Iguanas are from the lizard family and are quite popular as pets in the US. Its care and maintenance requirements are quite strict. They need proper handling to keep it friendly towards humans. They grow quite large, with their tails being very strong and can inflict injury.
How big do iguanas get? Despite their large size, if the upkeep and care are proper, they are happy animals. They grow to five feet in length or even longer. They need large enclosures, which are customized as per requirements.
In this blog, we shall be discussing mostly how big do iguanas get, in particular, how big do green iguanas get, their growth pattern, and iguana morphs.
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How Big Can An Iguana Get
Iguana is from the lizard family and is considered the largest in this species. Originating from South America and has adapted to living mostly on trees. It is strictly a herbivorous lizard.
One of the most common questions from the enthusiasts is how big do iguanas get?
The most common iguana know as the common green iguana or American iguana normally grows about 5 ft. (1.5 meters) in length from head to tail and weighing about 13.2 pounds (6 kg).
Some males are reported to be over 6½ ft. long (2 m) and weighing over 20 lbs. (9 kg).
How Big Can A Green Iguana Get
The green iguana is the most commonly adapted iguana pet in the US.
To the query how big do iguanas get, green iguana size full grown males in captivity are reported to grow up to a maximum length of 6½ ft. (2 m) with a weight of about 20 lbs. (9 kg).
How Big Does A Red Iguana Get
The red iguana is a morph of the common iguana species and a rarity. Not different than the common green iguana. People often check how big do red iguanas get.
Besides the question of how big do iguanas get, the full-grown red iguana size is a little longer than the green iguana. They grow up to 7 ft. (2.1 m) in length with a weight of 20 lbs. (9 kg).
How Big Does A Blue Iguana Get
Before we answer the query of how big does a blue iguana get, let us have a look at the background of the blue iguana.
The blue iguana is a different species of lizard mostly found in the Cayman Islands. It is called blue due to the colors the males display.
Also known as rock iguana, because of its habitat. It is an endangered species.
Because it is a different species people enquire how big do blue iguanas get. The overall blue axanthic iguana size (length from head to tail end) of a fully grown blue iguana is 5 ft. (1.5 m).
The weight of the blue iguana is around 30 lbs. (14 kg). It is heavier than the full grown green iguana.
People sometimes mistakenly call the green iguana with some blue hues as the blue iguana.
How Big Do Iguanas Get In Captivity
The growth of the iguana can be affected by diet and the availability of sunlight (UV light). For this reason, people often question how big do iguanas get in captivity.
A young or baby iguana will only be 18 inches long (about 0.5 m), but can easily grow to 6 ft. (1.8 m) in length when fully grown.
Iguanas need strong sunlight to make vitamin D3 for growth. In captivity a good quality UVB lamp of proper wattage is required, otherwise, the iguana’s growth will be stunted.
How Big Do Iguanas Get In The Wild
In the wild, typically a male iguana will grow to a length of 5 ft. (1.5m) and a weight of about 17 lbs. (7.7 kg). The females also grow to about the same length but weigh almost half. Their weight can go up to 7 lbs. (2.1 kg)
To the query how big do iguanas get in the wild, the largest reported male was 6½ ft. (2 m) long and weighing more than 20 lb. (9.1 kg).
How Big Is A Full Grown Iguana?
Enthusiasts enquire how big do iguanas get, so they are able to provide the right size habitat for their pet.
As to the query how big can an iguana get, from head to tail a full-grown iguana can be 4 ft. to 5 ft. (1.2 to 1.5 meters). The tail is quite long and makes a good portion of the iguana’s overall length.
The snout-to-vent length of the iguana body can be anywhere between 1 ft. to 2 ft. depending on the regionality.
How Big Is The Biggest Iguana?
The answer to the query how big do iguanas get, is green iguana is reported to be on average the biggest (longest) in size.
Normally when fully grown it is between 5 ft. and 7 ft. in length (1.5 to 2.1 meters), measured from head to tail tip.
On average, the green iguanas are 6.5 ft. (2 m) long and weigh 20 lbs. (9 kg).
Of the smaller species spiny tail iguana, it grows to a length of about 3 to 4 ft. (1.0 to 1.2 m).
Weight wise the blue iguana is the heaviest. Although its average length is less, about 4.3 ft. (1.3 m), the weight averages at 30 lb. (14 kg). The female blue iguana is slightly smaller than the males at 3.3 ft. (1.3 m) length.
How Big Can A Wild Iguana Get?
Besides the inherited genetics, the reptile’s food and sunlight play an important role in its healthy overall growth and decide how big does an iguana get.
Ultra Violet light (UV) in sunlight helps the iguana to manufacture vitamin D3, which is needed to absorb calcium from the food.
People are intrigued and think in the wild the animals grow big and ask how big do iguanas get in the wild.
The male iguanas measured in the wild averaged 5 ft. (1.5m) in length, head to tail. The average weight was found to be 17 lbs. (7.7 kg).
Female iguanas grow to about the same length as male iguanas, but their weight is almost half of males. Their weight averages around 3 to 6.6 lbs. (1.3 to 3 kg)
To the query how big do iguana get, the largest male iguana measured was 6½ ft. (2 m) long, weighing more than 20 lb. (9.1 kg).
How Large Does A Green Iguana Get?
The green iguana is a common pet in the US. Many enthusiasts adopt an iguana, not knowing how big do iguanas get, and later ask how big can green iguanas get when they find it growing bigger than their expectations.
After some time they find the iguana size to be too large to be cared for properly and have to abandon the animal to a shelter.
It is important for prospective pet owners to research before adopting a pet to know as much about the new pet they are adopting, so they have no surprises later.
Especially in the case of the iguanas, they have to ask how big can a green iguana get, so they could manage the newcomer’s habitat properly.
The full grown green iguana or American iguana can grow to a length of 5 ft. (1.5 meters) from head to tail, weighing about 13.2 pounds (6 kg).
The biggest iguana recorded was a male full grown green iguana measured over 6½ ft. in length (2 m) with a weight of over 20 lbs. (9 kg).
How Big Are Iguanas When They’re Born?
The iguanas are born from eggs. The new hatchlings (newborn) of the green iguana are 6½ inches to 10 inches only (17 cm to 25 cm)
How Fast Do Iguanas Grow?
The average life span of an iguana is 12 to 15 years. Some live more than 20 years.
Their growth rate is not very rapid. They take several years to grow to their adult full size. Most iguanas will mature around 4 years. Some can take much longer like 7 or 8 years to grow to maturity.
The growth rate varies but slows down when they reach about 4-5 years of age.
Iguana Size Chart
The table below shows average male green iguana size and weight combinations in captivity when fed and taken care of properly.
If the iguana has not been fed and taken care of properly, its growth will be retarded, and may not live to its full natural life expectancy.
In the study of lizards normally the iguana length is measured from snout (nose tip) to its vent (anus opening) and designated as SVL (snout-vent length).
The other terminology used is the overall length including the tail. It is measured from the snout to the tip of the tail and designated as STL (snout-tail length).
All lengths in inches & weight in pounds (lbs).
|Age (year)||snout-vent length (inches)||snout-tail length (inches)||Weight (lb)|
|Newborn||2.5 – 3.5||6 – 9||~ 0.2|
|1||8 – 9||20 – 27||1 – 1.5|
|2||11 – 12||28 – 36||2 – 4|
|3||12 – 14||30 – 42||4 – 6|
|4||14 – 16||35 – 48||5 – 8|
|5||18 – 20||45 – 60||10 – 15|
|6||20 – 22||50 – 66||14 – 18|
|7||20 – 24||50 – 72||15 – 20|
Estimation for iguana tail length is (2.5 to 3) x SVL
Some difference in sizes and weight is expected in the above figures due to regional exposure. Overall the figures will be within the range. Females are commonly smaller than males.
Do Iguanas Swim
Although iguanas spend most of their time on treetops, they come down to the forest floor for mating, laying eggs, or when changing trees.
Despite the big iguana size, iguanas are very good swimmers and have been seen swimming in freshwater as well as saltwater. They can stay underwater for many hours.
They generally live near water and jump from tree branches into the water to escape a predator.
Final Verdict On How Big Do Iguanas Get
The green iguanas are the most common species of the reptile or lizard family. They are mostly found in the West Indies, forests in the south of Brazil, Central America, and the rainforests of Mexico.
Also known as the American iguana they are quite popular pets. People are somewhat surprised to know how big do iguanas get. The average life expectancy in captivity is 12 to 15 years.
A 1 year old iguana size is only about 2 feet in length (including tail). In just a few years a full grown iguana size becomes 5 to 6 feet in length.
When the new owners find their green iguana size full grown to over 6 feet, they find the iguana big size maintenance beyond their resources, and giving up is the only option.
Further to the surprise of how big do iguanas get, generally people are naive about the strict care requirements of the iguana.
The upkeep for its feed, habitat, temperatures, cleanliness, and large enclosure demand much vigor from the caregiver. They need to be regularly handled, to keep their aggressive behavior low.
They have very different personality traits and despite many years of taming their temperament is unpredictable. They can be very aggressive during self-defense.
A full grown iguana bite and the use of its tail as a whip can be very painful.