List of amphibians and reptiles of Barbados

Location of Barbados in the Caribbean

This is a list of amphibians and reptiles found on Barbados, a Caribbean island-nation in the Lesser Antilles. Barbados is largely flat and has been intensively cultivated for over 300 years. This has left little natural vegetation on the island, leaving most species found there restricted to narrow habitats such as wooded gullies.[1]


There are two species of amphibians on Barbados, at least one of which was introduced.

Frogs (Anura)

Tropical frogs (Leptodactylidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Eleutherodactylus johnstonei Lesser Antillean whistling frog, coqui Antillano, Johnstone's whistling frog Least Concern.[2] Widespread throughout the Lesser Antilles. Whether it was a native or introduced is a matter of controversy.[3]
True toads (Bufonidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Bufo marinus Cane toad, giant neotropical toad, marine toad Least Concern. Introduced in the 1830s to control insect pests of sugarcane. Abundant and widespread, particularly in rural areas.


Including marine turtles and introduced species, there are 15 reptile species reported on Barbados, though two are possibly extinct. The Barbados leaf-toed gecko (Phyllodactylus pulcher) and the Barbados threadsnake (Leptotyphlops carlae) are endemic, as was the probably extinct Barbados racer (Liophis perfuscus). A fourth species, the Barbados anole (Anolis extremus), was endemic to Barbados but has been introduced to other islands.

Turtles (Testudines)

Tortoises (Testudinidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Geochelone carbonaria Red-footed tortoise Probably introduced. Only known in captive populations and individuals that escaped from such areas; unlikely that a viable wild population exists.
Scaly sea turtles (Cheloniidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Caretta caretta Loggerhead turtle Endangered.
Chelonia mydas Green turtle Endangered. Seen feeding in waters near the shore. Not recorded nesting on Barbados.
Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill turtle Critically Endangered. Recorded nesting on Barbados.
Leathery sea turtles (Dermochelyidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback turtle Critically Endangered. Recorded nesting on Barbados.

Lizards and snakes (Squamata)

Geckos (Gekkonidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Hemidactylus mabouia House gecko Introduced.
Phyllodactylus pulcher Barbados leaf-toed gecko Endemic. Reported from Ragged Point, St. Philip; its range has not yet been systematically studied.[4]
Iguanas and Anolids (Iguanidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Anolis extremus Barbados anole Originally endemic; introduced to other islands. Widespread and abundant.
Whiptails (Teiidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Kentropyx borckiana Guyana kentropyx, Guyana tegu The only Kentropyx species found in the Eastern Caribbean. Only females are known to exist; the species as a whole is believed to consist only of unisexual clones.[5] Primarily found in central parishes; reported as locally common in St. Thomas and St. George.[6]
Microteiids (Gymnophthalmidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Gymnophthalmus underwoodi Underwood's spectacled tegu
Skinks (Scincidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Mabuya mabouya[7] Regional endemic. Possibly extirpated from Barbados.
Worm snakes (Typhlopidae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Leptotyphlops carlae[8] Barbados threadsnake Endemic. First described in 2008; specimens were previously described as L. bilineatus.[9] The world's smallest known snake.
Ramphotyphlops braminus Brahminy blind snake, flowerpot blind snake Recently introduced; apparently widespread.[10]
Colubrids (Colubridae)
Species Common name(s) Notes Image
Liophis perfuscus Barbados racer, tan ground snake Endangered. Endemic. Possibly extinct, as a confirmed sighting has not been made since 1961.[11]
Mastigodryas bruesi Barbour's tropical racer Recently introduced, possibly through banana shipments. Originally native to Saint Vincent and Grenada.[12]

See also


  1. Malhotra & Thorpe 1999, p. 97.
  2. Conservation status, where available, is from the IUCN Red List and is indicative of the status of the species as a whole, not just populations on Barbados.
  3. See discussion of E. johnstonei in Government of Barbados 2002, p. 61.
  4. Government of Barbados 2002, p. 55.
  5. See Cole et al. 1995. Also extant in northern South America; incorrectly described as endemic to Barbados in Malhotra 1999, p. 97.
  6. Government of Barbados 2002, p. 55
  7. See Government of Barbados 2002, p. 55. Incorrectly listed in Malhotra & Thorpe 1999 as M. bistriata, a species often confused with M. mabouya.
  8. See Hedges 2008 for the first description of this species.
  9. L. bilineatus is reported in Malhotra & Thorpe 1999, p. 98; Government of Barbados 2002, p. 55 states only that its "status is unknown. L. bilineatus is now described as endemic to Martinique.
  10. Hedges 2008, p. 9.
  11. Government of Barbados 2002, p. 55
  12. Powell & Henderson 2005, p. 73. Government of Barbados 2002, p. 55 states that it was likely introduced by accident thirty years ago from Saint Vincent, and that an "incomplete specimen" was confused for L. perfuscus. Reported in Malhotra & Thorpe 1999, p. 98 only as "a new species of the genus Mastigodryas.".


Note: All species listed above are supported by Malhotra & Thorpe 1999 and Government of Barbados 2002, unless otherwise cited.

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