Habitat Sweet Habitat: Green Iguanas

Setting up a habitat for your new green iguana? Here’s what you need to know.

Choosing a Habitat

  • Green iguanas originate from the tropics and are arboreal (tree dwelling).
  • They are best housed individually.
  • Adult green iguanas require a large, tall, screened enclosure (minimum 5’-6’ tall x 3’ wide). Juveniles can be housed in a 30-40 gallon terrarium, however they will quickly outgrow it.
  • The habitat should accommodate a hide house, food and water dishes, and décor for hiding and climbing.
  •  Iguanas are ectothermic (cold-blooded) and need to thermoregulate.
  • Providing multiple levels in their habitat is the best and easiest way to allow them to thermoregulate. The iguana will move to varying temperature levels.
  • Ensure the habitat is secure to prevent escape.
  • Green iguanas enjoy basking on high branches.

Heating & Lighting

  • A temperature gradient habitat must be provided, as well as a basking spot so your green iguana can regulate his temperature.
  • The habitat should be equipped with multiple thermometers; one on the cool side and one near the basking spot.
  • During the daytime, the cool spot should have an ambient temperature of 80-85°F (26-29°C), and the basking area should be 90-95°F (32-35°C).
  • Nighttime temperature should be 65-75°F (18-24°C).
  • A ceramic heat emitter is the best approach to keeping a large enclosure warm at night.
  • Green iguanas are from a tropical environment and require medium/high humidity (65-75%). Proper humidity levels can be reached by spraying your iguana and the inside of his enclosure several times a day. A hygrometer should be installed in the habitat to monitor the humidity level.
  • Exposure to a UVA and UVB light designed for reptiles is extremely important. Green iguanas require a UVA/UVB (ultraviolet light) fluorescent bulb for 12 hours per day.
  • It is important that UV-producing lights be directed through the screen top as glass can block the UVB rays.
  • A consistent light-dark cycle (12 hours of light) must be provided.

 Shopping List

❏ Tall habitat (40 gal for juveniles, larger for adults)
❏ Secure screen lid
❏ Branches and rocks for basking and climbing
❏ UVA/UVB bulb and fixture
❏ Basking spot bulb and fixture
❏ Infrared heat bulb and fixture (if needed)
❏ Blue bulb for night viewing
❏ Ceramic heat emitter and fixture (if needed)
❏ Natural bark or reptile carpet
❏ Hide house
❏ Two thermometers
❏ Hygrometer
❏ Reptile calcium supplement with vitamin D
❏ Food and water dishes
❏ Spray bottle for misting
❏ Commercial diet
❏ Vegetables, fruits

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