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Different Types Of Iguanas: 11 Types Of Iguanas You Need To See

What its an Iguana? With its name, it indicates to you that the iguana is called the genus of reptiles that have large scales, which scientifically belongs to the family of animals of the Iguanidae.

They are reptiles native to the American continent and their presence extends through countries such as Mexico to Brazil, including other countries throughout the Caribbean.

It is a group of large lizards, it is usually normal to see them while they sunbathe on the peaks of large trees, this process is done to warm their body, since they are cold-blooded animals, especially when they are in regions close to water.

Its name comes from a word in another language, called Taino to name this specific animal Iwana. Over the years this species has evolved and there are several types of iguanas with different traits, which are recognized by expert researchers in the animal field.

That is why this time we want to tell you more about the other types of iguanas that you can find in different parts of the world. It should be noted that several of these species are in danger of extinction due to the hunting of these animals either for sport, exhibition, or in some cases to prepare food dishes, typical of these regions.

11 Types of Iguanas

It is common for people to confuse all the species of the Iguanidae but as we told you before, we can observe it is a species of animal that is included in the Iguana family, here we leave you 10 species with their proper specifications so that you know more about the topic:

1. The Green Iguana

The Green Iguana
The Green Iguana

This type of species is the one that is most used for breeding. You find them in Central America and parts of South America and can measure up to 2 meters in length and weigh up to 15 kg. Their skin tone is green, which helps them hide perfectly in the vegetation.

They have small scales and have a dorsal crest that goes from head to tail, it is very showy when they are males. In nature, they usually live in areas with a lot of vegetation and the average temperature is between 26°C and 27°C with humidity that exceeds 71 %.

You can see a dewlap with which they make displays in rituals to defend themselves or mating. This type of iguanas needs specific care when they are kept in captivity, such as being in an acclimatized terrarium, having fresh food, receiving natural light, UV, and are generally transmitters of Salmonella.

2. The Caribbean Iguana

The Caribbean Iguana
The Caribbean Iguana

They are similar to the Green Iguana but have changes in morphology and color, its scientific name is Iguana delicatissima. This species was first seen by Josephus Laurenti, a famous Austrian naturalist in 1768. It is a large lizard, which is disappearing due to the destruction of its habitat.

Their color varies between different populations where they are found, those that are on the island are generally gray with scales in ivory tones, generally tend to measure 80 centimeters, and are herbivorous animals.

Expert Tip: Another very distinctive element between females and males of Iguanas delicatissima is that in the initial area of the tail. In females, this area is completely flat, while in the case of males, a protuberance corresponds to their copulatory organ, also known by the name of hemipenis is appreciated.

Also, it has been determined that this species of iguana survives both in mesic forests, which have relative humidity, and in xeric forests in which humidity is lower than the previous one because they have little rainfall. In general terms, it can be stated that the temperature range in which this animal can develop ranges between 25 C and 36 C.

3. The Fiji Crested Iguana

The Fiji Crested Iguana
The Fiji Crested Iguana

In general, this type of iguana lives in dry forests, it is considered the most endangered species in the Pacific, they have peculiar characteristics, they are light green, have a prominent dewlap, and can measure up to 70 cm. It is a herbivorous animal and has much longer incubation periods than other reptile species.

This species is in danger of extinction also because of the destruction of its natural habitat by fires, agricultural development, and other serious causes, that is why it experiences local extinctions over the years and therefore it is protected in a sanctuary called “Crested Iguana Sanctuary”.

This species of iguana prefers drier climates such as forests, which are disappearing since in most of these wooded regions located in the Pacific with this type of vegetation it is disappearing, being the islands where the highest concentration of this type of iguanas are found.

The favorite food for this species is usually based on shrubs, leaves, shoots, fruits, and some tree flowers.

4. The Fiji Banded Iguana

The Fiji Banded Iguana
The Fiji Banded Iguana

It is a beautiful and imposing species thanks to its extraordinary green color with transverse bands, which help and easily camouflage it on the oceanic islands where they usually live. They have a small crest and have tips that go from the top of their head over the entire back area to the end of their tail.

They are very agile, jump and climb easily. Also, this type of iguana is in danger of extinction. This eccentric animal is part of the national emblem of the island of Fiji. Its habitat is located in hot and humid jungles of all the islands of Fiji and was also carried in the Kingdom of Tonga and other islands of the Pacific.

This iguana is very peaceful and they are capable of living with humans, there are even villages and residents who live with them and treat them with respect.

5. Bulabula

Bulabula Iguana
Bulabula Iguana

A beautiful specimen of this genus of iguana, they are green in various shades and it is what stands out the most from them. This species of reptile was only discovered in 2008 by Australian and North American researchers who were researching in the jungles of the island of Fiji. Its scientific name is Brachylophus bulabula.

As we said before, it is also native to the Fiji islands and usually inhabits more humid forests. It has spiny ridges all over the back of the body, it is a herbivorous animal, having a preference for the “Hibiscus” flowers and some fruits such as banana, mango, and papaya.

6. The Conolophus Pallidus

The Conolophus Pallidus
The Conolophus Pallidus

You only find this iguana in Santa Fe. It is special thanks to its pale yellow color, it has a long snout and has somewhat pronounced dorsal spines. They usually grow to 3 meters and live in burrows to maintain body heat.

Expert Tip: It is a species that is vulnerable and generally threatened, but despite this, the Conolophus pallidus population is one of the populations in the best condition, compared to all iguanas.

They are omnivorous animals but most of the time they feed on small plants, some shrubs, and cacti, from which they obtain their moisture and the water they need to withstand periods of drought. When it is the rainy season, drink the water that dreams of accumulating in some species of flowers.

7. Black Spiny-tailed Iguana

Black Spiny-tailed Iguana
Black Spiny-tailed Iguana

Inhabiting hot and humid climates with a short dry season, these animals feed mainly on vegetation such as flowers and fruits, insects, small frogs, and other species of lizards, mice, and various small birds. Also, in some cases, cannibalism has been observed within these species.

They have aggressive behavior, they are territorial and each iguana defends its territory against another member of the same species, especially if they are male. This species is capable of attacking humans when threatened.

Its main characteristics are that they are large, have a long shape, and are robust have movable eyelids and a long tail with rings of elongated scales, which each is separated by two or more rows of small scales along the tail has a laterally compressed body, it has rows of elongated scales which form a crest.

The head is long and flattened covered with scales of hexagonal shapes of a small size that give a gray and black color.

8. Desert Iguana

Desert Iguana
Desert Iguana

The desert iguana falls into the genus Dipsosaurus Dorsalis and is one of the most common lizards in the areas of the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. It is medium in size and can reach approximately 61 centimeters. It has a pale gray color, it has a row of scales that go down from the small ones to the largest ones.

They usually live in dry places, below 1,000 meters, and on rocky beds. They can withstand high temperatures, they are excellent climbers since they must seek shelter in trees to protect themselves. It is said that they only make one clutch a year and it is a mainly herbivorous animal.

It has various predators to be vulnerable to such as foxes, snakes, birds of prey, and man.

9. The Northern Chuckwalla

The Northern Chuckwalla
The Northern Chuckwalla

You can find this iguana in the southwestern deserts of North America. Its body is large but it is flat and can reach approximately 40 cm and reach 1 kg. The body is covered by small scales, and it usually has a different coloration that depends on its age and habitat.

They are harmless animals and famous for their way of reacting to any threat they swallow air and distend the body from inside the cracks in the rocks. It is a wedge effect that prevents it from being trapped.

Expert Tip: They are very territorial and tend to create a hierarchy between species that depends on their size. They are capable of defending their territories with displays of physical strength and color.

They adapt to the desert they are very active during the day in temperatures up to 38QC. They hibernate and are mainly herbivorous, feeding on cacti and occasionally some types of insects.

10. Rhinoceros Iguana

Rhinoceros Iguana
Rhinoceros Iguana

It is one of the most common of its kind, the Rhinoceros Iguana inhabits dry forests such as deserts, although sometimes they are forced to move to other areas by human action. It is in danger of extinction due to the pressure of man in the environment is considered one of the most aggressive species of all.

It can attack humans if it feels in a threatening position. It can weigh about 5 kg and measure up to 1.11 meters. Their skin has epidermal scales that are rough, brown and grayish, or sometimes olive green. The horns on their heads give meaning to their name, although they are large scales.

The males are larger compared to the females, and the size of the horns is also larger. Their life expectancy is 15 years and they barely lay approximately 11 eggs a year, which makes it difficult for the species to remain. It moves along the ground raising its head in search of its food, in general, it tends to feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, and some seeds.

Although they can occasionally eat insects, crabs, dead birds, and dead fish, it all depends on the area where they are and if they feel threatened, they bring their legs to their neck or make very violent and strong blows with the help of their tail.

11. Marine Iguana

Marine Iguana
Marine Iguana

It is also known by its scientific name Amblyrhynchus and is native to the Galapagos Islands. It inhabits its rocky coasts and is the only Iguana that depends on its marine environment, feeding exclusively on algae. Only adult species swim out to sea while females and hatchlings feed when algae are exposed at low tide.

The male marine iguana can reach 1.3 meters in length and weigh 15 kg, while the females measure only 0.6 meters. They spend most of their time sunbathing on the rocks, even being able to stop or slow down their heart to avoid losing heat without risk.

To prevent salt from building up. they secrete it concentrated in crystals through their nasal saliferous gland.

How many types of iguanas are there?

This type of animal encompasses around 40 different species. It is a very wide world in which many factors, characters, and other specifications vary.

It will always depend on their coloration, size, and other peculiar features, this will vary according to the species, but they all have the same pattern, they are lizards that have 4 legs, with elongated bodies, covered with scales, long tails, and much more.

What are the three main groups of iguanas?

Although there are numerous groups of iguana species, we want to tell you that there are three main groups of iguana species in the world, which are considered the most prominent:

Iguana iguana

It is the most ordinary and common species of iguanas, many know it as “green iguana”, in general, it abounds in forests and cities located in the American tropics, it is much easier to find and see them.

Amblyrhynchus cristatus

This type of iguana lives in the Galapagos Islands, it is also known as a marine iguana, this specimen adapted to sea life and the absence of trees.

Colonophus marthae

A quite different species in terms of physique, it has a pink coloration and terrestrial habits. That is why it is known as a land iguana, it usually lives in regions of Ecuador close to the Galapagos Islands. It differs greatly from marine iguanas.

What is the best type of iguana for a pet?

What is the best type of iguana for a pet?
What is the best type of iguana for a pet?

Although several types of iguanas are known that serve as domestic pets, for many people these types of animals are somewhat exotic and particular. Being able to establish a bond with this class of animals requires work, patience, and a lot of perseverance since generally these animals do not inhabit human societies.

In general, the type of iguana that is used as a pet is the green iguana. This type of arboreal lizard is native to Latin American countries such as Mexico to Paraguay, it is a good pet and can measure approximately two meters long and can reach weighing about 15 kilos.

It is a herbivorous animal, although in its wildlife it can eat some types of small insects that are found between the leaves.

In closing mode, you may have noticed in this guide that there is a lot of diversity in the types of iguana and that most of these iguana species have a lot in common but have traits that they do not share.

It must also be remembered that sadly, most of these species of iguanas are in danger of extinction, due to different causes, many caused by humans. That is why it is important to be well informed about the type of iguana you want to acquire and if its adoption as a pet is allowed.

In addition, it is time to raise awareness and know that there are specimens that it is much better to let them live in their natural environment.

It is better to contribute, helping to protect their environment, respect their daily routines and report any serious case that harms the well-being of any species and thus be able to guarantee their survival and proper reproduction.

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