Giant Lizard of Guna Yala
Dactyloa kunayalae male JH.jpeg

Giant Lizard of Guna Yala

Dactyloa kunayalae

Photo by Jerry and Linda Harrison

This wonderful species of lizard was described as Anolis kunayalae in a paper published in the journal Phyllomedusa, in 2007. Its scientific name was changed to Dactyloa kunayalae in 2018. The second part of its scientific name (the specific epithet) honors the inhabitants of the Guna Yala indigenous comarca in Panama, where one of the lizards used to describe the species was found. Males are easily distinguished from females because they have a crest on their heads. They measure about 10 cm (without the tail) and it can be found in the provinces of Coclé, Colón, and Guna Yala in Panama.

The “Giant Lizard of Guna Yala”, which is the common name that has been attributed to the species, has earned a place in the “Showcase of Biodiversity” gallery, one of the eight galleries of the Biomuseo, a museum located on the Amador Causeway in Panama City. Not much is known about its behavior, so next time you see one make sure to observe it in detail!