Leiocephalus cuneus Etheridge

Barbuda Curly-tailed Lizard (Leiocephalus cuneus)  

This species was described in 1964 based on subfossil bones that had been found one year prior on the island of Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda.  

The species is said to have been the largest within its genus, it might in fact have reached sizes of over 40 cm (including the tail). [1][2]  


The Barbuda Curly-tailed Lizard has survived at least until the 15th century, but died out shortly after the arrival of the first European settlers who also introduced rats to the islands, which again probably killed many of the endemic reptiles.  



[1] David W. Steadman; Gregory K. Pregill; Storrs L. Olson: Fossil vertebrates from Antigua, Lesser Antilles: Evidence for late Holocene human-caused extinctions in the West Indies. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 81: 4448-4451. 1984 
[2] Gregory K. Pregill: Systematics of the West Indian Lizard Genus Leiocephalus (Squamata: Iguania: Tropiduridae). Miscellaneous Publications of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas 84: 1-69. 1992  


edited: 08.09.2019