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Native Habitat

Different Regions Green Iguanas (Iguana Iguana) are found naturally from the southern most parts of Mexico south to South America in the Northern Parts of Paraguay, and including all points in between. Iguanas are arboreal which means the live primarily in the treetops for the majority of their lives. In fact, adults will rarely come down from the tree tops. Iguanas thrive in the lower forest areas as opposed to the higher mountains because of their need for warmer temperatures. Iguanas are also dinural, meaning that they are active in the daytime. They are becoming problem animals as ‘wild’ populations are expanding in Hawaii and southern Florida. Once established in these areas, they cause problems and can actually eradicate the native flora and fauna. Iguanas are actually banned as pets in Hawaii, as well as any non-native species.

Where is my Iguana from? While these following descriptions are good guidelines, they are not definite to tell where your Iguana is from. This following chart is taken from the book “Green Iguana: The Ultimate Owner’s Manual” by James W. Hatfield III and can be found on pages 40 and 41 of that book.


Mexican

 Main Body color is typically green on hatchlings, but turning brownish orange on the arms and other parts of the body as the Iguana gets older

 Long spines

 May have small horn-like protrusions on the snout.

 Long, pointed snout

 Longer rather than wider bodies (SVL Usually greater than bulkier looking South American Iguana.)


South American

 Roman Hump-type nose (short snout)

 Tend to have shorter spines

 Less orange color, often with blue to bluish tones or other colors.

 Face scales may have black outline that gives a more dramatic look.

 SVL often less than the Mexican or Central American counterparts, but with a sturdier, huskier body.


Central American

Central American

No Iguanas are currently being shipped from Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras or Nicaragua. The Iguanas coming from Guatemala and El Salvador are Farm-Raised animals. Because Central America is a small area, there are not many dramatic physical differences between these and Mexican Iguanas.

*SVL = Snout to Vent Length


Back to Care Main
Chapter 2: Choosing an Iguana
Explains how to choose a healthy iguana and where to go instead of a pet store.
Chapter 3: Getting Started
Covers Supply Shopping, short cuts, and setting up the home
Basic Husbandry
Vet care, Diet, Heat, Humidity and Lighting
Behavior
Behavior and Taming
Sexuality and Reproduction
Basic concerns dealing with the needs of male and female iguanas
Health concerns
Addresses health concerns for both human and Iguana