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Cuban Crocodile - Crocodylus rhombifer : WAZA : World Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Cuban Crocodile

(Crocodylus rhombifer)




Facts about this animal

The Cuban Crocodile has a snout of medium length, about 1.4 to 1.6 times as long as broad at the level of the front corners of the eyes. It has an unpaired elevated area in shape of a triangle in front of the eyes, with somewhat swollen side margins, and extending nearly to the nasal swelling. The colour of the upper body surface is blackish, densely speckled with yellow. The lower surface is uniformly light, without black blotches. The iris is greenish. It can grow up to 4 m, but is usually about 2.5 m.

Did you know?
that farms were established in the late 1950s and 1960s for reproducing Cuban crocodiles for skin and meat production, and that now a relatively large number of animals are produced annually to satisfy demand?


Name (Scientific) Crocodylus rhombifer
Name (English) Cuban Crocodile
Name (French) Crocodile de Cuba
Name (German) Rautenkrokodil
Name (Spanish) Caimán de Cuba
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Ralf Sommerlad



Range Cuba
Habitat Prefers fresh water marshes or swamps
Wild population 3.000 a 5.000, most likely 4.000 (IUCN 2012)
Zoo population 61 reported to ISIS (2009)

In the Zoo

Cuban Crocodile


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 42 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Eric Mas Casas

Why do zoos keep this animal

With its length of 3 m C. rhombifer is an attractive medium-sized crocodilian which is well suited to be kept in zoos. In addition it has considerable educational value, since it is a critically endangered flagship species for the highly threatened freshwater swamps, rivers and lakes in its range. Also an internationally coordinated conservation breeding program would be urgently needed since the species is further threatened through hybridisation with the sympatric living species C. acutus. However C. rhombifer is kept and bred only occasionally in zoos.