Record Details

Hines, Kirsten N
Food habits of Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas (Cyclura cychlura) in the Exuma Islands, with a dietary review of Rock Iguanas (genus Cyclura)
Iguanas: Biology, Systematics, and Conservation
Book Section
John B Iverson, Tandora D Grant, Charles R Knapp and Stesha A Pasachnik
Monograph 6
Herpetological Conservation and Biology
Cyclura carinata;Cyclura cychlura figginsi;Cyclura cychlura inornata;Cyclura lewisi;Cyclura ricordii;Cyclura stejnegeri
This study examined the natural diet of Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas (Cyclura cychlura) in the Exuma Islands. The diet of Cyclura cychlura in the Exumas, based on fecal samples (scat), encompassed 74 food items, mainly plants but also animal matter, algae, soil, and rocks. This diet can be characterized overall as diverse. However, within this otherwise broad diet, only nine plant species occurred in more than 5% of the samples, indicating that the iguanas concentrate feeding on a relatively narrow core diet. These nine core foods were widely represented in the samples across years, seasons, and islands. A greater variety of plants were consumed in the dry season than in the wet season. There were significant differences in parts of plants eaten in dry season versus wet season for six of the nine core plants. Animal matter occurred in nearly 7% of samples. Supported by observations of active hunting, this result suggests that consumption of animal matter may be more important than previously appreciated. A synthesis of published information on food habits suggests that these results apply generally to all extant Cyclura species, although differing in composition of core and overall diets.