Animals of Costa Rica

Green Iguana

Category: Reptiles

Social species often spotted in groups. Commonly will grow up to 1.5 meters from head to tail, however, there have been sightings of Iguanas of over 2 meters. Their body is covered in leathery scales, have sharp teeth and short legs. A row of spines extends from their head to their tail. Their tails makeup half their body length and can be detached if caught.

Taxonomy (Iguana iguana)
Spanish Name Iguana verde
Distribution Ranges from South Brazil and Paraguay as far north as Mexico. It has been introduced to Puerto Rico and the US where it is now considered as an invasive species
Behavior Mainly active during the day, and live close to water bodies and are excellent swimmers. Iguanas are both arboreal as well as terrestrial. Iguanas will often be spotted head bobbing which is used as a social interaction to greet one another as well as to court a possible mate
Diet Primarily herbivores, including leaves, flowers and fruit
Reproduction Mating season lasts for several weeks, during which, males become more aggressive. Females will lay anywhere between 12 to 30 eggs in sand. Babies hatch after 90 days when they are approximately 1 foot long and disperse rapidly.
Threats Predatory birds and hunted for meat consumption by humans
At Alturas We do not have any permanent iguanas in our sanctuary, however, are often caring for these reptiles in our clinic/ rehab center.