Sonoran spiny-tailed iguana

Ctenosaura macrolopha

At the Detroit Zoo
The Sonoran spiny-tailed iguana can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the Detroit Zoo. There, visitors can learn about the 61 different species (and approximately 131 individuals) of reptiles at the Zoo, approximately 52 percent of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.

Sonoran spiny-tailed iguana are predominantly black, but their dorsal surfaces 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. Their tails are ringed with rows of sharp, curved spines.

Fun Facts

  • The fastest recorded lizard is Ctenosaura similis, a relative of the Sonoran spiny-tailed iguana, and they can reach speeds up to 21 mph.