Save the Date! June 4: Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo open to the public

Know Before You Go:
In order to ensure the safety of staff and guests, we've made modifications to the Zoo experience in accordance with public guidance and health recommendations. Please be sure to review the following Re-Opening FAQs for FPZ and SZ before your visit.

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Green Iguana

Iguana iguana

About the Green Iguana

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Geographic Range:

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Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Iguanidae
Genus: Iguana
Species: iguana

Green iguanas are arboreal (live in trees) and diurnal (active during the day). They have long legs for climbing, and long claws for both climbing and defense. Excellent swimmers, iguanas prefer to be around water. They will dive beneath the water to avoid predators.

Green Iguana Facts

Appearance:

Green iguanas have large, round, smooth scales on their throats below their ear opening and a large dewlap under their chin. Their green coloration provides camouflage. They have a row of spines running down their back and onto their tail. Iguanas have long legs for climbing, and long claws for both climbing and defense. They also use their long tails as a whip for defense. Males have massive heads and jaws and well-developed spines. Young iguanas are bright emerald green in color.

Size:

Can grow up to 6 feet and weigh up to 17 pounds

Diet:

Adults eat primarily flowers, leaves, fruits, insects and eggs.

Behavior:

Green iguanas are arboreal (live in trees) and diurnal (active during the day). Excellent swimmers, iguanas prefer to be around water. They will dive beneath the water to avoid predators.

Reproduction:

Green iguanas tend to breed in the dry season. During the breeding season, males become territorial and display head-bobbing, dewlap extension, and color changes. Females may also display some of these behaviors when nesting sites are limited. The female creates a ground nest in which 20 to 70 eggs are placed. Females migrate to the same nesting site for several years in a row, and then travel back to their home territory once their eggs are laid. Incubation takes approximately three months. Most iguanas reach sexual maturity between three and four years of age.

Median Life Expectancy:

Eight years in the wild

Habitat/Range:

Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, and southern Brazil