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Green Iguana

Common Names: Green Iguana, Common Iguana

Scientific Name: Iguana iguana

Distribution: Mexico, Central and South America

Size: Large males up to 6 feet, average adult size is 4 to 5 feet.

Temperament: Varies, most Iguanas become extremely tame, however some individuals can remain shy and/or nasty. Babies and juveniles can be kept in groups.

Hardiness: When properly maintained Green Iguanas are very hardy, long lived and not disease prone. Babies and juveniles have high calcium requirements.

Sexing: Males generally larger, with larger dorsal spines, larger scales beneath ear drum, enlarged femoral pores, and are usually more colorful than females. Babies and small juveniles should be carefully probe sexed.

Food: 60% fruits and vegetables such as papaya, bananas, melons, strawberries, tomatoes, yellow squash, broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, mustard greens, tofu, etc., and 40% moistened high quality dry dog food, rabbit pellets, monkey chow and also insects and small mice. Feed babies and juveniles every day and add vitamin/calcium powder every other feeding. Sub-adults and adults should be fed every 2-3 days, and because of differing requirements should only be supplemented with vitamin/calcium powder about every 10 - 12 days to prevent a calcium overload.

Housing: A minimum 20 gallon tank for babies. Lizards up to 2 and 1/2 feet need at least a 55 gallon tank. Adults require either a large custom built enclosure or preferably a whole or partitioned room. Use a substrate of rabbit pellets, landscape and create basking areas with select rocks, driftwood, cork bark slabs and diagonally placed branches.

Water: For babies and juveniles provide a large shallow pan of fresh water for drinking, soaking and defecation, clean frequently as needed. For mature specimens an occasional soaking in a tub of tepid water will provide a drink and help facilitate shedding. Occasional misting of enclosure is also recommended.

Temperature/Humidity: Day - 80 to 90 F gradient; Night- 68 - 78 F. Misting is recommended about once a week to provide some humidity and to aid in shedding.

Lighting: Exposure to unfiltered natural sunlight is best for synthesizing Vitamin D-3, and calcium absorption. However for the behavioral and psychological benefits provided, full spectrum lighting/U.V. radiation is recommended, especially for babie sand juveniles.

Heating: Green Iguanas need a minimum body temperature of 86 F for proper digestion of food. Incandescent light bulbs with reflectors situated over select basking areas are needed to provide a basking temperature of about 92 F - 98 F. Also, undertank reptile heating pads are recommended for bottom surface and nighttime heat.


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Revised December 2008