Length: 15 - 30 cm
 
Lava Lizards are common on the shore and arid zones.  There are seven species in the Galapagos: delanonis, albemarlensis grayi, habellii, pacificus, duncanensis, bivattatus.  Two of these subspecies are featured below.  The Espanola Lava Lizard (Microlophus delanonis) is the largest lava lizard and grows up to 30 cm.  The Floreana Lava Lizard (Microlophus albemarlensis) is the smallest lava lizard and grows up to 15 cm.  
 
Lava lizards are identified by their small size,long tapering tails, slim bodies, and pointed heads.  No more than one species occurs on any one island, which simplifies identification.  The adult male has very variable coloration and the pattern of markings on the body.  These markings are generally adapted to blend in with the substrate upon which they live.  Males are 2 - 3 times heavier than females  The adult female is similar to the male in general structure.  When mature they have a red or orange throat which in some species extends to the whole head ( Espanola Lava Lizard).
 
Lava Lizards are active during the day, highly territorial, and breed at the start of the wet season in December.  Males take up to three years to reach sexual maturity, whereas some females can breed when they are nine months old.
 
 
 
 
Lava Lizards
Microlophus delanonis
female
Microlophus albemarlensis / male
Microlophus delanonis
male