Are you interested in the blue iguana as a pet?
Do you want to make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew in terms of pet size?
For those who own blue iguanas, they always seem a little surprised when the lizards grow up.
They don’t usually know how large it’s going to get.
It’s important to be prepared and ask:
How big does a blue iguana get?
When given a proper habitat and steady, healthy diet, the blue iguana may get as big as 5′ feet (1.52 m) from nose to tail as a male and 3.5′ feet (1.07 m) as a female from nose to tail. This depends largely on many factors, and as an owner, there are things to do to help them reach this potential.
Read on for more details and answers to related questions.
Cayman Blue Iguana Vs. Blue Axanthic Iguana
One big area of confusion you may have is which blue iguana we’re talking about.
Maybe you’re unsure yourself which one you mean.
There are two options for “blue iguanas.”
Both are keepable as pets, though they’re pretty different outside this.
Scientifically, if you’re asking about Blue Iguanas, you’re talking about the iguana, also known as the Grand Cayman Ground Iguana, Grand Cayman blue iguana, or Cayman Islands rock iguana.
The blue iguana’s scientific name is cyclura c. lewisi.
This iguana was extremely endangered 16 years ago but has made a comeback in recent years.
Breeders do sell these as pets for high prices (close to $1000 in many cases).
The more common option is the green iguana.
This is the most popular type of iguana pet and the most common in the world.
Its scientific name is iguana iguana.
There is a special type of coloration (or morph) of the green iguana called Blue Axanthic Iguana or, more commonly, the blue iguana.
This blue iguana has slightly different care needs, a generally similar size, but drastically different life span.
If you’re interested in the green iguana or iguana size, look for this reptile’s specific guide.
This article deals with the actual blue iguana, cyclura c. lewisi.
Blue Iguana Sizes
The blue iguana is native to the Grand Cayman Islands.
This endangered species is one of the largest reptiles in the Western Hemisphere, and it’s also one of the longest-lived species.
The males are typically a third larger in the body and weight than their female counterparts.
At adulthood, the males are known to weigh up to 30 pounds (13.61 kg).
From tail to nose, they can grow up to 60″ inches (1.52 m) or 5′ feet (1.52 m) long.
Many iguanas are also measured by their body length, excluding the tail.
For blue iguanas, their body is usually a similar length to the tail.
Male blue iguanas may have anywhere from a 20″ – 30″ inches (0.76 m) body and similar length tail.
Females, as is common in many creatures, are a little smaller.
They also have fewer and less pronounced dorsal crests and smaller femoral pores.
A female may grow up to 3.5′ – 4′ feet (1.22 m) in length from nose to the tip of the tail.
As with the males, their bodies are usually about the same length as the tail if a little smaller.
This means a range of 18″ – 24″ inch (0.61 m) bodies with a similar tail.
The female blue iguana has a smaller weight of around 20-24 pounds (10.89 kg).
How To Encourage Blue Iguana Growth
As with many pets, the ultimate size of your blue iguana depends on three main factors.
If you provide the best-case scenarios for each of these, your pet will grow larger and live healthier.
Correct Size Enclosure
As babies, the iguana should be put in a 20-gallon tank.
This helps keep them from wandering too far from the food and water in the space.
As adults, blue iguanas need similar care requirements as the green iguana.
An outdoor pen would work best at 12′ feet (3.66 m) long, 6′ feet (1.83 m) wide, and 6′ feet (1.83 m) high.
Blue iguanas have been seen climbing and jumping up to 2′ feet (0.61 m) in the air, so the height requirement is a huge necessity.
The fences of the pen should also be dug at least 2′ feet (0.61 m) into the ground.
Blue iguanas are also known for digging.
A smaller enclosure will dampen their size and cause health problems.
Proper Habitat Temperature/Humidity
If you live in the hot and humid south, then a blue iguana will do just fine for you.
They’re used to humid and hot temperatures as well as rocky grounds.
For those who live elsewhere, you’ll need to find a way to simulate this indoors, which is a tall order.
Many heating lights are needed even in these areas.
A basking spot of around 110° – 120° degrees Fahrenheit (43° – 49° C) is needed.
The overall temperature should be between 90° – 100° degrees Fahrenheit (32° – 38° C).
Nighttime temperatures shouldn’t dip below 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C).
The humidity should be between 50-70% relative humidity.
Steady, Healthy Diet
Blue Iguanas will need a healthy diet to reach their maximum growth potential.
As herbivores, you’re looking at mostly natural greens and vegetables.
Fruits may be used once per week, but if used more often, they may cause diarrhea.
These veggies are ideal for fresh foods:
- collard greens
- turnip greens
- yellow squash
- whole green beans
Pre-made iguana food, such as this food by Rep-Cal, will be a big help.
Once a week, use a calcium supplement as well.
- Rep-Cal adult iguana food is formulated to ensure proper growth and health by providing complete and balanced nutrition
- Veterinarian recommended food containing natural plant and fruit ingredients iguanas love and provides 100-percent complete...
- Tested successfully for adult iguanas (more than 12-inch long from nose to base of tail) by reptile veterinarians
Avoid high protein vegetation; this isn’t meant to be part of their diet.
When you feed them, cut up the chunks, so they’re smaller than the iguana’s mouth.
They don’t chew food and need to be able to swallow it whole.
Clean water should be kept in the pen at all times.
We hope you enjoyed learning about how big a blue iguana gets.
5′ feet (1.52 m) or 3.5′ feet (1.07 m) long is quite a bit larger than most other pets, but these reptiles are unique enough you may want to get one.
Help them grow properly by keeping their habitat at the right settings and feed them a steady and healthy diet.
One thing’s for sure; this pet is sure to be a fun addition to any reptile lover’s collection.