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Emerald Spiny Iguana

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Spiny Iguana Sceloporus Malachiticus

Emerald Spiny Iguana

Name Dutch: Emerald Spiny Iguana
Scientific name: Sceloporus malachiticus
Origin: Central America
Age: 10 years on average
Height: 15 to 20 cm
Day temperature: 23 – 26°c
Humidity: 60-70%
Birth: ovoviviparous
Activity: Active day
Legislation: None
Climate: Tropical
Stay: Terrariums
Heat place: 30-32°c
Night temperature: 20 ° c
Night humidity: 80-90%
Minimum size: 60x45x60cm

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This beautiful iguana lives up to its name! When the male Emerald Spiny Iguana is properly warmed up, it turns an emerald green color and the tail turns blue. they have coarse scales that look like small spines. The Spiny Iguana is a fairly small reptile, they are less than 30 cm long including tail. The lizard is active during the day and is a typical tree dweller, so it likes to climb.

The Spiny Iguana is native to Central America. This lizard is especially common in Mexico. 53 species have been discovered here alone, excluding all subspecies.
The lizard is often spotted in gardens and parks in Central America. The Emerald Spiny Iguana is found at elevations as high as 146 to 3800 meters above sea level.

On average, spiny iguanas live for 10 years (in captivity). Males and females are easy to tell apart, a male has a green glow and a colored belly. In the mating season the male gets a bright blue throat with which he impresses the females. The women do not look nearly as beautiful as the men and are browner in color. Emerald Spiny Iguanas are viviparous, which means that the young are born alive and not in an egg.

No specific experience is needed to keep an Emerald Spiny Iguana. Make sure you read enough or get advice.

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Buy Emerald Spiny Iguana Sceloporus Malachiticus information care facts


Although a spiny iguana does not grow very large, they do need a lot of space. Think of a terrarium with a minimum size of 60x45x60 cm. With a couple this will soon be 120x45x60 cm. The Spiny Iguana loves the sun, therefore UVB lighting is very necessary. The temperature under the hotspot may rise to about 35 degrees. In their natural habitat they like to climb, so make sure there are plenty of climbing opportunities. Make sure that they cannot sit too close to the lamps and burn themselves. The following can be used as ground cover: cocohusk, garden peat or potting soil mixed with sand or bark. This ground cover should be about 20-40 cm deep, so that it can absorb enough moisture.

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Sex & Reproduction

As stated before, determining the sex of a Spiny Iguana is very easy. The man has a green glow and a colored belly. The females are a bit browner in color. The spiny iguana often begins mating around spring. The male waves his head and tail to get the female's attention. When the female accepts this, mating takes place.

Three to four months after mating, the female gives birth to full young spiny iguanas. These are not born in an egg, but in a kind of membrane. The young Emerald Spiny Iguanas are about 7 cm long at birth, so very small! When the young are about 3 months, it is advised to separate all the young, because of aggression among the males in particular.


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The food of the Emerald Spiny Iguana consists of living food animals such as: crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches and various types of worms. It is important to add the right minerals and vitamins to the food. This can be done by dusting the food animals with vitamin and mineral preparation.

Adult spiny iguanas can be fed about 3 times a week. Young animals can be fed every day. Think of the size of the animal's mouth, the food animal may not be larger/wider than their mouth.

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