Green Iguana

Green Iguana Iguana iguana

Type of Animal:

Tropical forest, coastal areas, urban/suburban areas, mangrove swamps, watercourses, rural areas

From S. Mexico to C. Brazil, Paraguay, & Bolivia. Also native to parts of Caribbean. Introduced to Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, S. Florida, S. Texas, & Fiji.

Males larger than females & have larger crest & dewlap than females. Jowls on cheek more noticeable in male. Colors range from green to red, lavender, black, and pink depending on area of range. Long tail at end used in defense. Males have more noticeable spines. Claws used to stick onto trees.

Greens, fruits, vegetables, leaves, flowers, crocodilian eggs

Status in Wild:

Breeding on farms, zoos, aquariums, & wildlife parks. Being farmed for meat.

Solitary or small groups of 2-8 females w/ or w/o a male

Additional Info:


Male-8.8 lbs
Female-2.6-6.6 lbs
Young-0.2-1 lbs

2 months

Male-1.6 ft
Female-1.4 ft

Body Length:
Male-6.5 ft
Female-4 ft
Young-0.5-2.25 ft

Life Span: 
9-10 years in wild, up to 20 years in captivity

Tail Length:
Male-3.25 ft
Female-2 ft
Young-0.25-1.125 ft

Main predators of adults are jaguars, crocodilians, large snakes, eagles, hawks, foxes, & bush dogs. Ocelots, tayras, margays, jaguarundis, snakes, large predatory fish, piranhas, owls, falcons, many wading birds, weasels, coatis, rats, & lizards prey on young and eggs.

Males known to be very intolerant towards each other & often fight to the death by biting at each other if they cross paths. Head-bobbing also done when this occurs. Females sometimes fight over nest-sites.

Each female lays 12-40 eggs each breeding season. Young fend for themselves after hatching.

Very good swimmers & leapers, being able to land on ground from 40 ft high.

They’re diurnal animals, active during the day.

They make a call if birds of prey are approaching.

Fun Fact(s):
Known as “bamboo chicken” in C. America, due to chicken-like taste.

Very common in pet trade, even though they’re not beginners’ pets due to size.

Well-mannered for most of year but can get aggressive during breeding season. This applies more to males but can apply to females too. Females can get aggressive when guarding eggs.

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