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Green iguanas are large, herbivorous lizards native to Central and South America, including parts of Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. In recent years, they have become an invasive species in Florida, leading to a range of environmental and ecological concerns.

iguana ground


Green iguanas were likely introduced to Florida through the pet trade. Many people buy them as pets when they are small, cute, and manageable, but as they grow, they can become difficult to care for and some owners release them into the wild. This has led to established populations in parts of Florida, particularly in the southern regions with warm and humid climates.

Habitat and Behavior

Green iguanas prefer areas with abundant vegetation and access to water. They are excellent climbers and are often found in trees or near water bodies. They are cold-blooded and rely on external heat sources, like the sun, to regulate their body temperature.

Physical Characteristics

Green iguanas are one of the largest lizard species, with males reaching lengths of 5 to 7 feet (including the tail) and females being slightly smaller. They have a distinctive green coloration, but their shade of green can vary, and they might also have some other colors or patterns on their skin.


Green iguanas are not typically considered friendly pets. While they can become somewhat tame with proper handling and care from a young age, they often have specific requirements that can be challenging for most pet owners to meet. Additionally, as they mature, they can become more aggressive and territorial.



Green iguanas reproduce through sexual reproduction. Females lay clutches of eggs, usually in burrows or other hidden locations. The exact reproductive frequency can depend on various factors including environmental conditions, but females can lay multiple clutches of eggs in a single year under favorable circumstances.

Effects on the Environment

Green iguanas are considered invasive in Florida because they can have detrimental effects on the local ecosystem. They are known to eat a wide variety of plants, which can impact native vegetation and disrupt local food chains. They can also damage infrastructure, like seawalls and sidewalks, by burrowing. Their burrows can erode soil and destabilize structures.

Control Measures

Efforts to control green iguana populations in Florida include a combination of strategies. These include public education about responsible pet ownership and not releasing pets into the wild, targeted removal efforts by wildlife management agencies, and in some cases, even culling programs to reduce their numbers.

tree iguana

Book Your Next Iguana Hunt

Iguana hunting can be an exciting and efficient way to help the environment by controlling the rapidly increasing population of invasive lizards. If you’re looking to book an iguana hunting adventure, check out our iguana hunting charters to book a trip with one of our local and professional guides.