Celestus occiduus (Shaw)

Jamaica Giant Galliwasp (Celestus occiduus)  

This species was described in the year 1802.  

The animals reached lengths of up to 90 cm (including the tail), whereby the males were larger than the females.  

The Jamaica Giant Galliwasp is now extinct, the last catalogued museum specimen was collected around 1860, and no individual was ever seen since. The introduced Mungo (Herpestes javanicus (É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire)) is often blamed for this extinction, but this animal was first imported to Jamaica in 1872.  



[1] Byron Wilson: On the Brink of Extinction: Saving Jamaica’s Vanishing Species. EFJ’s 7th Annual Public Lecture 2011  


Photo: Simon J. Tonge  


edited: 21.03.2018