The Iguanidae are a family of lizards composed of iguanas and related species.



This large family contains species with varied appearances. Members of the Iguanidae family range from squat, toadlike horned lizards (Phrynosoma spp.) that fit in the palm of a hand, to iguanas (Iguana spp.) that are as long as a man is tall, and long-tailed and sleek anoles. However, the family does have one characteristic that sets it apart from the other Iguania families. That trait is pleurodont teeth, which lie in inner-jaw grooves rather than in sockets.

Size: 1.6–30 in (30–750 cm) in snout-vent length (svl), and some have tails reaching twice the svl.


Iguanids are distributed throughout much of tropical America, up into southern temperate North America, throughout the Antilles, on the Galapagos, and in Fiji.


Most iguanids are either insectivorous or herbivorous, with the larger lizards tending toward a completely vegetarian diet. Some members of this family, will eat other lizards, and a few species are cannibalistic.


Iguanids are frequently seen stretched out on a rock or otherwise basking in the morning sun. This behavior falls under the heading of thermoregulation. Because lizards are poikilothermic, or "cold blooded," they engage in basking to raise their body temperature to prepare for the day's activities of feeding, perhaps breeding, and evading ever-present predators. Many iguanids spend the night in burrows and emerge each morning to find a sunny spot and raise their internal temperature. As the day gets hotter, ground-dwellers will move into shadier spots so they do not overheat. The more arboreal species may move from a basking spot on an outer tree limb or the sunward wall of a house to the inner branches of a tree or shrub, or closer to the ground where the temperature is lower.

The typical iguanid spends the day in a high state of alert, as predators abound, particularly for the small- and medium-sized species.Many iguanids are cryptically colored and patterned, and are best served by remaining still when a predator passes. Others are quick runners and dash off almost immediately after they spot an animal that is even remotely threatening.Favorite hiding places for these runners are crevices between or under rocks, tangles of vegetation, or anything else that provides adequate cover.

Territoriality is prevalent, and many species exhibit stereotyped behaviors, such as doing repeated "push-ups" or marking their turf with secretions from femoral pores, to defend specific areas for feeding or breeding. In many species, territoriality becomes more pronounced when food resources are low. In some cases, dominance hierarchies may develop.Among many species territoriality becomes more pronounced during the breeding season.


Most iguanids lay eggs, but a few give birth to live young. The number of eggs ranges widely. Many iguanids lay only one or two eggs at a time, but others lay dozens.In many species, optimal environmental conditions can spawn additional clutches.

Parental care among most iguanids is either nonexistent, or is restricted to simply burying the eggs or engaging in short-term nest guarding.

In captivity

In order to keep an iguana at home, it is necessary to prepare a large glass terrarium.

To arrange the bottom of the terrarium, choose a medium-hard mat, which will make the movement of the iguana comfortable, and cleaning easier. Keep in mind that a quarter of the "home" of an exotic pet should be water that the iguana can drink and use for water treatments. Also in the terrarium there should be a place for a large branched snag, where the reptile can rest.

The comfortable temperature for an iguana should be more than 30 oC during the day and at least 22 oC at night. In addition to the heating lamp, it is necessary to install a device with UV radiation (allows the reptile to receive vitamin D in the right amount), which should function for at least 10 hours a day.

The humidity of the air should be different for each type. A regular hygrometer will help you track the humidity indicators. Do not forget about ventilation.

Make a diet for an exotic animal very carefully, because it is very difficult to choose a menu that is as close to natural conditions as possible. Different species have their own preferences.Try to diversify the diet for an iguana as much as possible and monitor the content of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Anolis leachi

It is about 11 cm long.

Lifespan is up to 4 years.