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Green Iguana

Iguana iguana


Despite being called a green iguana, there is great variation in colour, depending on where the iguana lives. In Peru, the colour is often bluish green. Some Costa Rican green iguanas are red. The colour can also vary with changes in temperature and with the iguana’s mood. In the cool of the morning, the skin will go a darker shade, trying to absorb heat from the sun. In the mid-day sun the skin will go a lighter shade to reflect the sun. When threatened, the iguana will darken the shade of its skin colour.

Animal class:



Tropical forests


Green iguanas eat leaves, fruits and shoots. They will eat eggs, invertebrates and small vertebrates.


Green iguanas can be up to 2 metres and can weigh up to 8 kilograms.


Green iguanas are found in tropical forests from Mexico to southern Brazil, Paraguay and Caribbean islands.

Conservation status

The IUCN considers the green iguana is not yet in danger of extinction.


Habitat destruction is a threat to the green iguana. There has been extensive capture of green iguanas for the pet trade. In some places, they are killed for food.

Current population

It is unknown how many green iguanas are in the wild, but it is believed they are still quite common.

Zoo population

There are over 1,000 green iguanas in zoos worldwide.

Key to acronyms

IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature