Desert Iguana

Desert Iguanas (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) are fast, robust and very common lizards that like it hot! They will be out and everywhere above 40 degrees Celsius. These iguanas are, arguably, the most abundant lizards in La Ventana and the surrounding region. 

According to the book Reptiles and Amphibians of Baja California (by L. Lee Grismer), these reptiles are active from March through October in Northern Baja, and variable in Southern Baja. Since La Ventana is so windy in the winter, it may be too cold for these heat-loving iguanas, and I believe they hibernate through the winter here like they do in the north. I did not see a single Desert Iguana all winter.

As for their diet, they eat a lot of leafy vegetation and insect larvae.Now for the story of how I finally caught a Desert Iguana: It was a warm morning just a few days ago and I was determined to catch something. I had been on the trail of a large Zebra-Tailed Lizard when I noticed my cat sitting attentively next to a piece of hollow pipe. I went over and heard a scrabbling sound from inside the pipe. Suddenly very interested, I tried to see what was inside. After several failed attempts, I decided to bring the pipe inside my house so that whatever it was would not escape. The next ten minutes were spent chasing a large Desert Iguana around a small empty room and then, finally, I caught my first representative of this species.