Green Iguana

The Green Iguana is a large and colorful reptile that can look absolutely majestic in any home. However, before you decide to buy one, there are a few things you need to consider, including cage size, habitat, diet, and more. It’s also a good idea to see if they like it when you handle them, so keep reading while we take a closer look at the Green Iguana to answer all these questions and more.

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Quick Facts About Green Iguanas

Species Name: I. iguana
Family: Iguanidae
Treatment Level: Expert
Temperature: 85–95 degrees
Temperament: tame but can be very territorial
Color Shape: Green, yellow, blue-grey
Lifetime: 20 years
Size: 4-6 feet
Diet: Herbivore
Minimum Tank Size: 6′ x 4′ x 6′
Tank Setting: Screens, Lights, climbing surfaces
Suitability: Solitude

Green Iguana Overview

The Green Iguana is a large reptile that can grow to 6 feet in length and weigh over 25 pounds. You can find it in a variety of colors despite its name, and it enjoys basking in tree-top sun or nesting in underground burrows. You can find them almost anywhere in Central America and northern South America. Many places in the United States list it as an invasive species, including Florida, Texas, and Hawaii, so you will need to check local laws if you live in these areas to see if selling them is prohibited.

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How much does a green iguana cost?

Breeders throughout the United States have successfully bred Green Iguanas, so you can usually find them for a reasonable price. We recommend setting aside $15 – $30 for your new pet, depending on where you live and how big the breed is. Large companies breed large numbers at once, so costs are lower, and their selection is usually greater.

Unfortunately, the price of the iguana itself is only a fraction of the overall cost associated with owning one. Green Iguanas require large habitats that can be expensive if you don’t build them yourself, and will likely require multiple heating lights to increase the temperature of the enclosure that operates daily, which can significantly increase your monthly electricity costs.

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Typical Behavior & Temperament

Green Iguanas are herbivores that spend most of their time in trees or underground burrows. As adults, these are solitary and territorial animals, so we don’t recommend keeping more than one unless you’re a breed. It prefers to run away when threatened but will whip its tail and claw when cornered. Birds of prey such as eagles eat the Green Iguana, so it has developed an instinct to stop and remain motionless when it hears a bird’s call. Owners can imitate this sound to make their Iguana stop in its tracks while trying to catch it.

green iguana on the floor

Appearance & Variety

Green Iguanas can come in several colors, including yellow, orange, green, and blue-grey. There’s even an albino Green Iguana. It is one of the largest types of iguana, and usually grows to more than 5 feet in length. Females are usually slightly smaller with less prominent scales and jaws. It has sharp teeth for tearing leaves but can cause unpleasant wounds to humans. It also has a white photo sensor on its head which many experts call the third eye it uses to see ultraviolet light, which helps it get the UVB rays it needs to survive.

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How to Take Care of a Green Iguana

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Settings

Cage Size

The hardest part of raising Green Iguanas is creating a suitable environment for them to live in. You will need a screen cage of at least 6′ L x 4′ D x 6′ W. Ideally, the cage will be twice as long. body, so a 12-foot cage is ideal. Green iguanas like to climb trees and can grow quite tall, therefore the height of the enclosure is required.

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You also need to keep a cool area of ​​the cage between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit with a basking area of ​​around 115 degrees so it can relax and collect UVB rays. The heating lamp you use will need to supply UVB light, and you will need to replace it frequently because most lamps stop producing UVB light long before they go out.

green iguana on a branch

Climbing Surface

Your Green Iguana will also need lots of tree branches to climb on and larger logs and rocks to build a house. The more branches, the better, and you don’t have to worry about your pet falling as Green Iguanas can fall dozens of feet without getting hurt.

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Are Green Iguanas Friendly to Other Pets?

Green iguanas are very territorial as adults. It can be very dangerous with its sharp claws and whipping tail, so we do not recommend placing other animals in its habitat. If you are breeding, you will need two habitats and only keep them together during the breeding season.


What’s Feeding Your Green Iguana?

Your Green Iguana will eat mostly leafy greens from a number of plants each day. You can also give them vegetables and flowers at a lower rate. Most experts recommend 60% leafy greens—40% vegetables and flowers. It gets most of its water from its diet and rarely drinks from water sources, so you don’t have to worry about water bowls or fountains.

The biggest concern with the Green Iguana diet is that if calcium and phosphorus levels are not correct it can cause serious health problems for your pet. Foods must have a 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus to be safe, so always seek nutritional information from any food before giving it to your Green Iguana.

green iguana in the tank

Keeping Your Green Iguana Healthy

As long as you provide your pet with adequate habitat and a diet with the right ratio of calcium and phosphorus, your pet will stay healthy and live a long life without many trips to the vet. It’s quite serene and enjoys basking in the sun and munching on the leaves.

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The male will give off a scent that attracts the female during the breeding season. After mating is complete, the female will lay 20–70 eggs in the burrow she digs. The female will not protect the eggs, but once they hatch 10-15 weeks later, the group will stay together as a family for about a year, during which time the male will protect the female and is the only reptile species known to do so. so.

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Is the Green Iguana Right for You?

Green Iguanas can make excellent pets for someone with a lot of experience and a large budget, but it can be a challenge to create such a large habitat and keep it at the right temperature for 20 years or more, so you should give it enough consideration before you buy it. make a purchase. If you can provide the habitat, the Green Iguana makes a fantastic pet that is calm, colorful and fun to watch.

We hope you enjoyed reading our take on these South American lizards and learning some new and interesting facts. If we’ve helped you learn more about this great reptile, please share this guide with Green Iguanas on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay