Ctenosaura praeocularis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ctenosaura praeocularis
Species Authority: Hasbún & Köhler, 2009
Common Name/s:
English Southern Honduran Spiny-tailed Iguana
Spanish Jamo
Taxonomic Notes: Ctenosaura praeocularis was recently described and may be previously referenced in the literature as Ctenosaura flavidorsalis and less often as Ctenosaura quinquecarinata.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-02-15
Assessor/s: Hasbún, C.R. & Pasachnik, S.
Reviewer/s: Grant, T.D. & Hoffmann, M.
Contributor/s: Ariano-Sánchez, D. & Montgomery, C.E.
The Southern Honduran Spiny-tailed Iguana is restricted to southeastern Honduras. Limited information is available concerning the geographic range of this iguana; however, there is evidence that the forest in the area is fragmented and that there has been a decrease in quality and area of habitat in recent years. Other species of iguanas are heavily hunted in southern Honduras, however, the extent of hunting in this region and the impact on the Southern Honduran Spiny-tailed Iguana are unknown. The total population size is unknown and further research on this iguana is needed to determine if the population is in danger of the suspected threats in the area.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Southern Honduran Spiny-tailed Iguana is a recently described species currently known only from the Pacific slope of southeastern Honduras, within the Departments of Francisco Morazán and Choluteca (Hasbún and Köhler 2009). The holotype animals were found in an area encompassing approximately 1,200 km² and the full extent of their range is unknown.
Honduras (Honduras (mainland))
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population size and distribution of the Southern Honduran Spiny-tailed Iguana is completely unknown. There is evidence that the habitat in the area is fragmented and it is estimated that there has been a decrease in quality and area of habitat as a result of deforestation and regular burning, thus the population of iguanas is thought to also be fragmented (C. Hasbún pers. obs. 2009). Local people have related that the iguana has become rarer in the last two decades; further research is needed to quantify this potentially immediate concern.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Southern Honduran Spiny-tailed Iguana can be found between 800 and 1,000 m above sea level in subtropical moist forest areas and in tropical dry forest areas at 95 m above sea level (sensu Holdridge 1967, Hasbún and Köhler 2009). This iguana can be found mostly in hollow trees and branches no more than 2 m above the ground. The primary habitat is shrub and tree vegetation. According to stomach content analysis, young leaves and insects make up most of its diet. The maximum snout-vent length of this iguana is 16.8 cm in males and 14.26 cm in females (Hasbún and Köhler 2009).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Similar to other spiny-tailed iguanas in the region, the Southern Honduran Spiny-tailed Iguana is probably threatened by habitat destruction and repeated forest burning that is occurring in the area to support livestock farming and ranching.

It is known that the Southern Honduran Spiny-tailed Iguana is occasionally hunted by the local people for food and traditional medicine, but the impact on the population of iguanas is unknown. Further monitoring of this harvest is needed since other species of Spiny-tailed Iguana in Mesoamerica experience heavy hunting pressure.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Honduras does not have specific legal protection for the Southern Honduran Spiny-tailed Iguana and it is not known to occur within any protected areas. Recommended research includes further surveys for the species, research into genetics and life history, management, and monitoring of the wild population and its habitat.
Citation: Hasbún, C.R. & Pasachnik, S. 2011. Ctenosaura praeocularis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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