of Galapagos Reptiles

Galapagos Giant Tortoises

The Galapagos Tortoises have eleven sub-species spread all around the Galapagos Islands. The shape of the tortoise's carapace is similar to a riding saddle that the early Spaniards used on their horses, they called this saddle Galapago and that's why these tortoises were called Galapagos.

Lonesome George is the name of the last survival of the tortoise species that inhabited Pinta Island. Read more about the Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Galapagos Marine Iguanas

You can see marine iguanas in every Island that compose this Archipelago. They vary in size and colors from island to island but they are all considered to be a single species.

The Galapagos Marine Iguana is world wide known especially because it is the only reptile that has adapted to life in the Ocean.

You can see the most colorful marine iguanas (with green and red spots) at Espanola Island, the biggest ones are located at Fernandina and Isabela Islands and the smallest one can be seen at Genovesa Island

These unique Galapagos reptiles feed mainly on algae (seaweed) that is found between the tide-lines or below the sea's surface. More about Galapagos Marine Iguana here

Galapagos Land Iguanas

The Land Iguanas in Galapagos are divided into two species, Conolophus subcristatus and Conolophus pallidus.

One of them (Conolophus pallidus) can only be found in Santa Fe Island. This particular species is paler in color and has more prominent spines.

The subcristatus species can be seen on the following Islands: North Seymour, South Plaza, Baltra, Santa Cruz, Isabela and Fernandina Islands.

Land iguanas are bigger than marine iguanas and their color is pale brown with yellowish shades. It feeds on Galapagos Cactus (prickly-pear cactus) fruits and yellow flowers.

These amazing Galapagos reptiles enhance and add a tone of mystery to the arid zones of some islands. More about Galapagos Land Iguana

Find Cheap Air Flights to the Galapagos Islands Here

Green Sea Turtles

The scientific name of the Green Sea Turtles is Chelonia mydas and they are found massively in the Galapagos Islands although in other locations of the world they are considered to be an endangered species.

The Galapagos are an important feeding place for green sea turtles especially in the Islands of: Fernandina, Santa Cruz, and Isabela.

These marine turtles feed and rest all year round. Here's a Complete Review on Green Sea Turtles

Galapagos Lava Lizards

These are the most abundant Galapagos reptiles. As most animals in Galapagos they lack of fear of humans and can be easily observed at close distances.

All species of lizards found in Galapagos and their differences in color and shape show the incredible way they have adapted to the environment of the Islands.

When you visit these Islands you will see hundreds of Galapagos lava lizards all around you because they are very active during the day and you can see them almost everywhere. More About Galapagos Lava Lizard here

Galapagos Snakes

Galapagos snakes are rather small and not poisonous to humans.

There are five species of which three of them belong to the Alsphis family and to another species known as Philodrys biserialis.

These Galapagos reptiles are all constrictor-type snakes and they grow up to only 2-3 feet in length.

These snakes kill their victims by constriction or in other words they wrap around their prey and squeeze it until it cannot breathe. Read More About Galapagos Snakes

Galapagos Geckos

The scientific name of these Galapagos reptiles is Phyllodactylus galapagoensis and the six species that inhabit Galapagos are all endemic to these Islands.

Geckos are lizard reptiles that belong to the Gekkonidae family and are commonly found in warm climates.

As with lava lizards the Geckos have a wide variety of bright colors and shapes.

In some cases they are able to change their body colors in order to mix together or camouflage with their surrounding environment. See a Set of Beautiful Photos of Galapagos

If you have questions about the Galapagos Islands or if you'd like to request more information about our Galapagos Tour Packages to explore these Islands, You can Contact us here

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