Thursday, July 25, 2024

Endemic Reptiles

The St. Lucia Whiptail

(Cnemidophorus vanzoi)

It was unknown to science before 1958. It is considered one of the world’s rarest lizards. Males grow to about 121mm and female to about 95 mm. The St. Lucia Whiptail uses all parts of the offshore islands, but especially clearings. Lives mainly on the ground, but occasionally climbs trees. They eat small live animals, including termites (not ants), scorpions, and springtails, carrion (e.g. dead sea birds) and fruits (e.g. figs, column cactus fruits).

The St. Lucia Iguana

Iguana iguana

The St. Lucia Iguana comes from a unique population distinct from other green iguanas. It grows to about 155 cm (6ft) in length, its tail accounting for two-thirds its entire body length. It occurs mainly along the northeast coast of St. Lucia. It is predominantly vegetarian. Females may lay up to 20 eggs in a hole, which she digs.

The St. Lucia Anole

(Anolis luciae)

Lives in all forest classes from sea level to the mountain peaks, with the possible exception of Elfin Shrubland. Also common in suburban and recreational areas, and present throughout agricultural areas. Diet is varied and includes ants, spiders, crickets, cockroaches, grasshoppers, and insect larvae, often caught on the ground.
Female lays and buries one or two eggs in a shallow nest in the soil.

Saint Lucia Racer

(Liophis ornatus)

The St. Lucia Racer or Couresse Snake is restricted to Maria Islands, its last refuge in the world. It belongs to the Colubridae family. It grows to a length of 92 cm (3ft). The racer feeds on lizards, frogs, and possibly small birds.

The Saint Lucia Fer-de-Lance

(Bothrops caribbaeus)

The Fer-de-Lance is locally called serpent. The head is broadly triangular, showing evidence of large poison glands. It ranges from Roseau to Canaries on the west and Marquis to Micoud on the east. It feeds on birds, and small mammals.  The serpent may grow up to 245 cm (8ft) in length. It is a livebearer and may give birth to as many as 70 young. Found in both dry and rain forest

St Lucia thread snake

(Leptotyphlops bruilei)
Breuil’s thread snake, worm snake

Confirmed habitat in Saint Lucia is Deciduous Seasonal Forest and Littoral Shrubland (on Maria Major and the coastal main island), less than 100 metres above sea level. Typically found in soil beneath leaf-litter and under rocks.

Thread snakes usually feed on the adults and larvae of ants and termites.

Other species of Leptotyphlops lay between 1 and 12 slender, thin-shelled eggs (1.5–2.5cm in length, and 2–4mm in width), which typically hatch after three months.

St Lucia pygmy gecko

(sphaerodactylus microlepis)
St Lucia dwarf gecko

It can occur from coastal Deciduous Seasonal Forests a few metres above sea level to at least 634m in the Lower Montane Rainforest.
Locally common (e.g. Maria Major, Grande Anse, La Porte), but very patchy. Feeds mainly on ants and other very small invertebrates in leaf litter.
Females with well-developed eggs have been found at La Porte in April. Eggs have been found on Maria Major in April, hatching in May. Incubation time is at least 5.5 weeks.

St Lucia Cribo

(Clelia errabunda)

No confirmed sightings of this endemic snake have been made since the 19th century. It is likely to be extinct. It is found in riparian forest and ravines through dry forest areas, forest gardens and even banana plantations. This snake was usually seen on the ground or in trees up to 12 metres above the ground. Confirmed to eat the Saint Lucia fer-de-lance Bothrops caribbaeus, and probably naturally eat other reptiles.

No data on this species, but the related Clelia clelia lays clutches of 10 to 20

Endemic Sub-Species

The St. Lucia Boa Constrictor

(Boa constrictor orophias)

The Boa Constrictor locally called Tete Chien bears a resemblance to that of a dog. It may grow to about 425 cm (14ft) in length. The boa has no poison fangs and kills its prey by suffocation. It bears it young alive and may give birth to about 70 young in one litter. Found in both dry and wet forest.

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog

(Eleutherodactylus johnstonie)

Occurs in agricultural and urban areas, and all major forest classes. The eggs laid beneath logs and other damp places on land. Each clutch contains 10-30 pale, unmarked eggs covered in a thin layer of viscous mucus. Feed on small live invertebrates: mostly ants, but also spiders, leafhoppers, and springtails. The Whistling Frog is capable of breeding all year, peaking during the rainy season. Froglets with stumpy tails hatch from the eggs, about 4mm long.


(Dasyprocta antillensis)

The Agouti attains a length up to 60 cm and 4 kg in weight. It has long coarse, brown hair and sits erect on long slender legs. It lives in semi-open bush area in the fringes of forested country and also deep forested areas. Agoutis conceal themselves at night in hollow tree-trunks, or in burrows among roots. The Agouti feeds on green plants, roots, fruits, nuts and berries. It  is a mammal indigenous to St. Lucia and is a member of the rodent family.

Documents for Download

The St Lucia Whiptail Lizard13.74 KBDownload
Saint Lucia's Reptiles494.40 KBDownload
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