Iguana in South Florida

"Iguana in Enchanted Forest Park in North Miami Florida"




The Green Iguana or Common Iguana (Iguana iguana) is a large, arboreal herbivorous species of lizard of the genus Iguana native to Central and South America. The green iguana ranges over a large geographic area, from southern Brazil and Paraguay to as far north as Mexico and the Caribbean Islands; and in the United States as feral populations in South Florida (including the Florida Keys), Hawaii, and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

A herbivore, it has adapted significantly with regard to locomotion and osmoregulation as a result of its diet. It grows to 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) in length from head to tail, although a few specimens have grown more than 2 meters (6.6 ft) with bodyweights upward of 20 pounds (9.1 kg).

Commonly found in captivity as a pet due to its calm disposition and bright colors, it can be demanding to care for properly. Space requirements and the need for special lighting and heat can prove challenging to an amateur hobbyist.

The term “feral” is used to describe animals that used to belong to someone as pets or livestock, but now live on their own as wild animals. Feral iguanas are common in some parts of southern Florida. To be more precise, the wild green iguanas in Florida are a mix of former pets and the offspring of these animals. Green iguanas are generally thought not to be native to the United States. This places wild green iguanas in the category of “invasive” or “exotic” species — non-native species that have been introduced into a new habitat and which often cause damage to the ecosystem. Florida is overrun with invasive species, most of which come from the pet trade.



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    28 Thoughts to “Iguana in South Florida”

    1. Jules

      this iguana is a gorgeous creature! the fierce look in his eye, his draped bib, and his colors! Thanks, Alan. your fan, -Jules

    2. Alan S. Hochman

      Thanks Jules.. he does have a fierce look in his eye!

    3. Teresa

      What an awwsome creature! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of a blue faced iguana!

    4. Alan S. Hochman

      Thank you Teresa. Usually they are green with black bands, but they do change to reds and blues.

    5. rebecca

      Great shot! Iguanas are brilliant – the colours are great.

      Florida must be home to some amazing wildlife! I will have to visit one day and check it out myself.

      Keep it up! warmest regards,

    6. Alan S. Hochman

      Thank you Rebecca. Florida is a pretty unique place for wildlife big and small! The iguana pix were taken less than 5 minutes from my house.

    7. Ralph1299

      Masterpiece. Keep it up Alan.

    8. Isabel Esteve Bertomeu

      Beautifully colored!!

    9. Alan S. Hochman

      Thanks Isabel. iguana’s are all over the place where I live!

    10. Noah G. Hogan

      So beautiful, too!!! 😀 🙂

    11. Alan S. Hochman

      Thank you Noah!

    12. WildBill

      Nature is beautiful!

    13. Greta Jourdane

      Hi Alan, your site is most interesting, Im a keen reptile enthusiast in Australia, and its sad to see these lovely colourful iguanas that have come from the pet trade, its going to get like this here too. I have had snakes and lizards and now just have one Cunningham skink native to Australia, but he was born in captivity. He’s rarely in his enclosure and he thinks he’s human lol.Your photos are truly amazing, Im pleased to have met you here on twitter, as I will be visiting your site often now. Cheers! Greta Jourdane

    14. Alan S. Hochman

      Hi Greta, Glad you are enjoying the site. Those iguanas live 5 minutes from my house and are fun to watch and photograph.

    15. GladesHiker

      Great photos “in the wild”!

    16. GladesHiker

      I’m very impressed by your shots!

    17. Andrew

      Hello Alan, I have never seen such nice colors on an iguana. Amazing photo!

    18. Gary Weiber

      Another winning photograph.

    19. Shannon Reiss

      A mini Godzilla! 🙂

    20. Alex

      Wow, really a stunning creature. I love how you captured the details so well!

    21. JKW

      I live in So. FL and the greens are on my screens. . . not funny! Blessings, Janet

    22. jane goodwin

      lovely photography, & informative description, captivates interest 🙂

    23. John D

      Alan, that pic is fantastic!!

    24. Janelle

      WOW, Another fantastic photo Alan 🙂

    25. Nice shot of the iguana. Reminiscent of a dinosaur. Shot my first 2 lizards on a recent Africa safari.

    26. Alan S. Hochman

      Shmuel, these iguanas are so commonplace here in Florida.

    27. Jack R


    28. Alan S. Hochman

      Thank you

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