Zoo Animals


Sonoran black iguana

Ctenosaura similis

At the Detroit Zoo
The Sonoran black iguana can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the Detroit Zoo. There, visitors can learn about the 70 different species (and approximately 180 individuals) of reptiles at the Zoo, one-fifth of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.


The Sonoran black iguana is predominantly black but the dorsal surface may show black bands on a grayish background. Most have black mottling on their backs. The color may also lighten after basking in the sunlight, with yellowish and orange markings becoming evident along the sides. Its tail is ringed with rows of sharp, curved spines.


Fun Facts

  • The Sonoran black iguana is the fastest lizard on earth and has been recorded running at speeds of up to 30 mph.