Lava lizards are small lizards with long, slim bodies, pointed heads and slender tails.
There are 7 species of lava lizards in the Galapagos, 6 of which are found on 6 different islands. They live up to 10 years. Size and marking vary between species but, as a rule, they are between 15 and 30cm long and their markings are designed to help them blend into their backgrounds. Some are mainly grey while others are brown or red and others have stripes along the sides of their bodies. When the males reach maturity, at about 3 years, they develop a black throat and a crest of small scales along their back. Females are considerably smaller and upon maturing, at about 9 months, they gain a red or orange throat.They are territorial and both males and females will challenge intruders. They are active during the day and are omnivores, consuming a variety of insects and some plants. Predators include hawks, snakes, mockingbirds and herons. If an attacker catches hold of their tail, the lizard can can drop this, giving it time to scurry to safety. A new tail will soon grow back.
Lava lizards are found throughout the archipelago.