Record Details

Breuil, Michel
Morphological characterization of the Common Iguana Iguana iguana (Linnaeus, 1758), of the Lesser Antillean Iguana Iguana delicatissima Laurenti, 1768 and of their hybrids. Translation
Bulletin de la Société Herpétologique de France
Journal Article
Iguana delicatissima;Iguana iguana;Iguana iguana rhinolopha;Iguana tuberculata
Morphological characterization of the common iguana Iguana iguana (Linnaeus,1758), of the Lesser Antillean iguana Iguana delicatissima Laurenti, 1768 and of their hybrids. French West Indies are inhabited by two Iguana species, the Lesser Antillean Iguana (Iguana delicatissima) and the common iguana (Iguana iguana). Historical and morphological data show that the common iguana came to Les Saintes in the middle of the nineteenth century during the exchange of convicts between the prisons of French Guyana and the penitentiary in Les Saintes. Then this species was introduced voluntarily to Basse-Terre in the late 1950's and to Martinique in the 60's. It was then introduced in Saint Martin. In Les Saintes and Grande-Terre, the arrival of common iguanas has lead to hybridization between the two species and the elimination of the Lesser Antillean Iguana. In Basse-Terre, all I. delicatissima populations are invaded by common iguanas and their hybrids. Moreover, common iguanas escaped from captivity, and invaded Saint Martin in early 2000 and arrived to Saint Barthélemy; few years later hybridization started. The two species differ from each other by more than 15 characteristics, most of them were unnoticed before the present study. The common iguana from Guadeloupe and Martinique (Iguana iguana iguana) differs also from iguanas found in Central America (Iguana iguana rhinolopha) and from those of the islands of Saint Lucia and Saba whose morphological characteristics are described for the first time. The morphology of the hybrids is described. These hybrids are morphologically very diversified and clearly show that F1 individuals are fertile, leading to introgression and progressive extinction of delicatissima.