Fossilized Armor (poem)

FOSSILIZED ARMOR© I slept Underneath fossilized armor The cracks, ridges, and scales Of a reptilian sage Wearing my mask Throughout the ages Running rivers of lore Crevices of shedding stages Hardening shields under solar kiln Layer by layer And molting away skins From timely, due, betrayals… ©Maria F.

Green Iguana Male Claims Supremacy (Video)

Here you can see the male Iguana which mated with the female on the previous videos. Suddenly another male is seen climbing over the tree. This is another male which claims supremacy over one the females which are hidden in the branches. This male you will see is an alpha male that has been living in this pond at least for 7 years.

Green Iguanas Finish Mating

This is the second video clip of the three part series I’m showing you of the Green Iguanas coupling. On this clip the Green Iguanas have finished mating, and you will notice the male almost falls off the tree. There is a water pond below this tree, so if these Iguanas fall, they fall into…

The Mating Act of the Green Iguana

Finally! After seven years of observing these reptiles, I have been able to capture a video of the mating Green Iguana. I always wondered why I had not been able to witness this event, and today I finally found the answer. Green Iguanas mate in the trees. When the female is ready, she will be…

Wild Poinsettia (Euphorbia heterophylla L.)

Wild Poinsettia (Euphorbia heterophylla L.) Aka Painted Euphorbia, Painted Spurge, Japanese Poinsettia, Desert Poinsettia, Wild Poinsettia,  Painted Leaf, Milkweed, and Kaliko Plant, is native to Mexico and tropical America (i.e. from California to east Texas USA, through Central America and the Caribbean, south to Argentina). In Latin America it’s known as: Hierba Mala, Flor de Pascua de Monte, Leche de Sapo, Lechosa, Pastor de Monte, Pastorcita, Hierba de Duende, Higuillo, and Golondrina. Euphorbia…

The Brown Basilisk Lizard at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens

The Brown Basilisk or Striped Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus; in some areas referred to as “common basilisk”) is one species of basilisk lizard. Basiliscus is a genus of large corytophanid lizards, commonly known as basilisks, which are endemic to southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. The Brown Basilik is native to Panama, Belize, northwestern Colombia and Costa Rica, but has been introduced into the U.S. state of Florida as a feral species. The males have a crest. The Basiliks are agile lizards…

Three Generations in Retrospective

I’ve been able to observe three generations of this fascinating animal who is the subject of prejudice, persecution, and myth as an “invasive species”.  My heart feels with joy as I have been able to educate myself and others to accept this animal unconditionally as part of our Puerto Rican ecosystem. I’d like to thank…

Male and Female Green Iguana Behaviors

Some of you may have wondered what happened after the male Green Iguana bobbed his head next to the female. I was able to get some still images of the episode. The male did seem to exhibit courtship behavior, as shown in the previous video posted. However, the following events took place:  After the head…

The Head Bobbing of the Green Iguana

I don’t know if you remember when I posted about The Body Language of the Green Iguana, but I excluded one of the most important body language gestures the Green Iguana has: head bobbing. I excluded it because head bobbing is difficult to describe with a still image. Today, I happened to shoot a short…

A Reptilian Portraiture Session

A juvenile Iguana iguana (Green Iguana) came close to me recently, and I was amazed at his facial expressions and the fact that he didn’t run away. At this stage you can continue to see the vibrant green color these iguanas have when they are still juveniles. This Iguana is barely 6-8 months old.  I…

A Baby Iguana Goes for a Swim

Today I saw the smallest Green Iguana I’ve seen. It didn’t measure more than 7 inches long from head to tail. It was quite a challenge to shoot since they tend to be very skittish when they are this age, and on top of that, the only lens I had mounted was the 70-200mm zoom…

The Body Language of a Green Iguana

The dewlap. The first thing to know about Green Iguanas is that they use their dewlap to communicate. There are several things that an iguana can say with their dewlap extended. First of all, an extended dewlap can simply be a greeting of hello. An extended dewlap is often used to say hello to another creature…

The Puerto Rican Siguana’s Sixth Sense?

I found a great PDF about why do serpents and lizards have forked tongues and thought of sharing it with you.  As to Why Snakes Have Forked Tongues has to do with the ability to sample the environment simultaneously with their two-point tongue from a chemical path which provides an instant assessment of a trail location…

And so a Forked Tongue it was…

“Please don’t say anything, but she speaks with a ‘forked tongue’”.  A “forked tongue” is actually a negative connotation of someone who says something, and does another. This is one of the many stigmas applied to a reptile’s physical appearance over the history of humankind. I was finally able to shoot the Siguana’s forked tongue.…

Watch Your Tongue, Siguana…

I was able to photograph the Siguana’s tongue today. Not quite the way I’m planning to eventually get it, but at least it was a beginning. First of all, it was from a smaller female, so that made me had to get closer. Second, the tongue came out too thin, I was expecting to see…

The Male and Female Siguanas (Ameiva exul)

These are both male and female Siguanas (Ameiva exul). They are called “Siguanas” here, almost the same as “Iguana”, but with an “S” at the beginning. This time, the most curious event happened. Both male and female were roaming around together by an old log of the botanical garden. Usually I see the male alone. 1/160, f/5.6,  ISO…

A Step Closer to the Puerto Rican Ameiva exsul

The Ameiva exsul  ISO 160, 1/1250, f/5.6, @400mm Ameiva, commonly called jungle-runners, is a genus of whiptail lizards that belongs to the family of Teiidae. Member species are found in South America, Central America, Mexico, and throughout various islands of the Caribbean. The Ameiva exsul is endemic to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands only. It doesn’t swim like the Green Iguana,…

A Closer Look at the Alpha Male Green Iguana

Alpha Male Green Iguana in Water 1/1000,  f/4.0,  ISO 100, @200mm Green Iguanas are excellent swimmers, but when there’s an alpha male that has taken over a pond, he will be the only one you will see swimming in it. It is because of his tyrannising and aggressive nature towards the other males during breeding season that he expends…

The Puerto Rican Crested Anole (Anolis cristatellus cristatellus)

The Puerto Rican Crested Anole (Anolis cristatellus cristatellus) @60mm, 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 400 The Puerto Rican crested anole (Anolis cristatellus cristatellus) is the nominate subspecies of the non-crested Anolis cristalleus. Some specimens have bigger crests than others. The crested lizard shown here has a slight crest in its tail and dorsal back. Coloration may vary significantly from a brownish-red to a dark…