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Green Iguana

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green iguana

green iguana

Name Dutch:green iguana
Scientific name:
iguana iguana
Origin: Central and South America
Age: 20 years
Height: + - 180 cm
Day temperature: 24 – 28°c
Humidity: 60-70%
Activity: Day active
Legislation: CITES B
Climate: Tropical rainforest
Stay: Terrariums
Heat place: 30-32°c
Night temperature: 20 – 22°c
Night humidity: 80 - 90%

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The green iguana is one of the most famous lizards. Because of its large and imposing appearance with large head and high comb that extends from the neck to halfway the tail. The special thing is that this large iguana is a real green eater, from flowers to leaves, for example, and an insect every now and then. Also under the chin start spines that partially extend over the dewlap. By putting out this dewlap, the green iguana tries to impress others. There is an enlarged sublabial scale on both sides of the cheeks. On top of the head, between the eyes, there is a special sense with which iguanas receive light and dark, it can be described as a kind of third eye that is covered by a scale.

Green iguanas are lizards that have extremely good eyesight to map their environment. While walking, the iguanas regularly lick to get even more information. The scent they taste with their tongue is stored in a separate area called the Jacobsen cavity. The green iguana is a true tree-dweller that can easily climb trees and branches with its sharp claws. The long tail is used as a balance organ and to move through the water. But beware, they can deliver huge blows with their tail. In nature they often sunbathe on branches to maintain their body temperature. Green iguanas can become tame animals if a lot of time and effort is put into them. Nowadays, different colors are even offered such as red, blue, albino and Hypo melanistic.

Green Iguana Green Iguana head


Green iguanas must be housed in a spacious way. The animals need the space to climb properly. It is important that several thick branches hang horizontally with combination spots with heat and UVB above where the iguana can lie under to warm up. It should be taken into account that the green iguana grows between 150 and 180 cm and therefore the enclosure for adult animals must be at least 300x200x200 cm. A thick layer of bark or coconut fiber can be used on the bottom. The green iguanas are moisture-loving lizards and it is best to keep the humidity around 70%. A large deep water bowl should also be placed in the terrarium, so that the green iguana can bathe.

Babies to juveniles are best kept in a terrarium measuring 90x45x90 cm, and kept in the same way as adults. Make sure the lamps are well protected so that the iguana cannot reach the lamp to prevent possible burns. Iguanas can be kept solitary or in groups. If you go in groups, it must be 1 man with several women, several men will fight each other for dominance.

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Sex discrimination & Reproduction

The visible difference between male and female can be seen in the femoral pores located on the inside of the hind legs. These are more visible in men than in women. During the mating season, the pores swell and secrete an odorant. Males are often slimmer and have a higher crest that runs high over the back. Unlike the woman who has a more rounded build and a high crest in the neck, this one gets lower between the shoulder blades and continues over the back. The man also has a thickened caudal peduncle in which the hemi penises are hidden.

When the mating season begins, the male will impress the female with violent head cutting, the dewlap will be expanded as much as possible. Some localities can even have a different color. If the female is ready to mate, the male will bite her in the neck and maneuver his cloaca under the female's cloaca and fertilize her. After proper fertilization, the female will develop between 15 and 40 eggs and bury them in a burrow after about 6 weeks. These hatch after about 90 days.

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The green iguana is a true herbivore and due to its elongated gastrointestinal tract, they can digest leaves down to the leaf cell. The diet consists mainly of endive, Chinese cabbage, pak choi, various types of weeds and can be supplemented with specially developed iguana food. It is important to always powder the food with a good vitamin and mineral preparation so that there are no shortages.

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