What do iguanas eat?

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The iguana It is a very striking animal that has earned a place as a companion animal in many homes. Whether in vibrant or dark colors, her appearance makes her a very curious companion. And in order for them to stay healthy and happy, one of the elements that must be taken care of the most when having them at home is their diet..

¿You know what iguanas eat? Lettuce and some fruits may seem like the right answer, but the truth is that they need a lot more than that. In the following AnimalWised article we teach you how to offer proper nutrition and explain what iguanas eat. ¡Keep reading!

You may also be interested in: Green iguana diet Index
  1. The iguana as a pet
  2. What do baby iguanas eat?
  3. What do young iguanas eat?
  4. What do adult and elderly iguanas eat?
  5. What do green iguanas eat?
  6. What does the black iguana eat?
  7. Complete list of recommended and prohibited iguana foods
  8. What do iguanas eat in their natural habitat?

The iguana as a pet

The iguana is a reptile of the Iguanidae family found in Latin America and the Caribbean. It lives mainly in humid forests, where it prefers to live in trees, since it is a excellent climber.

Is a oviparous animal, that is, it reproduces by means of eggs. Although their diet is mainly herbivorous, it varies in the different stages of their life, so below we explain what is most recommended for them according to their age. And to expand your information about the care of an iguana beyond feeding, do not miss this article: "The iguana as a pet ".

What do baby iguanas eat?

The baby iguana needs eat twice a day, forever fresh food and very small chopped or grated. The most advisable thing is to let it sunbathe right after eating, as the rays help it to metabolize the ingested food and assimilate the nutrients.

95% of the baby iguana's diet should be greens and leafy greens, while only 5% fruits and I think special for iguanas. In this way, the basis of your diet should be made up of:

  • Alfalfa
  • Zucchini
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Papaya
  • Pumpkin
  • Jewish
  • Pear
  • Cantaloupe
  • FIG

Similarly, avoid citrus fruits, such as orange, lemon and kiwi, as they are very acidic for the digestive system of iguanas. Foods such as carrots, lettuce, bananas, and grapes are offered only occasionally, while Brussels sprouts, celery, beets, and cauliflower are prohibited. In addition, you should never give him meat, eggs or dairy products.

Baby iguanas can eat too I think for iguanas, preferably softened with a little water, but only once or twice a week. Do not forget that the variety of your diet is the key point to keep it healthy.

Some vitamin supplements of phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D can also be administered, but occasionally and always under the supervision of a veterinarian.

What do young iguanas eat?

As we already mentioned, the diet of these reptiles varies according to their age. That is why, from being completely vegetarian when they are babies, as iguanas move into youth they change their habits to eat not only fruits, plants and vegetables, but also some insects. Of course, as Albert Martínez and Joaquim Soler indicate in their book The Big Book of 100 questions about reptiles[1], this type of food must be offered very sporadically, since it is not the ideal food for iguanas.

However, in captivity it is difficult to give live insects. You can offer some that you find in the garden, always small, in a proportion of once or twice a week. Avoid dry or flaky food such as the one sold in pet stores, such as flies or mosquitoes, as it is usually recommended for fish and turtles.

Like baby iguanas, the young ones feed a couple of times a day, although in greater numbers. ¿How does the proper proportion of iguana food? It will depend on each individual. An easy way to tell is to offer the container with the food and, if you leave food behind, it means that it is too much; so you can determine the amount, since they eat until they feel satiated.

What do adult and elderly iguanas eat?

When they reach adulthood and for the rest of their life, including old age, the iguana is completely herbivorous. Vegetables, fruits, and leafy greens make up your entire diet.

To be healthy, they need at least 40% of what they eat to provide them calcium, such as tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, parsley, strawberry, melon, and pear. The special feed for iguanas is also recommended, but in proportions of maximum twice a week, so that you can offer it as a reward. You can also give grains and cereals like brown rice, once a week and in a proportion of only 5% of the iguana food you give it.

As in the other stages, if you wonder what iguanas eat and what foods are prohibited, during adulthood and old age you should not give him meat, dairy products, much less feed recommended for other species, such as dogs, cats or rabbits. Remember that these types of products are formulated differently for each animal.

Some wild flowers They can be recommended for iguanas, but only if you are sure that they do not contain pesticides or other chemicals, and as an additional supplement to the diet.

What do green iguanas eat?

The green or common iguana (Iguana iguana) only feeds following a herbivorous diet, managing insects can cut their life expectancy in half. In the wild, they eat leaves, flower buds, and some fruits. At home you can prepare portions of food that contain:

  • Parsley
  • Alfalfa
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Cantaloupe
  • Zucchini
  • Figs
  • Banana with skin

Sporadically, In addition, you can add to the iguana's diet:

  • Carrot
  • Watercress
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Bean sprouts

Never offer onion, cauliflower, peas, grapes, or citrus.

What does the black iguana eat?

The black iguana (Ctenosaura pectinata) is native to Mexico and inhabits rocky and coastal areas, so if you wonder where these iguanas live, here is the answer. However, it is currently also possible to find it in the United States. It's found in danger of extinction, both for the destruction of their habitat and for their hunting to consume their meat.

During his baby stage and up to seven months, the black iguana it is omnivorous, reason why it feeds on insects and plants mainly. Arrival the adulthood and even in turn, it is herbivorous.

Complete list of recommended and prohibited iguana foods

Throughout the article we have mentioned what iguanas eat based on their age or species. However, below we show you a complete list of the best foods for iguanas:

  • Boiled rice
  • Alfalfa
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Spinach
  • Cereals
  • Bananas
  • Figs
  • Vegetables
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Seeds
  • Clover
  • Carrot
  • Tomatoes
  • Dandelion
  • Endive
  • Pumpkin
  • Celery
  • Radish

Prohibited foods for iguanas

In the following list we show the least recommended foods for iguanas, which we can give very occasionally or what better we should avoid:

  • Meat and fish
  • Citric fruits
  • Peas with pods
  • Flower petals
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cauliflower
  • Worms, larvae and insects
  • Beans or kidney beans

Calcium foods for iguanas

Since we have commented that the calcium contribution is essential for the correct feeding of the iguana, do not miss this list:

  • Vegetables
  • Watercress
  • Sesame seeds
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Parsley
  • Lettuce
  • Tofu

Supplements for iguanas

In addition to the above, you can add the following supplements to your iguana's diet:

  • Liver oil
  • Bone-meal
  • Cuttlefish bone
  • Calcium supplements
  • Vitamin supplements

What do iguanas eat in their natural habitat?

As you might suppose, the diet of iguanas in their natural habitat is similar to the one you provide at home, after all, a healthy diet is the one that best imitates the diet of the species in the wild; adding, of course, vitamin supplements when necessary.

In the wild, however, it is easier for young iguanas to ingest insects. Occasionally, the black iguana can consume bird eggs and even small mice, that is, if you wonder what the iguana feeds on, you should know that it can also be carnivorous; however, protein is not the basis of their diet.

In the wild iguanas lie down in the sun right after eating, this is a need that you must satisfy when you have one as a pet to ensure adequate absorption of calcium.

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