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Reptiles and Amphibians


Statia is one of just a handful of Caribbean islands that is home to the critically endangered Iguana delicatissima. This shy reptile changes colour from bright green as a juvenile to slate grey as an adult. It is not a common sight on the island, therefore to see one is always a treat.



            
Green Tree lizard (Anolis bimaculatus), female (left, middle) and male (right) with dewlap extended

   
Males can change colour from dark brown/black to green/blue, depending on their mood or the weather



   
The Little Tree lizard (Anolis schwartzi) is Statia's smallest and most common lizard

     
Sure, why not eat your skin for some extra nutrients?


   
Red-faced ground lizard (Ameiva erythrocephala)



The red-bellied racer snake (Alsophis rufiventris) is slightly venomous but harmless to humans. There are many living in the Quill...

     
...and a few in town too.....

     
....but mostly you will find them in the parks, where they enjoy a solitary life hunting frogs, lizards and other small prey, including young iguanas (right)



This blind snake (family Typhlopidae) is about a thin as a piece of spaghetti


   
Giant woodslaves (Thecadactylus rapicauda) are nocturnal creatures that eat mosquitoes and other bugs



   
Woodslave (Hemidactylus mabouia)


   
A juvenile and adult Lesser Antillean Iguana (Iguana delicatissima)



   
Two iguanas mating in the Quill                                                                              



   


Least Island gecko (Sphaerodactylus sputator), a tiny but common resident of the Quill slopes


   
Saba Dwarf gecko (Sphaerodactylus sabanus)


   
The Johnstone's Whistling frog (Eleutherodactylus johnstonei) is Statia's only species of frog. Males can be heard calling after sunset


Turn over a few rocks in the Quill crater and you will probably find this small and highly camouflaged frog


Of course, sea turtles are also reptiles, and you might be lucky enough to see one during a snorkel. Here are the three main species that exist on Statia:

   
Leatherbacks (Dermochelys coriacea) are the largest of all sea turtles, weighing up to one tonne and living up to 100 years. They don't reach sexual maturity until around 20 years of age, at which point females will return to the same beach where they were born to lay their own eggs

   
A leatherback hatchling finds its way to the sea on Zeelandia beach (left), and another gets a little assistance from me (right)


   
Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) feed mainly on sea grass which turns the skin around the neck a greenish colour, hence the name


   
Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) get their name from their beak-like bill, perfect for eating crustaceans and biting off bits of coral. This juvenile (right) was rescued and later released into the Caribbean Sea