Cuba: Natural Paradise | Lizards
- Submitted by: Juana
- 02 / 23 / 2016
Cuba, like the rest of the Antilles, is a land dominated by lizards. Among the aerial roots, the shoots and the tops of the mangrove forest, thousands of them divide up the territory, marking it out and defending it with signals peculiar to each species.
Each layer has its species, each individual its territory, each tree its owner.
The Anolis are the most widespread genus, with the greatest number of different species. On a high branch, a green anolis lizard remains motionless, observing a ground lizard of the Leiocephalus variety.
The majority of species imitate the surroundings in which they live. Camouflage is vital to survival. Those that live on the branches and trunks are of brownish colours, those that colonise the leaves are generally green, and those that live on the ground mimic the colour of the dry leaves and the grasses.
In the mangrove forest only the movement of their courtships, or a skin which has been shed and left behind makes them detectable. And there’s a very good reason why.
Though the water is a barrier for many land animals, some Cuban hunters are good swimmers.
Of the 26 species of snake that live in Cuba, none is poisonous, but some, like the Cuban boa or this Alsophis, almost two metres in length, are sufficiently strong to catch and devour lizards, birds and even rodents.