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Black Coloration in the Dewlap, Should I Be Worried?

Discussion in 'Green Iguanas' started by CryHavoc17, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    Ok so this has been bugging me for a while. Ive been searching through my iguana resources for weeks and haven't seen this discribed anywhere. My juvi iguana Otis has been in my care for 8 months now. When I first brought him home his colors were very vibrant. Lots of bright oranges and blues and whites (see attached photo), particularly in his head/neck/chest/dewlap. Since he has been in my care his colors have changed quite a bit. The blues and whites have faded a lot, and the bright oranges have turned into more of a dark rusty brown color. All of this seems consistent to me with the normal color change I expected to see as he matured, with the exception of his dewlap. His dewlap is shot through with dark black, and has been for several months now. It happened over the course of several sheds, getting darker and darker each time. It seems to pretty much have held off now. It doesn't seem any darker post shed, but there is a degree of variability in it. Some days it will be significantly darker than others. This black coloration is completely contained to his dewlap, it doesn't occur anywhere else.

    Basically I feel like there are three possible causes of this: skin problems, chronic stress, and normal coloration.

    I don't feel like its a skin issue, because it hasn't gotten any worse or expanded to other parts of his body. Also when I handle Otis (pretty rarely, maybe once a month) I always am looking for possible skin problems, and his dewlap feels like healthy normal skin to me.

    Chronic stress is a very real possibility. Otis is a wild caught native florida iguana, and he hasn't tamed down at all over the course of 8 months or adjusted particularly well to captivity. He eats, poops, sheds, sleeps, and basks normally, but is still highly stressed out by human interaction. Its something I struggle to find balance on, trying to work with him enough to make some progress, while still giving him enough privacy to do his iguana stuff. He still after 8 months has never allowed me to watch him move or eat when he knows I'm in the same room. Things like hand feeding or getting him used to my hands near him still feel like a long ways away.

    It could also just be his normal colors. I have no idea.

    If you guys want me to give his husbandry rundown I will, but I'm sure you won't find anything off.


    The first picture is the best head shot of him I had taken from the day I brought him home. The other two are from today, one with and one without flash
  2. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    I don't know a thing about iguanas... But what's up with the brown patches/infected looking skin on his back in the second and third picture. Is that normal? Looks very odd either way.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I am not seeing anything out of the ordinary.
    The brown patches are normal iguana coloration.
  4. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    Lol ya the brown patches are just his pattern. It was a really bright orange as a baby but it has dulled and considerably. It actually took me studying those pictures myself to realize that there isn't anything wierd going on. All the orange on his body has turned really dark brown, and when I got him his dewlap was the orangest part of his body. So duh, his dewlap is going to be dark.

    In other words, I'm an idiot. Oh well. Hope you guys enjoyed the otis update pics!

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