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Blue Iguanas as Pets

Blue Iguana

Blue iguanas are found on the Caribbean island of Grand Cayman.  They are well-known pet reptiles on that island.  Sometimes referred to as Grand Cayman ground iguanas, Grand Cayman Blue iguanas, or Cayman Island Rock iguanas, there are currently over 750 Blue iguanas in Grand Cayman.

Blue iguanas like to stay inside rock holes and tree cavities.  Hatchlings stay in nests made by their mothers.  As adults, they are primarily terrestrial.  In the case of Blue iguanas that are kept as pets, they need enclosures that are large and appropriate for the body size of the iguana.

Can you keep a Blue Iguana as a pet?

Yes!  You can keep a blue iguana as a pet.  They may get aggressive when you first get them, but they will develop a friendly relationship with you as they grow older.  It takes time for them to form a bond with humans.

How to care for your Blue Iguana to keep them healthy

Caring for your pet blue iguana is similar to the care required for a green iguana.  Blue iguanas are larger and heavier than green iguanas, so you need to provide them with a larger cage.  If you place your blue iguana’s cage outdoors, they will be healthier and more active than if the cage is kept inside.

The growth of a blue iguana depends upon several factors:

  • The size of their enclosure
  • Keeping a proper temperature inside the enclosure
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
Blue Iguana Healthy

The proper enclosure size

When your iguana is young, they should be kept in a 20-gallon tank, which will provide them with a sufficiently sized home.

As they grow up, you will need to provide some further requirements.  Their enclosure should be 12 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 6 feet tall.

Blue iguanas need a higher enclosure because they jump up to 2 feet in the air.  You need to dig a ground fence at least 2 feet underground because blue iguanas are also known for digging.  If you do not provide a sufficiently sized enclosure, your pet’s size may not increase, and they may face health issues.

Materials for the enclosure: You can use different enclosure materials to build a home for your pet blue iguana.  These include wood, mesh, and plexiglass.  If you wish to provide your pet with a glass cage, make sure the glass cage has sufficient ventilation.

Proper temperatures for the enclosure

Blue iguanas will be healthy if they are provided with a hot and humid environment.  Humidity should stay between 50-70% relative humidity, so the enclosure will need some heat lighting.  Iguanas also like to live on rocky ground.

The temperature should be maintained between 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime.  Nighttime temperatures should be around 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius.

A healthy diet

Pet blue iguanas need to have a healthy diet to grow.  These iguanas are herbivores, so they need to have natural greens and vegetables.  You should provide them with fruits once a week.  Providing fruit on a daily basis will lead to diarrhea.

The following vegetables are healthy for your pet blue iguana:

  • Collard greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Dandelions
  • Yellow squash
  • Whole green beans

It’s important to avoid high protein vegetables.  Protein is not meant to be part of your pet blue iguana’s diet.

The lifespan of the Blue Iguana

Blue iguanas live from 20 to 40 years in the wild but can live up to 69 years with human care.  Their lifespan is increased when they are domesticated because they receive care when they are ill, have a consistent environment, supplements, and are safe from predators.  They are considered one of the longest living species.

The size of the Blue Iguana

Blue iguanas are one of the largest reptiles in the Western Hemisphere.  Adult male blue iguanas weigh about 13.61 kg, whereas adult female blue iguanas weigh about 10.89 kg.

The length of an adult male blue iguana is around 60 inches. (1.52 m or 5 feet) from nose to tail.  Adult female blue iguanas range in length from 3.5 feet to 4 feet (1.22m) from nose to tail.

Are Blue Iguanas aggressive?

Yes!  When you keep a blue iguana as a pet, they are likely to be aggressive when they are young (for the first month after hatching).  As they grow, they get bolder, friendly, and less aggressive.

Aggressive Blue Iguana

Activities of Blue Iguana

  • Blue iguanas are not social reptiles.  They only get together to mate.  After mating, female blue iguanas become more aggressive.
  • These iguanas are active during the daytime and sleep and hide inside rock holes, caves, on trees, or inside their cage at nighttime.
  • They like to bask in the early morning sunlight.
  • They are known as terrestrial animals (animals that live on land).  They like to climb trees 15 feet (4.6 m) and higher.  Young blue iguanas are more likely to be arboreal (like to live in trees).

Mating habitats of the Blue Iguana

Blue iguanas lay eggs after they are four years old.  Forty days after mating, female blue iguanas will dig a hole in the ground as a nest to lay their eggs in.  They will dig the hole where it is exposed to sunlight.

The clutch size of a blue iguana ranges from one to 21 eggs.  The temperature of the nest should be around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  The incubation period, which is 65 to 90 days long, must happen at this temperature.  The blue iguana’s eggs are the largest eggs of any lizard.

Communication of the Blue Iguanas

Blue iguanas head bob to communicate in the following situations:

  • They feel threatened
  • They are stressed
  • They are happy
  • They are excited
Blue Iguanas

Predators of the Blue Iguana

Hatched blue iguanas are afraid of snakes from the minute they dig out of their nest.  The predators of pet blue iguanas are as follows:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Rats