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How Big Does A Green Iguana Get

Are you thinking about getting a green iguana for a pet?

Are you worried you might not have the room for the animal once it reaches its full size?

Green iguanas are a very popular choice when it comes to keeping members of this species as pets.

If you are considering bringing a green iguana into your home, one of your first questions might be:

How big does a green iguana get?

These common iguanas can get as large as 5′ to 7′ feet long and weigh around 20 pounds, depending on gender.

For more information about the size of a green iguana, keep reading.

how big does a green iguana get

How Big Do Green Iguanas Get?

When you see those iguanas for sale in a pet shop, you might think it will make a great pet, but for some, they don’t know what they are getting into.

Green iguanas are not going to stay the same small size you see when you make your initial purchase of a baby member of the species.

Green iguanas are very commonly kept as pets, but they are one of the largest of the species iguanas on record.

This variety of iguana can grow as large as 5′ to 7′ feet long and weigh approximately 20 pounds.

This is a far cry from the 6″ to 9″ inch hatching you may first bring home.

These hatchlings will weigh less than a half-pound at first.

The measurements given include the full length of the animal, including the tail.

Wild green iguanas will reach these same lengths, falling in line with the captive members of their species.

What Is The Lifespan Of Green Iguana?

Iguanas can live for extended lengths of time, whether they are in the wild or kept in captivity.

This extended life is something you will need to take into consideration if you are looking to adopt an iguana.

While it is great your iguana could be with you for longer than other commonly kept reptiles; it is a possible long term commitment you will have to decide if you want to embark on.

Some species of iguanas will live as long as 60 years, but the green iguana, a native of South America, has a lifespan of about 20 years in the wild.

Unlike with other animals kept in captivity, green iguanas kept as pets don’t always live longer or even as long as their wild relatives.

If these animals are kept properly, they can live up to the 20-year mark, but recreating their habitat in your home, and maintaining it, is difficult.

If kept properly, captive iguanas usually live between 15 and 20 years, with males tending to live slightly longer.

Because of their specialized humidity and heating needs, the green iguana doesn’t always live as long when kept in a home as a pet.

This is not to say they can’t, or you shouldn’t attempt to keep them as pets, be sure you are doing proper research and maintaining their enclosure to keep them healthy and happy.

If you are providing proper care and have created and maintained a great home for them, it is unusual for green iguanas to pass away before age 10.

Even ten years old is a lower age for properly cared for green iguanas.

What Is The Growth Rate For Green Iguanas?

Understanding their lifespan, you might be wondering what the growth rate for a green iguana is.

The first three years of their life will result in the fastest and greatest amount of growth, but it doesn’t mean they are fully grown at age three.

When you first bring your iguana home as a hatchling, they might measure somewhere around 6″ to 9″ inches from snout to tail.

You will notice them double in size in as fast as six months.

In just a year, they will shoot up to measure approximately 20″ to 27″ inches and weigh about one to one and a half pounds.

Add another year, and your iguana could grow another 10″ inches measuring 28″ to 36″ inches by the time they celebrate their second birthday.

Iguanas, at this age, should weigh approximately two to four pounds.

Year three of your iguana’s life will see a slight slow down in comparison, and your iguana will grow to measure between 30″ and 42″ inches.

Their weight will increase to be about four to six pounds.

Beyond this age, there will be more growth, but it will be slower, adding only a few inches and ounces a year.

You are likely to see your iguana reach their maximum length between the ages of five and seven, but some growth is still possible.

Will Males And Females Differ In Size?

Male and female green iguanas will differ in size, with females growing to be noticeably smaller than the males of the species.

This is a characteristic found throughout all species of iguanas.

Female members of these species rarely reach over 5′ feet long, where the males will reach those long lengths discussed above.

They also won’t reach the same weight as a male would, again measuring smaller.

Female green iguanas have a slimmer body shape and have a smaller head.

Besides, you will be able to tell the difference between males and females because the female iguanas do not have bumps on their heads.

If they have any dorsal spines, the females’ will be shorter and thinner than a male’s.

Besides these visual characteristics, both are usually relatively docile and friendly, with similar attitudes.


Green iguanas can make a great pet and are a fun addition to your home as long as you are prepared to provide the proper home and care.

Part of giving proper care is understanding what you are getting into and how large a green chameleon will get.

Depending on gender, you could see your new pet grow as large as 5′ to 7′ feet long.

After reading this article, we hope you have a better grasp of just how big a green iguana can grow. 

Check out our other post on how fast an iguana can run.

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