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Frequently Asked Iguana Questions

Answers To Commonly Asked Iguana Questions

Frequently Asked Iguana Questions

If you scour reptile forums like Herp Center as much as I do, then you have likely seen the same questions asked over and over again regarding green iguanas. This page has been added to help answer some of the more common questions, while also directing the reader to more information regarding the topic at hand.

Iguana Life Span

If you were to ask 10 people what the lifespan of a captive iguana was, you would likely receive 10 different answers. Captive iguanas average between 8 and 14 years in captivity. This is NOT how long they all live. There are plenty of iguanas who live the better part of the 15+ years that they should be living. The low death rates are typically a result of poor husbandry and improper care. Kidney failure accounts for a large portion of premature death in iguanas. Animal protein coupled with improper hydration is a death sentence for an iguana.

With proper husbandry, lighting, hydration, diet and periodic vet visits your iguana should live to be at least 15+ years in captivity.

Iguana Lighting
Iguana Heating
Iguana Diet
Animal Protein
Kidney Failure
Iguana Hydration
Iguana Vet


STL = snout to tail length whereas SVL = snout to vent length.

Iguana Adult Length

Green iguanas average between 4.5' - 6' STL. The tail of an iguana accounts for roughly 2/3 of its length.

Iguana Cage Size

Iguanas are large animals and require ample space to thrive and be housed properly. The absolute smallest enclosure you should have for an iguana should measure 4' wide x 4' long x 6' tall. If you can't provide an enclosure this size then perhaps you should reconsider owning an iguana.

Iguana Diet - Animal Protein

Animal protein can cause kidney failure in iguanas and should be avoided. Iguanas are herbivores and should be fed a vegans diet opposed to a vegetarians diet.

Iguana Diet
Animal Protein
Kidney Failure

Iguana Sneezing

Iguanas sneeze out the excess salt in their bodies. This is completely normal.

Window UVB

Glass filters out UVB. It doesn't matter if your iguana is basking in front of a closed window all day, it is NOT getting any of the required UVB the sun puts out. Specialty lighting must be provided for indoor enclosures and it must not be blocked by glass, plexiglas or screen with openings less than 1/4". Access to unfiltered UVB is not optional. If the lights packaging does not specifically say that it provides UVB, then it doesn't.


Your iguana is not lonely and isn't interested in sharing its space with another iguana. Iguanas live solitary lives and typically are only social when breeding. Males are very territorial and will defend their space against all intruders.


Author: Richard Brooks