Iguanas tend to have tall, flat plates jutting from their back like spines, when adult. Several species of this genus are common as pets, especially the Green Iguana in the United States and Canada, which can easily grow to six feet long, even in captivity. When treated well they can be docile, affectionate, litterbox trainable, and even walked on a leash. Such pets are either crèche-raised, or harvested from the wild in Mexico. The average life span of a well taken care of pet iguana is usually 20 years.
Captured iguanas kept as pets tend to be thin and nervous, often dying from side-effects of the stress of adapting to captivity - though if they're given a large swimming area in which to hide, their chances of survival improve, as they live on streambanks in the wild, diving in when alarmed or for other reasons. As they are cold-blooded creatures, they thrive in humid climates. The Green Iguana needs to be in temperatures of 75 to 90 degrees. If it is not kept under UVB lighting it can develop metabolic bone disease.
Iguanas can be considered as an invasive species, along the gulf coast of Florida, especially on Gasparilla Island (where there is an estimated population of over 12000). They commonly hide in the attics of houses, destroy gardens, and burrow in beaches. As an introduced species, they contribute to natural habitat loss, spread salmonella, and could be responsible for the recent decline of the gopher tortoise.
|The small ones were missing one day and I told my Spencer that they had to be hiding in the mangrove trees. It took several minutes before we could see them right in front of us.|
|This large male dove into the water, swam under water 1/2 way across the lake then surfaced and swam the rest with his head out. If you walk by a lake and hear a splash guess what it is.|
|All images © HR Productions
Harry "Chip" Robelen III
1317 SE 13th Terrace, Ft Lauderdale, FL 33316