Ctenosaura palearis

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Ctenosaura palearis
Ctenosaura palearis macho.JPG
Guatemalan spiny-tailed iguana
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Iguanidae
Genus: Ctenosaura
Species: C. palearis
Binomial name
Ctenosaura palearis
Stejneger, 1899
Ctenosaura palearis distribution.png

Ctenosaura palearis, commonly known as the Guatemalan spiny-tailed iguana, is a species of spiny-tailed iguana endemic to the Motagua Valley, Guatemala.

Conservation status[edit]

This species is threatened by habitat loss and illegal trade. These iguanas are used as a source of food by natives. Its eggs are a food source for the equally threatened Motagua Valley beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum charlesbogerti), thereby possibly linking the status of the two species. It is included in CITES appendix II so that trade of this species is regulated.[1]


The Guatemalan spiny-tailed iguana feeds on leaves and the fruits of the cactus Stenocereus pruinosus and occasionally insects (crickets, beetles, ants and wasp).


The habitat of C. palearis is characterized by a greater frequency of Stenocereus pruinosus, Albizzia idiopoda, Ximena americana and Acacia deamii. The Guatemalan spiny-tailed iguana can be regarded as a keystone species because it plays an important role in seed dispersal of S. pruinosus.


  1. ^ a b Ariano-Sánchez, D. & Pasachnik, S. (2011). "Ctenosaura palearis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T44192A10860487. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-1.RLTS.T44192A10860487.en. Retrieved 24 December 2017. 
  • Coti, P. and D. Ariano. 2008. Ecology and traditional use of the Guatemalan black iguana (Ctenosaura palearis) in the dry forests of the Motagua Valley, Guatemala. Iguana 15 (3): 142-149.[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Stejneger, L. 1899. Description of a new species of spiny-tailed iguana from Guatemala. Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus. 21: 381-383.