Lizards of Nosara
The Green iguana is a large, arboreal, mostly herbivorous species of lizard. Native to Central and South America and the Caribbean. Although some specimens can grow a whopping 2 meters long the usual length of an adult is around 1.5m with a bodyweight of around 10kg. These iguanas are a common feature all over Nosara. So common in fact, that is not unusual for first time visitors, to be looking on the same creature by the end of their visit as just a novel part of the local furniture.
BLACK SPINY-TAILED IGUANA
People frequently mistake it for it’s close cousin, the Green iguana. They are another common feature of the Nosara landcape. They can be spotted anywhere: walking down the Guiones high street to jungle trails and rivers. Their poise and relative fearlessness in the presence of humans may be best explained by the fact the The Guinness Records have clocked these guys running at over 22mph, making them the fastest lizard on the planet. They are incredible climbers and are best at home in rocky habitats with plenty of trees nearby. Although they will use their natural speed to escape predators they also bite and lash their tails if cornered.
COMMON BASILISK (Jesus Christ Lizard)
Because of it’s name you’d think this species had quite the shoes to fill. Luckily it doesn’t wear shoes. If it did it may have a hard time fulfilling the task for which it is named: to use it’s back feet to sprint at speeds of up to 11kmh across the surfaces of bodies of water. It’s large feet are equipped with flaps of skin that join the toes and allow it to catch tiny air bubbles. Jesus Christ Lizard is also a master climber and swimmer, and can stay under water for up to half an hour. To see these guys in action requires a trip out to the river or the surrounding jungle.
COMMON HOUSE GECKO
Originally a native of Southeast Asia the Common house gecko, started life in the Americas as an immigrant, they where transported here after stowing away on cargo ships. Although this little guy may not be the most common lizard in Guanacaste, it common to see them due to their preferred habitat of house walls and ceilings. Here they spend their days asleep and their nights running around in search of insects and bugs. Like many lizards, the house gecko can voluntarily detach from it’s tail when alarmed.
FOUR LINED AMEIVA
The Four lined Ameiva is a species of lizard whose habitat ranges from Northern Panama to Southern Nicaragua. You can indentify them easily due to the four black lines running down their brown backs. Four lined Ameivas live in open habitats. And juveniles have metallic light blue tails.
The Ameiva festiva lizards, look much like their close cousin – the Four lined Ameiva. And ranges from Southern Mexico all the way to Colombia. They have a muddy brown color. However, the black stripes in their back are zig-zagged as opposed to linear. Similarly, young specimens have distinctive metallic-blue tails.
Lizards are not Nosara’s only reptilian inhabitants, check out Nosara’s Top 10 Snakes