Sunday 19 May
Giant Hispaniolan galliwasp (Celestus warreni)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Giant Hispaniolan galliwasp fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Giant Hispaniolan galliwasp description
The giant Hispaniolan galliwasp (Celestus warreni) is a large lizard in the Anguidae family. It has a medium-brown upperside, an orange underside and pale sides marked with clear bars (2).
The male and female giant Hispaniolan galliwasp are similar in appearance, but the male is larger with a wider head. However, this difference is only apparent in mature individuals of a similar age. Due to its head shape and smaller size, the young male resembles the female (3).
- Celestus carraui, Diploglossus carraui, Diploglossus warreni. Top
WWF Report - Hispaniolan moist forests
- Active at dusk and/or dawn.
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
- Active at night.
- Producing young which develop from eggs that are retained inside the female’s body and are nourished by their yolk sac until they hatch; the young are then born live.
- Describes an animal, a pair of animals or a group that occupies and defends an area.
IUCN Red List (July, 2012)
- Incháutegui, S.J., Schwartz, A. and Henderson, R.W. (1985) Hispaniolan giant Diploglossus (Sauria, Anguidae): Description of a new species and notes on the ecology of D. warreni. Amphibia-Reptilia, 6(2): 195-201.
Corry, E., Martin, L., Morton, M.N., Hilton, G.M., Young, R.P. and Garcia, G. (2010) A Species Action Plan for the Montserrat galliwasp Diploglossus montisserrati. Department of Environment, Montserrat. Available at:
- Cooper, B. (2009) Prey chemical discrimination by a diploglossine lizard, the giant Hispaniolan galliwasp (Celestus warreni). Amphibia-Reptilia, 30(1): 135-140.
- Schwartz, A. and Henderson, R.W. (1991) Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies: Descriptions, Distributions and Natural History. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Giant Hispaniolan galliwasp biology
The giant Hispaniolan galliwasp is very secretive, and is thought to be crepuscular or nocturnal. As it has rarely been recorded, little is known about its biology in the wild, and most information has been documented from captive specimens (3) (4).
Giant Hispaniolan galliwasp range
The giant Hispaniolan galliwasp is endemic to Hispaniola, a Caribbean island split into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Most of the population can be found in a single location in northern Haiti. The giant Hispaniolan galliwasp may now be largely absent from the northern Dominican Republic (1).Top
Giant Hispaniolan galliwasp habitat
The giant Hispaniolan galliwasp is typically found in lowland, broadleaf forests that have a moderate supply of moisture (known as mesic forests) (1). It can also live in banana groves and semi-dry woodlands. Thought to be a burrowing species, the giant Hispaniolan galliwasp is normally found among the leaf litter and in top-soil layers, or under stones and fallen trees (1) (3).Top
Giant Hispaniolan galliwasp status
The giant Hispaniolan galliwasp is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Giant Hispaniolan galliwasp threats
Habitat loss, predation and hunting have led to an estimated 80 percent decline in giant Hispaniolan galliwasp population numbers over the last 20 years. One of the main threats to this species is deforestation, mostly due to agricultural activities (1). Lowland, broadleaf forests once accounted for more than half of the vegetation on the island, but almost none now remain intact, and the giant Hispaniolan galliwasp’s habitat is now highly fragmented (1).
Giant Hispaniolan galliwasp conservation
General Law on Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic gives general protection for all its biodiversity (1).
For an effective species recovery and management plan to be put in place, field surveys determining the population size and distribution of the giant Hispaniolan galliwasp are needed. This species is being successfully bred in captivity, and more of these programmes are required to ensure the survival of the giant Hispaniolan galliwasp (1).Top
Find out more
Find out more about Hispaniolan biodiversity:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.