Getting an Iguana can be extremely exciting, especially if it’s your first one. Any new pet is special, but Iguanas are unique. These lizards are indeed a sight to behold, and they can be a deep joy to keep as pets. As with any pet, you’ll come to love your Iguana and won’t want to say goodbye. Here, we’ll take a look at different Iguanas Species Lifespan.
So, how long should you expect to get with your Iguana? Do they live just a few years, or will you have possible decades with them like some turtles or birds? It’s safe to say that an Iguana will live far longer than the anole lizard you tried to bring home from the carnival, but how long can you expect your new pet to stick around?
How Long Do Iguanas Live?
In the wild, Iguanas face some harsh conditions. They have to locate and hunt their food, fight for survival, and avoid the many perils of life in the wild. As such, they have pretty short life expectancies. For the average Iguana in the wild, life lasts just 3-8 years.
Iguanas that reach the age of 8 are impressive, as most will die closer to 5 or 6. Of course, things are pretty different for Iguanas in captivity. The life of a domestic Iguana is pretty laid-back. Food is delivered to your house daily, and nothing ever tries to eat you, though the cat always looks at you through the glass like it wants to. A domestic Iguana in captivity can expect a much longer lifespan. On average, Iguanas living in captivity have 8-15 years of lifespans.
Why Do Some Iguanas Live Longer Than Others?
Iguanas who live until 15 are nearly twice as old as those dying at 8, so what’s causing a massive difference in lifespan between captive Iguanas? It’s not just one thing, but several that work together to either improve your Iguana’s overall health or degrade it. Healthier Iguanas live longer, so knowing about these factors can help you potentially extend your Iguana’s lifespan.
As for humans, diet and nutrition play a massive role in Iguana’s overall health. Life will be shorter and wrought with deficiencies and health concerns for Iguanas that aren’t eating well-balanced diets filled with all the essential nutrients they need. Iguanas fed a diverse diet that meets all of their nutritional needs will live much longer and maintain proper health.
The nutrient ratios your Iguana needs will change as they age. Juvenile Iguanas start out eating about 75% green, 10% fruits, and 15% rest other food items. By the time the Iguana reaches adulthood, this flips, and the diet should consist of 100% greens.
Environment and Conditions
A good bit of forethought and planning goes into caring for an Iguana. Iguanas come from Mexico, so you must try to match their enclosure to their original environment. This means keeping it at specific temperatures and providing a certain amount of light and humidity.
Meeting these needs means a healthy Iguana can reduce your Iguana lifespan while falling short. You’ll need to provide two different areas of the tank; one that’s cooler and one that’s hotter. The hot area needs to be between 96-110 degrees F, depending on your Iguana’s age.
On the cooler side of the tank, the temperature should be 75-85 degrees F. Additionally, UVA and UVB need to be provided through the light bulbs you use. Humidity levels need to remain below 40%, which means being careful with your water placement and sticking a hygrometer on the wall inside your Iguana’s tank.
Also, consider your Iguana’s substrate—many options, including newspaper, sand, bark, coconut husk, and more. But substrates with dust and small particles could cause impaction, infections, and other health concerns. Any Iguana with repeated health problems is likely to have a shortened lifespan.
Creatures need to live comfortably if you want them to live long. Your Iguana will need large enough accommodations to remain healthy enough to achieve as full of a lifespan as possible. While baby Iguanas can get away with a 20-gallon enclosure, adults need something more significant.
You’ll need a 100-125 gallons tank for a full-size adult, which means it has to be more than 20 inches long. That takes up a lot of space in your home, so keeping an Iguana healthy can require sacrifice.
When it comes to Iguanas, bigger is better, at least regarding their lifespan. Iguanas that are bigger tend to live longer. These giant Iguanas are more resilient and quickly adapt to environmental changes. More giant Iguanas tend to outlive the smaller ones most of the time.
For Iguana females, life tends to be shorter than for males. This is partly because of size differences. Males tend to be larger than females, and as we’ve learned, more giant Iguanas usually live longer. But there’s another reason—breeding.
Females go through a lot when breeding and producing offspring, and it takes a toll on their bodies. So, the average expected lifespan of females is shorter than that of males.
Genes matter, regardless of your species. If you want to be a basketball player in the NBA, you’ll have to hope for genetics that allow you to be well over 6 feet in height. Otherwise, your chances aren’t great. But genetics play a role in your Iguana’s lifespan as well.
Healthy, hardy genes make Iguanas that live for longer. There’s one significant way you can ensure your Iguana has healthy and robust genes—get it from a reputable breeder. Big pet stores sell Iguanas, but they come with no assurances, and you know nothing about their origins.
Often, these Iguanas have been bred and raised on second-rate farms that favor profit over healthy specimens. But breeders have a reputation on the line. Plus, they usually work on a smaller scale, with a lot of effort to fortify genes through selective breeding.
Breeders only want to produce top-quality healthy Iguanas, so they’re well invested in strengthening their Iguanas’ gene pool. Purchasing from such a breeder ensures you receive those benefits in your Iguana.
As we said, breeding and producing offspring is very hard on a female Iguana’s body. Doing that a few times will take a lot out of them. After reproducing a few times, a female’s lifespan will be significantly reduced. Females that don’t reproduce live much longer on average than females that produce, and the more times she makes, the more that’s being taken out of her.
Interesting Further Reading
- How To Take Care Of A Blue Iguana? (2022)
- How Long Does It Take For An Iguana To Grow?
- 3 Best Tanks For Iguanas: What Size Tank For Iguana?
Iguanas Species Lifespan
How Long Do Red Iguanas Live?
Red Iguanas usually Live around 12-15 years. Red iguanas are at the top of the length spectrum, with many quickly reaching the seven-foot mark by full adulthood. The red Iguana is one of the rarest species of the iguana family.
How Long Do Blue Iguanas Live?
Blue iguanas are long-lived species with around 25 to 40 years. The Blue Iguana Recovery Programme now estimates that there are more than 1,000 blue iguanas in the wild, most of which are in the Salina Reserve.
How Long Do Green Iguanas Live?
Green iguanas can live for well over 30 years with proper husbandry. On average, though, their lifespans are usually between 15 and 25 years in captivity.
How Long Do Rhino Iguanas Live?
The average lifespan for the rhino iguana is around 16 or 17 years. Rhino iguanas are intelligent and can make good pets. The rhino iguana itself will usually cost you somewhere between $550 and $800.
How Long Do Marine Iguanas Live?
Marine iguanas live for 12 years on average, but some as long as 60 years. These lizards can shrink and grow multiple times throughout their lives, depending on the climate. Marine iguanas are now listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
How Long Do Desert Iguanas Live?
The lifespan for wild desert iguanas is just over seven years. But, in captivity, they can live around 15-25 years or more, depending on the care.
How Long Do Rock Iguanas Live?
In captivity, Rock iguanas will easily live for well over 20 years, provided the proper care. They are omnivores who eat flowers, insects, snails, leaves, and fruits as staples.
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