The British Virgin Islands – What kind of Animals are hidden here?
The British Virgin Islands is a great vacation spot because of its warm climate and lush vegetation. Wherever you find these conditions, there are sure to be many animals that thrive in them. Even though some of them have excellent camouflage skills, opportunities have been taken to gather some information on them. Like many other islands much of the animal population of the British Virgin Islands consists of amphibians and reptiles. Some of these are:
As a master of disguise the anole lizard camouflages itself by blending in to its background. There are different kinds such as:
- Saddled Anole – Having a slim shape and pointed snout, this lizard has a dark mottled colour and resides in the relative safety area of the high tree limbs.
- Grass Anole– With a similar shape as the saddled anole, these little guys have a light greenish colour and a pale stripe on their sides. Like the name suggests, they live in grassy areas and bushes.
- Crested Anole – Also known as the ‘man lizard,’ the crested anole is adorned with spiked crowns and dewlaps, which are colourful throat fans that have a crimson border and yellow and green centre. Their main purpose is to scare off rivals and predators. The male also uses his to impress the females by throwing it out and then doing a few push-ups.
Southern Woodslave Gecko – Even though this gecko is a native of West Africa it is believed to have arrived on the island via slave ships, and can be found there in excess. These nocturnal creatures have bodies that are almost free of pigment, and they camouflage themselves due to their transparency. They choose to live in buildings, hiding behind wall art and other decorative items, and surfacing at night to catch prey. Their ability to cling to even the smoothest surface area comes as a result of flat toes which are crossed by lamellae that are tiny flaps of skin with hundreds of hooks that make it possible for them to latch on anywhere.
Red-foot Tortoise – This tortoise used to be spread throughout the island but is now found mainly in protected areas, such as Botanic Gardens and Guana Island, which is a private nature reserve. About two feet long, they have red spots on their feet and an orange area around the mouth. Their normal diet consists of fruit, leaves and flowers but is supplemented with lots of vegetables on the reserves.
A few of the other animals on the island are several species of iguanas, small snakes that are not dangerous, as well as native tree frogs that make chirping noises so that they are often mistaken for birds or insects.