Iguanas are popular pets among many reptile enthusiasts. Knowing how big they can grow is essential before deciding to house one. You should be aware of their overall size to see if they will fit perfectly in your home and how big a tank you need to accommodate them.
Iguanas can grow quite large, with some species reaching up to 6 inches in length. Although, the overall size of an iguana depends on several factors, such as its age, species, and environment. The most common green iguana can grow 5-6 feet long and weigh over 20 pounds. Female iguanas are relatively smaller than male iguanas, with an average length of 3-4 feet.
How Big Do Iguanas Get?
Iguanas are known for their big size, unique appearance, long tails, and strong legs. They are one of the largest lizards on the planet. Iguana also has a wide range of variety and has 600+ subspecies. The green iguana is one of the most popular subspecies as pets. They can grow up to 6 feet long and 20 pounds in weight, making them one of the largest species of iguanas.
Green Iguanas are also arboreal, which means they spend most of their time climbing trees. They also need a spacious enclosure to live comfortably.
Blue iguanas, also known as Grand Cayman iguanas, are an endangered species that are only found on the island of grand cayman in the Caribbean. The blue iguana can grow up to 5 feet in length and can weigh over 30 pounds. Female iguanas are smaller than males and reach an average length of 3 feet and weigh over 10 pounds. Due to them being endangered, they are rarely kept as pets and are illegal in many parts of the world.
Red iguanas are a medium-sized subspecies of the iguana family. They are usually found in Mexico and Central America. They are usually 3 feet in length and weigh over 2-3 pounds. They are known for their red appearance and spiky tails. Due to their relatively smaller size, they do not require a spacious enclosure. Although, due to their active nature, they need a large tank to thrive in.
Finally, the rhino iguanas, also known as rhinoceros iguanas, are a large subspecies of the iguana family. These lizards can grow up to 5 feet in length and weigh 10-20 pounds. They are known for the horn protrusion on their snouts and are terrestrial creatures.
As rhino iguanas are terrestrial, they will need a tank that is big in length and has an average height. As they will spend most of their time on the ground and hardly climb trees.
Size & Growth Chart
|Species||Hatchling Size (Length)||Hatchling Weight||Juvenile Size (Length)||Juvenile Weight||Subadult Size (Length)||Subadult Weight||Adult Size (Length)||Adult Weight|
|Green Iguana||0.67-0.83 feet (8-10 inches)||0.13-0.25 pounds||2-2.67 feet (24-32 inches)||1-2.2 pounds||3-4.5 feet (36-54 inches)||2-6 pounds||5-6 feet||10-17 pounds|
|Rhino Iguana||0.5-0.83 feet (6-10 inches)||0.06-0.19 pounds||1-1.5 feet (12-18 inches)||1-2.2 pounds||2-3 feet (24-36 inches)||4-8 pounds||3-4 feet (36-48 inches)||8-15 pounds|
|Blue Iguana||0.42-0.83 feet (5-10 inches)||0.06-0.19 pounds||1-1.5 feet (12-18 inches)||1-2.2 pounds||2-3 feet (24-36 inches)||4-8 pounds||4-5 feet (48-60 inches)||10-20 pounds|
|Red Iguana||0.5-0.83 feet (6-10 inches)||0.06-0.19 pounds||1-1.5 feet (12-18 inches)||1-2.2 pounds||2-3 feet (24-36 inches)||4-8 pounds||3-4 feet (36-48 inches)||8-15 pounds|
|Desert Iguana||0.25-0.33 feet (3-4 inches)||0.01-0.02 pounds||0.5-0.75 feet (6-9 inches)||0.22-0.44 pounds||0.83-1.33 feet (10-16 inches)||0.5-1 pound||1.33-1.5 feet (16-18 inches)||1-2 pounds|
|Spiny-tailed Iguana||0.33-0.5 feet (4-6 inches)||0.03-0.06 pounds||1-1.5 feet (12-18 inches)||1-2.2 pounds||2-3 feet (24-36 inches)||4-8 pounds||3-4 feet (36-48 inches)||8-15 pounds|
How Fast Do Iguanas Grow?
Iguanas are one of the most fascinating creatures to have as pets. They have unique appearances, easy to care for, and stark personalities. You should also know how fast iguanas grow before housing them as pets. The growth rate of an iguana depends on several factors, such as its age, health, and species. Iguanas have a slow growth rate, they take several years to reach the age of adulthood.
Green iguanas are one of the most common pets among the species. They can take 2-3 years to reach their full length of 4-5 feet. On the other hand, some smaller species like the rhino iguana can reach their full length in just 18-24 months. The diet that you give to your iguana also affects how fast it will grow. Iguanas are herbivorous and consume a diet containing fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. You should provide a well-balanced diet to ensure their rapid growth and overall health.
You should avoid foods high in fat, sugar, and protein, as these can cause health concerns for your iguana. An unhealthy iguana will have a slow growth rate than a healthy pet.
The environment your iguana is brought up in also impacts their growing rate immensely. You should provide your iguana with a warm and humid environment, as it is ideal for its rapid growth. Iguanas also need UVB lighting in their enclosure to produce Vitamin D3, which is essential for their growth. Lack of temperature regulation and improper lighting conditions can slow down your iguana’s growth.
The overall health of your iguana can also affect its growth. If an iguana is ill or stressed it will not grow as quickly as a healthy lizard. It is important to keep your iguana in ideal condition and ensure they eat a healthy diet. You should also schedule regular veterinary visits to monitor their health closely. This will keep the iguana in a happy and comfortable environment to thrive.
8 Factors That Affect the Growth of Iguanas
Now that we know how fast iguanas can grow, let us look at the factors that affect their growth. Several factors affect the growth of iguanas, such as their habitat, diet, health, and lighting. Here are eight factors that affect the growth of iguanas.
Factor #1 Habitat
Iguanas are descendants of tropical regions, such as Central America, Carrabeans, and some other parts of North America. Iguanas thrive in an environment having warmth, humidity, and adequate shade. You should mimic this habitat in their enclosure, which includes a large space for climbing and basking space. You should also provide a thermoregulator to ensure the temperature inside the enclosure remains at optimal levels.
The temperature inside the enclosure should be between 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area and 75-80 degrees on the cooler side. The humidity should also be around 60-80 percent to keep their skin hydrated and prevent dehydration. You can also use a humidifier to maintain humidity levels inside the tank.
Factor #2 Diet
The diet that you give to your iguana also directly impacts its overall growth. Iguanas are naturally herbivorous and eat a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. You should provide your iguana with a diet that mimics its natural diet to keep them healthy and growing. A healthy diet should contain leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens, and mustard greens. You can also serve them some vegetables such as carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes.
You should keep your iguana from food high in fat, protein, and sugar. Iguanas can also not eat animal foods such as dog or cat food and can be harmful.
Factor #3 Lighting
Iguanas require UVB lighting to thrive, they need this additional lighting to produce vitamin D3, which is essential for their overall growth. Without adequate UVB lighting iguanas can get metabolic bone disease, which can slow down their growth. The UVB lighting should be left on for 10-12 hours a day and the bulb should be replaced after every 6 months.
Factor #4 Water
You should provide iguana access to clean drinking water to assure its rapid growth. In the wild, these creatures get their water from tree leaves and rainwater. Provide your iguana with a shallow dish to drink from and clean it regularly. You should also make sure that the container and water are cleaned and replaced after every feeding session. You can also provide them with a small tank to soak their bodies in if the temperature is too hot. Soaking in clean water can help your iguana stay hydrated throughout the shedding process.
Factor #5 Genetics
Genetics also plays a vital role in the growth and development of an iguana. You should also know that certain species of iguana grow faster than others. An iguana from a known organization and healthy parents will also have a better growth potential than unhealthy or malnourished parents. You should always buy or adopt a pet with healthy genes and no medical illnesses.
Factor # 6 Age
Age also plays a vital role in iguana growth potential. Young iguanas are known to grow faster than adult iguanas. Their growth rate slows down when as they reach the point of adulthood. The age at which iguana will reach their full length also depends on factors such as their health and species. A green iguana can reach the age of maturity in three years, whereas a rhino iguana takes up to eight years to reach adulthood.
Factor # 7 Health
Health is another factor that hinders the growth and development of your iguana. A healthy iguana will grow much more rapidly than an unhealthy one. A sick or unhealthy iguana will grow slowly at the normal rate. Common health problems that affect the growth of your iguana are respiratory infections, parasites, and metabolic bone disease. You should make monthly veterinary visits to monitor your iguana’s health and provide it with a comfortable environment.
Factor # 8 Stress
Stress or environmental stress can also slow down the growth rate of an iguana. Stress can be caused due to several factors, such as improper diet, lack of space, lighting, water, or environmental stress. Ensure your iguana gets a balanced diet and a clean environment to live in. You should also make sure the tank is large enough for an iguana. Check if there are enough hiding and basking spots inside the tank so your iguana can rest peacefully.
How big is a fully-grown adult iguana?
A green iguana can get up to 6 feet long and weigh over 20 pounds. The size of an iguana depends on various factors such as its age, health, species, and environment.
Are iguanas aggressive in nature?
Iguanas are docile creature and of docile temperament. They are easy to care for and a popular pet choice when looking for lizards. However, they are known to get agitated during the mating season or when provoked.
A healthy iguana can get fairly large and weigh over 20 pounds. You should be aware of the size they can grow to before choosing them as pets. Different iguanas species also have different rates of growth and the length they can grow up to. Ensure you provide them with proper care and large enough tank to reside in. If your iguana is growing at a slower rate than the normal range, you should visit a vet as they might have caught an illness.