Where Do Iguanas Live

Wondering where do iguanas live? When you think about lizards, you probably think about warm environments. Like many lizards, iguanas are cold-blooded, which means they don't generate their own heat. These clever animals have adapted to live in a wide range of environments, however.

Iguanas in Florida
Iguanas are not native to Florida. The population of wild iguanas in Florida began when people let their pets loose in the wild. Ever-adaptable, the green iguana found a way to survive in Florida, and parts of the state are now overrun with them.

Iguanas Around the World
There are eight groups of iguanas related to the green iguana. These groups are native to various parts of the world.

  • Genus Cyclura: This group is also known as the Rock Iguana. This group is endangered, but can sometimes be found in the pet trade. It is native to the Caribbean Islands.
  • Genus Amblyrhyncus: This group is also known as the Galapagos Marine Iguana. They feed on marine algae, so they are not kept as pets, as humans cannot easily provide this type of diet for this group.
  • Genus Conolophus: This is the Galapagos Land Iguana. They are related to the Galapagos marine iguana, but feed on plants, primarily cacti. 
  • Genus Ctenosauria: This is the Spiny-Tailed Iguana, native to California and central America. They're much smaller than green iguanas, growing to a length of about three feet.
  • Genus Dipsosaurus: This group includes the iguanas native to the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Known as the Desert Iguana, this group has a brown color and looks a lot like a tiny dinosaur, with hind legs that are larger than the front legs.
  • Genus Sauromalus: Also known as the Chuckwalla, this group is native to the Southwestern United States, Mexico and the islands in the Gulf of California.
  • Genus Brachylophus: Also known as the Fijian banded iguana. It is native to Fiji and Tonga.

Green Iguana Habitat
Most people who have iguanas own green iguanas. The Green Iguana belongs to the genus iguana, which includes iguana delicatisima, native to the Lesser Antilles Islands. Most wild green iguanas live in Central America, South America and southern Mexico. Populations descended from pets can be found in Florida, California and Hawaii.

Iguanas are usually found in rainforests or near sources of water. Iguanas can and do drink water, but they also like to bathe in it. Desert iguanas and some land iguanas who live far from wet places get most of the water they need from the foods they eat.

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