Beauty wears scales

When we think of beauty in wildlife,  we often think of the colourful feathers of birds or the fur of mammals but occasionally beauty wears scales!   As is the case with today’s photo of a lizard on a rock,  captured in the Galapagos Islands.

Originally taken on colour negative film and later scanned into the computer,  the exposure details are long forgotten however it would have been with the Pentax 35mm SLR with an 80-400mm zoom.

I believe this is the Santiago Lava Lizard (Microlophus jacobi)  one of 6 Microlophus species which are endemic to the Galapagos.    (I’m happy to be corrected if someone knows better…KD)   There are several other species found in the western parts of South America,  Chile, Peru, Ecuador.    Like many animals in the Galapagos,  different species have distinctive characteristics depending on the conditions on the individual islands.    The light colour of this species is consistent with it evolving on a mostly sandy island whereas other species that evolved on lava rock islands are darker in colour giving better camouflage in that environment.

female Santiago Lava Lizard on a rock, Galapagos Islands.