Green Iguana: Maintenance and Care at Home

Exotic animals are increasingly being brought into apartments because of their spectacular appearance. It is not easy to create the necessary for a comfortable existence of a lizard, because it is accustomed to hot weather with high humidity, and its natural diet is very specific. You need special knowledge to choose the right food.

Reptile Characteristics

Iguanas are especially large lizards. The length of the largest individuals can reach one and a half meters. The reptile feeds on plants and lives in tropical parts of America. Their distinctive feature is a large and laterally flattened tail, the length of which is 2 times the length of the body. Adult animals do not weigh much. The body weight of the male is no more than 4 kg, and that of the female is 3 kg.

The body of the Iguana is rather slender, covered with transverse rows of scales. Its upper part has a longitudinal ridge. The reptile’s throat is decorated with a leather bag. Its paws are short, and on the toes, there are huge claws that help the animal to climb trees without hindrance.

The bright green color helps the Iguana hide in the rainforest. There are also individuals whose color ranges from purple and reddish to blue. The color of the body is associated with the habitat and age of the reptile.

The lizard has good eyesight, so it is able to see objects at a great distance. It can detect ultraviolet rays, which helps control the amount of vitamin D. In the dark, Iguana can hardly distinguish objects. She also has well-developed auditory organs. Even the slightest rustle of grass will not go unnoticed. The teeth of the animal are sharp, the jaw is equipped with small canines along the edges.

Creatures belonging to the Iguana family differ from other species in the ability to carry out a salt exchange with the outside world. In such animals, urine does not accumulate in the body. Excess salts are released through special salt glands. They are located on the head and look like crystalline powder.

Home Conditions

Keeping and caring for an Iguana at home is not difficult, but in order for the animal to please the household for many years, it is worthwhile to properly equip the terrarium and take care of a healthy diet. Lizards are very sensitive to humidity and temperature conditions.

Terrarium Volume

For reptiles of this type, space is important, so you need to keep the Iguana in a large glass terrarium. The volume of “apartments” for young individuals should not be less than 200 liters. With growth and maturation, the habitat will have to be expanded to 500 liters or more. It is not recommended to buy a large terrarium at once. This can negatively affect the development of a young organism.

It is important to create comfortable living conditions for the Iguana. In the terrarium, a medium-hard mat should be placed on the bottom. It will create comfort, make the movement of the animal more pleasant and facilitate the cleaning process. One-fourth of the terrarium should be water. It is needed both for drinking the lizard and for bathing. It must be placed under a lamp that will control the temperature.

Also, a large, branched snag should be placed in the Iguana terrarium. The lizard will crawl along with it, spending its leisure time. Experts recommend choosing an oak branch since it also acts as a natural antiseptic. The snag must be placed so that its edge is under the heating lamp. This will allow the iguana to independently control body temperature.

Heat and Humidity

The climatic conditions in the terrarium have a strong influence on the health of the reptile. The air temperature in the coolest corner should not be lower than 30 degrees during the day, and at night – 22. In the warmest place, heating above 38 degrees is unacceptable. Do not place the snag closer than 10 cm to the heating lamp, otherwise, the iguana will get burned.

In addition to a heating lamp, you will also need a device with ultraviolet radiation. Place them at the very top of the terrarium. The UV device must be turned on during the day for at least 10 hours. Such lamps must be replaced 2 times a year. These measures are taken in order to avoid the lack of vitamin D in the Iguana’s body.

The ideal humidity for a lizard is 80%. It is quite difficult to achieve such an indicator. Moderate humidity is much more beneficial for an animal than waterlogged air. To monitor performance, it is recommended to install a small fountain or automatic spray in the terrarium. The water trays will not humidify the space sufficiently.

Ventilation is also extremely important for reptiles, so the terrarium should be equipped with openings that can be adjusted. Drafts must be avoided – they are contraindicated in Iguanas, so the location of ventilation holes opposite each other is unacceptable. You need to place them in the upper corner of one of the walls.


In the wild, Iguanas eat the leaves and flowers of tropical plants. To approach the issue of compiling a diet for a lizard at home is a matter of responsibility because it is extremely difficult to make it close to natural nutrition.

List of Recommended Foods for Iguana:

  • turnip;
  • blackberry;
  • parsley;
  • pear;
  • grapes;
  • radish;
  • Bell pepper;
  • peas;
  • beans;
  • leek;
  • dandelions.

The reptile’s diet should be as varied as possible. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs can be given. Food must contain essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, without which the animal will not be healthy.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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