Hawksbill Sea Turtle Hatchlings (Eretmochelys imbricata)
Hawksbill Sea Turtles are fascinating creatures, known for their beautiful, intricately patterned shells. Hatchlings emerge from their sandy nests and make a perilous journey to the ocean. Interestingly, these turtles have a specialized diet, feeding mainly on sponges found in coral reefs.
Barbados Iguana (Iguana sp.) – “Godzilla”
The Barbados Iguana is an extremely rare species, with less than 100 individuals remaining in the wild. A standout among them is an adult male named ‘Godzilla,’ who measures an impressive 6 feet long. In 2004, there was a breakthrough in conservation efforts when 52 babies were born in captivity for the first time.
Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus Sp.)
The Leaf-toed Gecko is a nocturnal reptile found in the Caribbean, known for its unique toe structure, which resembles a leaf. These geckos have adhesive toe pads that enable them to climb vertical surfaces, even glass! They play an essential role in controlling insect populations by feeding on mosquitoes and other pests.
Wall Gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia)
Wall Geckos are commonly found throughout the Caribbean, easily recognized by their flat, elongated bodies and large, round eyes. A fascinating fact about these geckos is that they can detach their tails when threatened, providing a distraction for predators while they escape.
Barbados Microteiid (Gymnopthalmus underwoodii)
The Barbados Microteiid is a small, secretive lizard found only on the island of Barbados. These elusive reptiles are rarely seen, as they spend most of their time hiding under rocks or leaf litter. They feed on small insects and are an important part of the island’s ecosystem.
Green Sea Turtle Hatchling (Chelonia mydas)
Green Sea Turtles are named for the green color of their fat, not their shells. Hatchlings are born with a dark-colored carapace, which lightens as they mature. These turtles are known for their long migration routes, sometimes traveling thousands of miles between feeding and nesting sites.
Leatherback Turtle Hatchling (Dermochelys coriacea)
Leatherback Turtles are the largest of all sea turtles, with some adults weighing over 1,500 pounds! Hatchlings, however, are only around 3 inches long. Unlike other sea turtles, Leatherbacks don’t have a hard shell but rather a flexible, leathery carapace, which allows them to dive to incredible depths of up to 4,000 feet.
Green Ameivas (Ameiva ameiva)
Green Ameivas are vibrant, fast-moving lizards found in the Caribbean. They have long, slender bodies and can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. These lizards are primarily insectivorous, but they also consume fruit, making them vital for seed dispersal in the ecosystem.
Barbados Anole (Anolis extremus)
The Barbados Anole is a small, arboreal lizard found exclusively on the island of Barbados. Males have a brightly colored dewlap, which they extend to communicate with other anoles or to attract a mate. Interestingly, these lizards can change color based on their mood, temperature, or environmental factors.
Gold Phase and Pattern-back Barbados Bufo Marinus Toads
Gold phase Bufo marinus is a 4-inch male toad with a golden hue, while the pattern-back variety is a 9-inch female with distinct markings. Both toads are known for their toxic secretions, which can be harmful or even fatal to predators. These amphibians play a crucial role in controlling insect populations.
Captive-born Baby Barbados Iguana (Iguana iguana)
Captive-born baby Barbados Iguanas are part of conservation efforts to preserve the dwindling population of this species. These young iguanas are raised in a controlled environment to ensure their survival and eventual release into the wild, helping to bolster the wild population.
Pattern-back Giant Toad (Bufo marinus)
The Pattern-back Giant Toad is a large, robust amphibian with a distinct pattern on its back. These nocturnal creatures are voracious feeders, consuming a wide range of insects and small animals. Their presence helps maintain a balance in the ecosystem by controlling pest populations.
Barbados Whistling Frog (Eleutherodactylus johnstonei)
The Barbados Whistling Frog is a small, nocturnal frog known for its distinctive, high-pitched call, which sounds like a whistle. Found throughout the Caribbean, these frogs are important predators of insects, contributing to the overall health of the ecosystem.
Juvenile Dwarf Keeled Tegu (Kentropyx borckianus)
The Dwarf Keeled Tegu is a small, ground-dwelling lizard that can be found throughout the Caribbean. As juveniles, they have a vibrant coloration, which fades as they mature. These lizards are opportunistic feeders, consuming a variety of insects, small vertebrates, and even fruit.
Barbados Thread Snake (Leptotyphlops bilineata)
The Barbados Thread Snake holds the title of the smallest and rarest snake in the world. These tiny, worm-like reptiles are less than 4 inches long and primarily feed on ants and termites. Their small size and secretive nature make them challenging to find, adding to their mystique.
Barbados Racer Snake (Mastigodryas barbadensis)
The Barbados Racer Snake is a non-venomous, fast-moving colubrid snake native to the island of Barbados. They are primarily diurnal, hunting for small mammals, birds, and reptiles during the day. These snakes play a vital role in the ecosystem by controlling the populations of their prey species.