Are you curious to learn more about how male and female iguanas reproduce?
Did you wonder what it takes to breed iguanas?
If you are interested in learning more about the reproductive process of iguanas, you might first ask:
When is the iguana breeding season?
Triggered by weather, breeding season in iguanas commonly takes place once per year towards the end of summer, with the female carrying and laying the eggs throughout the winter months.
For more information on the breeding season of an iguana, keep reading this article.
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When Is The Breeding Season For Iguanas?
Breeding iguanas in captivity is very challenging even for professionals like zoos who keep iguanas.
In the wild, a male and female iguana will mate at the end of the summer or the wet season.
This allows the female to carry and then lay the fertilized eggs during the winter months, also known as the dry season.
The eggs will then hatch in the spring when the rains are starting, and more food is likely to be available for the hatchlings to eat.
In captivity, the breeding season is affected by where you live, how much sunlight the iguana is exposed to, and if there are multiple iguanas in the home.
If you were to move from somewhere in the south to somewhere up north, the breeding season would change.
This is because as you get farther away from the iguana’s natural habitats in the tropics, the quantity of ultraviolet light and light intensity will change, even if you have artificial lighting mimicking what they would find in the wild.
Researchers have found this will affect them even if your iguana was never in the wild.
In the wild, the season for a male will last approximately 30 days and seven to 10 for a female.
Still, in captivity, because of the lighting issue we just talked about, the season can last significantly longer.
For males, you might find the breeding season lasts from one month up to four months.
Multiple Breeding Seasons
There are occasions where an iguana will have two breeding seasons, but this is not the norm.
This is usually seen in the wild in years where weather patterns are abnormal with two separate wet seasons, each followed directly by a dry season.
In captivity, the multiple breeding season, or double breeding, can come if the animal is stressed at a greater than usual level.
If you notice your iguana entering a second breeding season, be sure to give them the nutritional support they need and check their habitat to reduce the stress they may feel.
Iguana Behavior During Breeding Season
In captivity, the breeding season can create its own challenges for owners, because of the mood of the iguana’s changes in a big way.
Whether they are in the wild or captivity, during this time for both males and females, hormones are rising, and males tend to start to act more aggressively.
This is all subject to your iguana, as some males will not change their behavior at all, and with others, it will be a complete switch from their normal attitude.
Aggressive iguanas are very dangerous to their owners, so please be careful and use caution during this time.
The males have been known to rush at owners if given the opportunity, in addition to biting and whipping with their tales.
Besides the aggressive behavior, they will also put on displays like bobbing their heads, crab walking, and tail movements.
You might also notice your male acting restless, moving constantly, and easily agitated.
Also, with males, you are likely to see some color changes of more orange and red and deposits of seminal plugs.
It is common for owners to give their male iguana a “substitute female” to act as an outlet for their aggression.
This could be a shirt, stuffed sock, sturdy stuffed animal, or even an inflatable pool toy.
There are other safe options for a surrogate female to choose from to give to the male iguana.
As noted, males can attack their owners during this time, but a substitute female can help keep from being the target.
Females, like males, will change their color to an orange or red as an indication they are in season.
Watch your female as she will need some extra calcium and plenty of water during this time.
Iguanas have become a more popular choice of pet, but because they require a large enclosure and specific needs, not everyone is clamoring to purchase them.
Remember, male iguanas can reach a size of 6′ to 7′ feet in length from snout to tail, so they do need a lot of room.
In some areas, it is difficult to find homes for the many iguana babies you could see with each clutch.
A female iguana can lay between 30 and 60 eggs per clutch, leaving you with a lot of babies to find homes for, if you decide to try to breed these animals.
Breeding iguanas is also very difficult in captivity.
Even zoos, with ideal conditions, proper nutrition, and professional handlers, often find it to be a challenge to mate the iguanas in their care.
Unless you are willing to commit to caring for a possibly large number of iguanas and have the space to do so, we recommend avoiding breeding your iguana.
If you are looking to become the owner of an iguana or if you are just interested in learning more about iguanas, understanding their breeding season will give you a peek into the life of these creatures.
With breeding season occurring in the late summer, the end of the wet season, the hatchlings born in the spring will have a better chance of emerging to find a food source.
In captivity, you are likely to notice big changes in your animal, but if you know how what’s coming, you will have an easier time handling them.
After reading this article, we hope you have a better understanding of the breeding season of iguanas and when it occurs.