Iguana Answers


F.A.Q.s


15 Frequently asked questions and answers.




Do they make good pets..?...
First of all an Iguana is not the type of lizard to make an ideal pet, they can grow to 5 or 6 feet long can get aggressive during breeding season and need very exacting requirements...for more information read on!

Do they get bigger..?...
Iguanas can grow very quickly. In just a couple of years they can go from a few inches to two or three feet !!, and can ultimately reach 5 or even 6 feet long!! this means you need to plan ahead as to space required now and space required soon!

How long do they live..?...
Iguanas can if treated correctly and fed the correct diet, reach an age of 15 or even older! look on it as a long term pet.

What do they eat..?...
Iguanas are vegetarians (Herbivores). No matter what you hear or read elsewhere, and should be fed a diet of mixed greens. An occasional treat of fruit or flowers, but definitely no meat!! (See care sheet page for full listing of foods)

Can they eat Mice Crickets and Cat Food..?...
As an opportunist feeder an Iguana might try some of these if offered by the owner, but feeding animal protein of any sort can lead to an early death through kidney/Liver failure. This means NO crickets, mealworms, dog or cat food, or baby mice EVER !! A lot of Iguanas have been dying at around 6 - 8 yrs old due to owners feeding animal protein.....any vet worth his salt will nowadays tell you this is outdated information for these herbivores.

Do they need special lights..?...
If you have taken an Iguana into your care then you have a responsibility to ensure it gets the correct care.
Assuming you do not live in a very sunny climate where your Iguana has access to outdoor sunshine daily, you will need a proper 5% UVB tube light for reptiles (not the plant grow light type) which will require changing every 6 months, and a basking light to maintain a correct basking temperature.

Do they need water..?...
Iguanas must have a fresh supply of drinking water daily, you might not see them drinking regular but it needs to be there for when they do....and most also like to bathe in tepid water frequently. Dehydration can be a killer!

Do they need special temperatures..?...
They need a basking spot temperature of around 90 degrees (top maximum 98) with a drop to around 75 degrees for the other area (can be a little cooler at night) this is called a temperature gradient and is important in case the Iguana is too hot and needs to move to a cooler spot (this action is called thermoregulation).

What about a branch to climb on..?...
Iguanas are indeed arboreal (tree dwelling) in natural habitat and enjoy a branch or two to climb on in captivity, this can also enhance a bare habitat to a more pleasing effect, help relieve boredom and assist to maintain good muscle structure through exercise.

Can they get aggressive..?...
Iguanas are normally well behaved even timid creatures mostly, but can become aggressive if suddenly startled and also during their breeding season (always be very careful near fingers or face just in case)

Do they have teeth..?...
Yes Iguanas do have teeth, they are small but razor sharp and are used to perforate the leaves they eat, which they can then just tear off like a postage stamp. See page titled Teeth

Do they vary in colour..?...
Colour is variable shades of green with black banding to a greater or lesser degree, even the same Iguana can vary at different times of day, depending on his mood, or if in the sun. They can also get shades of orangey brown during the breeding season and a greyish colour when about to start a shed (shedding their skin).

Where do they originate from..?...
In the wild Iguanas are mainly from the South American rainforests, with some populations in Central America and there are also now wild feral populations in Puerto Rico & Florida!

What happens in breeding season..?...
When mature, Iguanas go through a breeding season usually around the winter months. This can last about 6 weeks. They can act a little strange during this time and go off food, bite, get agitated, act skittish and have even been known to chase their owners.

What does shedding mean..?...
Iguanas as with most Reptiles do not have the elasticity in their skin cells that for instance mammals have, and so every so often during their growth they have to go through the process of shedding (Mammals and particularly humans shed almost unnoticeably in minute flakes as a continuous process). This is a normal activity and is just a way for the Iguana to grow new skin, which in turn probably means that it is eating and growing normally, This usually starts with the skin taking on a milky or grey appearance, and then starts to crack & peel away, but unlike snakes, Iguanas only shed in areas instead of all at once, so it may be the head and legs followed by the back and tail then the underside etc until finished.


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