The desert iguana is a very common animal to be spotted by many. There are even people who would claim that they have seen iguanas in their backyards and which are hiding behind the big rocks. By nature, the iguanas do love to feed on flowers and leaves of several bushes. So that it can take full control of its body temperature, the iguana transposes its color from the gray one to an almost pure white hue. Usually in the morning, the iguana wears the darkest of its color and by midday its changes its color to white so as to avoid feeling very hot.
The desert iguana is known for its scientific name dispsosaurus dorsalis and it commonly thrives in the South Eastern California deserts preferably in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, in Southwest Utah, Southern Nevada, Baja, California, South Central Arizona, Northwest Mexico, and others can be relatively found in the gulf of the Californian islands. For most of its life, the desert iguana is fond of staying in the sandy and arid habitats usually fondling in the creosote bushes and the rocks that they call their shelters. Another place which they find solace in are the already abandoned burrows of those kangaroo rats. In the southern habitats, the desert iguanas can be usually spotted in the deciduous forests and subtropical places.
Description of the Desert Iguana
When the desert iguana matures, its growth ranges from ten up to sixteen inches long. The body becomes rounded and large. The tail grows long. The head becomes brown-colored which specifically follows a netlike outline that is reddish brown in hue. The trunk and the neck of the desert iguana contain tan and grayish spots. Meanwhile, its tail possesses some white or grayish spots. During the most extreme hot periods, the desert iguana climbs into the bushes to seek for cooler areas. But despite the condition of the climate, the desert iguana remains active even during 115 degrees F.
Since the desert iguanas seek refuge from the bushes, they are known to be vegetarians. They are classified to be herbivores as they do eat fruits, buds, and the leaves of most of the desert-existing perennial and annual plants. They are also very fond of the yellowish flowers of the creosote bush. It eats insects, the feces of the lizards and the mammals, and the carrion as well. More so, the desert iguana is not endangered.
The desert iguanas move swiftly. They are always spotted crossing the roads in a very fast pace and just simply ahead of the passing cars. Their back legs are really that powerful which therefore allows them such movement. Among their predators are the foxes, birds of prey, weasels, rats, snakes, and then the human beings. The eggs of the desert iguanas are also being attacked and eaten by most animals.
The Desert Iguana’s Breeding Season
At the middle period of the month of March, the desert iguanas start to come out from its long period of hibernation. The breeding season for the desert iguana happens in between April up to May. In between the months of May and June, the desert iguana is expected to lay two to ten eggs that will be hatched by the later part of July till August. All throughout the breeding season, the adult desert iguanas have that pink color at the side of their bellies.
I am almost 5 months pregnant and thinking of getting a pet iguana. I’ve owned one in the past and love them!! I realize the risk of salmonella, so I know to keep my hands clean and let the hubby tend to the cage cleaning. As long as I am cautious, would it be safe to own one?
Iguanas are arboreal, they prefer to stay in a large and wide ecosystem. Iguanas also tend to spend its time high up in tall trees. It is because their enemies or predators will not be able to follow them up in high trees. Most iguanas can easily hide from their enemies, by climbing jumping down into the ground without getting hurt.
But today, the lives of iguanas are in danger. Some of them are being caught and eaten by wild animals.
If you’re an animal or pet lover you can help these iguanas to survive against predators and help them from being extinct. You can do this by taking care of iguana, by just having at least pair.
Handling of iguanas needs proper planning. There are some things to be considered.
The first and most important thing is building a cage or enclosure. You must provide them with a good place where they can roam while having the freedom they enjoy in the wild.
Here are some more tips in building a great home for your iguana.
1. Look for a cage that is spacious and secured. A large room or a big closet can be a good place where they can roam. You can add artificial plants and branches where they can climb and hang over. If your iguana is still young, be sure to make the appropriate size of the cage. A smaller one with no hole is recommended so that they’ll not escape from the cage. When your iguana grows and get habituated to his new home, you can expand the area so that it will not look crowded.
2. Another thing to consider in building an iguana cage is the air circulation. Look for a cheap but comfy closet with proper air circulation. You can put a small, low-cost and quiet fan that will help regulate the air and raise the temperature and humidity inside the cage. A closet which has a good flow of air can also prevent the growth of mildew. But in case a mildew problem occurs, you can simply wash the walls using water and bleach.
3. During the night time, you can use a heating pad to warmth your iguana. Look for a light bulb that consumes less electricity. You can simply screw a 75 watt bulb on the wall of the cage.
4. Let your iguana adapt first to the new enclosure. Iguanas might get traumatized or hurt themselves if placed in a new environment. Iguanas normally react if placed in a new enclosure by rubbing and scratching the walls. It is advisable that you stay with your iguana as they explore. Try to bond with your pet until he gets acquainted with his new environment.
5. Be cautious on the electrical connections positioned on the enclosure. All wiring must be carefully situated in areas where your iguana can’t reach them. Iguanas are intrusive creatures, they will try to jump and climb up on accessible wirings and hot light equipments.
6. Lastly, keep your enclosure away from pests. Remove left over foods as soon as possible. Remember that cleanliness is the most essential factor to prevent possible problems.
Building a cage for your iguana can be simple and fun. Just follow the steps above and surely you’ll have a perfect enclosure for your pet.
I also have indoor cats and dogs (cats are not declawed and I have two Golden Retrievers). Is this a good idea or am I inviting trouble? Anyone with experience with this, please advise.
If there are baby dogs, cats or rabbits, then there are also baby iguanas. It is during this stage that these iguanas appear in their most fragile and need your loving care the most. Although they appear like they are easy to take of in their small appearance, proper precaution is needed so that they will be healthy in their older years.
Just like any juvenile pet, there are certain requirements that you need to provide for your baby iguana. Although they are not as meticulous and as herd to get as any other pet food, you should also consider if these things will be perfect for your iguana. You do not want them to become sickly and eventually die even before you see them in their full sizes, now do you?
Here are some of the important factors you need to consider when taking care of your baby iguana.
Not just any other type of cage will do. Though it does not matter what kind it is made of, you need to consider what should be inside the cage that the iguana will need.
An example is having something in them that will keep your pet warm during the night. Check out for carpeting or artificial turf to cover the flooring area of the cage. If you do not have the budget for it, you can opt for newspapers because they work just as well.
Since iguanas live on trees, you need to set up some branches for your pet to climb on to. Climbing on branches will form part of their leisure and movements. Just make sure that the branches are stable enough to hold their weight in case they lay down on them.
Baby iguanas should always be warm in order to stay healthy. Since you have no way of telling this just by looking at them, you can put a thermometer inside their cage so you can monitor the changes in the temperature inside the cage.
Make certain that you maintain a temperature of 70 degrees during the night and 85 degrees in the day. It is also a good idea for the cage for its shelter to be placed near a source of heat. You will see that your pet is inclined to have a comfortable rest if they stay close to that heat being radiated.
Special monitoring of temperature is required during the cold season. Check the shelter regularly. You would not want your pet to freeze to death without you knowing.
3. Food intake.
Baby iguanas need to have a diet that is rich in Vitamin D3, phosphorous and calcium. Lots of greens are also needed. You can also give them vegetables and fruits that you yourself are consuming.
Baby iguanas are not used to being fed any kind of food. Their digestive system is not as strong and as flexible as cats or dogs. Know what kind of food they can take and what they cannot.
Your baby iguana can grow up healthy and strong just by taking care of them the way you do any kind of pet. If it is absolutely necessary, you can consult a vet that specializes in iguana for things that are far beyond your comprehension. They will be able to give you sound advices regarding your baby iguana and the things that you need to do.
He seems to like it although he can get into the shelter area of his cage. He is just sitting on his deck outside of his cage in the rain.
my iguana has a piece of skin that has yellow and dark colors on its neck.some iguanas has this spot that hngs form it neck. thats where its growing the scab.what do i do?
does anyone know where i can buy a pet (safe) iguana… i really want one.. and i already had one but it was a gift and i dont know where it came from lol .. but it ran away in my backyard, through a hole in the fence!…
I’ve heard of it being done but I never knew how, I would really like a pet iguana and I want it to be litter box trained.
Does anyone know how fast they grow?