Today’s Photo of the Day is the Male Green Iguana which is scientifically known as Iguana iguana. The Male Green Iguana, despite its name, is bright orange in color and becomes larger in size during its breeding season. This arboreal herbivorous species of lizard is also native to Central and South America.
The picture above shows the predominant Male Green Iguana up in the trees along the banks of the Macal River in the foothills of the Maya Mountains . During its breeding season, they become very aggressive for 3 months out of the year.
In terms of food, they require a highly specialized vegetable diet and their favorite plants are abundantly found in the 365-acre nature preserve at The Lodge at Chaa Creek. The Male Green Iguana has also adapted significantly with regard to locomotion and osmoregulation as a result of its diet and can grow up to 6 ft in length, with body weights upward of up to 20 lbs.
Commonly found in captivity as a pet, due to its calm disposition and bright colors, it can be demanding to care for properly. Space requirements and the need for special lighting and heat can prove challenging to an amateur hobbyist.
A human female owner of a male iguana must take proper caution for males often seem to be especially interested in their female owners, especially during the females’ “time of the month”. Although such mating attempts sound humorous, they can be very dangerous, because during mating, the male grasps the back of the female iguana’s neck with his teeth. Her tough skin can withstand these “love bites”; human skin cannot.
Photo taken by Chaa Creek’s Naturalist Guide: Meshack Eliah