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Home » Green Iguana Care – Information, Enclosure, Diet & Health

Green Iguana Care – Information, Enclosure, Diet & Health

Known for its striking appearance and arboreal lifestyle, the green iguana (Iguana iguana) has captivated the fascination of reptile enthusiasts worldwide.

This large, herbivorous lizard, also referred to as the American iguana or common green iguana, boasts an expansive geographic range spanning from southern Brazil and Paraguay to as far north as Mexico.

The green iguana’s captive lifespan ranges from 15 to 20 years, although exceptional individuals may live up to 25 years.

Adult green iguanas can reach an impressive length of up to 6 feet, with females generally being slightly smaller. As herbivores, their diet primarily consists of leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits.

reptile iguana white background
Green Iguana
Common NameGreen Iguana
Scientific NameIguana iguana
Lifespan15-20 years (in captivity)
Size as AdultUp to 6 feet in length
Enclosure Size RequirementsMinimum of 6 ft x 6 ft x 3 ft (length x width x height)
Enclosure Temperature Requirements85-95°F (daytime), 75-80°F (nighttime)
Humidity Requirements70-80%

Creating a suitable environment for your green iguana is crucial for its well-being. A spacious enclosure is essential to accommodate their large size and arboreal nature.

A minimum enclosure size of 6 feet in length, 6 feet in width, and 3 feet in height is recommended. Ensure the enclosure provides ample climbing opportunities with sturdy branches and platforms.

Proper lighting and temperature gradients are vital for green iguana health. A full-spectrum UVB light source is necessary to provide the essential UV radiation for vitamin D synthesis.

Basking spots should reach temperatures between 85 and 95°F, while nighttime temperatures can be slightly cooler, ranging from 75 to 80°F. Maintain a gradient within the enclosure to allow your iguana to thermoregulate.

Green iguanas thrive in humid environments, requiring humidity levels between 70 and 80%.

To achieve this, provide a large water bowl for drinking and occasional misting to maintain proper humidity. A hygrometer is recommended to monitor humidity levels accurately.

Iguana Food and Diet
Green Iguana eating

Feeding a nutritionally balanced diet is crucial to support the health of your green iguana.

As herbivores, their diet should primarily consist of leafy greens such as collard greens, mustard greens, and dandelion greens. Other suitable vegetables include kale, Swiss chard, and spinach.

Fruits can be offered as occasional treats but should not make up a significant portion of their diet due to their high sugar content. Suitable fruits include papaya, mango, and berries.

Some foods that should be avoided include avocados, spinach and chocolate.

It’s important to provide a variety of foods to ensure a well-rounded diet. Aim to offer a mix of different greens and vegetables each day, along with occasional fruits.

It’s recommended to dust the food with a calcium supplement to ensure proper calcium intake, as well as a multivitamin supplement once or twice a week.

Feed your green iguana daily when they are young, gradually transitioning to feeding every other day as they mature.

It’s important to monitor their weight and adjust the feeding schedule accordingly to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding.

When feeding, it’s best to offer small, bite-sized pieces of food that are easy for the iguana to consume. Avoid large chunks that may pose a choking hazard.

Handling your green iguana requires care and patience. It’s important to remember that they are primarily wild animals and may not enjoy being handled as much as some other reptiles.

However, with proper socialization and regular gentle handling, they can become more comfortable over time.

When handling your green iguana, support their body and limbs securely to avoid any accidental falls or injuries. Avoid grasping or squeezing them tightly, as this can cause stress.

Allow your iguana to initiate contact and approach you willingly.

Avoid forcing interactions or trying to pick them up if they show signs of stress or discomfort, such as hissing, tail whipping, or puffing up their body.

Offer positive reinforcement in the form of treats or rewards during handling sessions to help associate it with a positive experience.

Gradually increase the duration and frequency of handling sessions as your iguana becomes more comfortable.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for maintaining the health of your green iguana. Find a reptile-experienced veterinarian who can provide proper care and guidance specific to your iguana’s needs.

Signs of a healthy green iguana include clear eyes, smooth skin, and a healthy appetite.

Monitor their behavior and look out for any signs of illness, such as changes in eating patterns, weight loss, lethargy, respiratory issues, or abnormal bowel movements.

Maintaining a clean enclosure is crucial for preventing diseases. Regularly remove feces, uneaten food, and any soiled substrate.

Ensure the enclosure is properly sanitized to prevent the buildup of bacteria or parasites.

It’s worth noting that green iguanas can be prone to various health issues, including metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections, and parasites.

Providing proper nutrition, appropriate lighting, and maintaining optimal temperatures and humidity levels can help minimize the risk of these conditions.

[Green Iguana Care Sheet][Iguana Food & Diet]

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