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Iguana iguana                                                   Photo Fiona Sunquist ©

Green iguanas are not native to the United States, but in the tropical climate of the Keys and south Florida these four- or five-foot long lizards are thriving. Estimates of their numbers range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands – many were former pets, dumped when they got too big or too unruly to keep.

Iguanas are quite common in the Keys especially where trees form dense canopies near water – you often see them crossing roads, sunning themselves on walls, or eating landscape plants. Though males in particular look quite ferocious, they are vegetarians and feed on fruit, shrubs, vegetables and landscape plants.

Iguanas are generally not very popular with homeowners as in addition to eating their way through peoples’ gardens, they also dig large nesting burrows, which can undermine pathways and foundations.

Adult iguanas can reach 6 feet in length (1.8 m); hatchling young are about six inches long and a bright emerald green color.


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Wildlife of Florida 2011
Wildlife of Florida 2011
Fiona Sunquist
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Wildlife of Florida: Lizards
Fiona Sunquist
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