The Cayman Islands have mostly small land animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and crustaceans.
There are 4 endemic snake species on Grand Cayman and 2 invasive species. They are all non-venomous and the largest is the rarely seen invasive Corn Snake, which may grow to about 5 feet. The smallest grows to just about 6 inches and is the invasive Brahminy Blind Snake. It is also rarely seen. The most common is the endemic Cayman Racer snake (Alsophis cantherigerus caymanus, pictured). It can grow to over 4 feet, but 3-foot specimens are much more common. These snakes tend to race away (hence the name) if encountered, and in rare cases will rear-up in a threatening manner and flatten their heads if cornered. They have been known to bite, but their teeth are very fine and they barely break the skin. Once captured, they quickly become very docile and are easily handled. They feed on lizards, frogs and juvenile iguanas. A word of warning: if you capture a Cayman Racer snake, chances are it will excrete a foul-smelling chemical which serves as a self-defense mechanism and a deterrent to predators. If it gets on your skin, it washes off easily and is not harmful. The other 3 endemic snake species are the Cayman Ground Boa, Cayman Blind snake and Cayman Water snake.
Grand Cayman has two species of iguana, the native (endangered) blue iguana and the invasive green iguana. You will see the green iguana widely from West Bay through Bodden Town, quite often as road-kill. These large lizards dart across the road and are often run-over and killed by passing vehicles. They can been seen grazing by the side of the road, scaling the walls of condos and hotels or just roaming around. They are a menace, often eating the flowers off plants and leaving their “droppings” wherever they roam. They were first brought to the island through the local pet stores and released by their owners as they grew too large to keep in cages. They breed in early summer and a few months later large batches of bright green hatchlings emerge from their underground nests. Each nest may hold as many 50+ eggs, which are leathery and about ½ the volume of a small chicken egg. The native blue iguana can be seen at the Botanic Park or in its natural environment at the eastern end of the island.
Mammals include various bat species and the agouti, a rodent the size of a small rabbit. It is often referred to as “Cayman Rabbit” and is sometimes eaten, usually as a stew.