The Basic Types of Iguanas


Iguana’s are some of the most well-known lizards in the world. They all look very appealing and some are even docile, easy to care for and make great pets. And while the bulk of information found on this website deals in pet care, this post isn’t geared towards that information specifically. In stead, we will list and show you the 6 main types of iguanas without getting in to the details on species, family, genus or even pet care.

Chuckwalla Iguanas

Chuckwalla IguanaChuckwallas are primarily found in Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Size varies between the chuckwalla species but generally ranges between 15 – 30 inches. Male chuckwallas are larger than females and can be distinguished by their colorations. Females have scattered spots of yellow or gray on their backs while the males are covered in a orange or red color. The 5 Chuckwalla species are: Common Chuckwalla, Angel Island, San Esteban Island, Santa Catalina Island and Ontserrat Island chuckwalla.

Desert Iguanas

Desert IguanaProbably the least iguana-looking member of the Iguanidae family is the desert iguana. They are very common in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts but can be found on the gulf of California islands and various places between southwest United States and northern Mexico. These are small lizards which only grow up to 16 inches in length. Desert Iguanas have the ability to change their color from gray to white which helps them regulate their body temperature by reflecting rays from the sun.

Land Iguanas

Land IguanaKeep in mind, land iguanas are a type of iguana. A species which is a part of the Iguanidae (Iguana) family. Not simply an iguana that walks or lives on land. These are quite possibly the most ferocious looking Iguanas in the family. Their colors range between dark gray, brown, yellow and red. They can weigh up to 25 lbs and grow between 3 – 5 feet long, making them one mean looking lizard. There are two species of land iguanas; the Galapagos land iguana and the Barrington Land Iguana. Both of which are very similar in appearance.

Marine Iguanas

The marine iguana is one of the most fascinating lizards of all time. They look like a mini-godzilla that spent too much time under water. Their coloration and overall appearance resembles a mixture of coral reef and jagged rocks. This is the only Iguana with the ability to live and forage under water. They can be found in rocky waters and mangroves of the Galapagos Islands. Marine iguanas are very similar to land Iguanas in size and weight. Adults can reach 3 – 5 feet in length and weigh around 25 lbs.

Spiny-tail Iguanas

Spiny-tail IguanaSpiny-tail iguanas can most easily be distinguished by the “spiny” scales on their tail and their back. While other iguanas may have spines running down the length of their backs, the spines on this iguana are generally larger in size. They’re native to Central America and Mexico. There are a few different species of spiny-tail iguanas which grow to different lengths and sport different colors. Their overall length ranges between 5 inches to 4 feet. Their colors range from grays, browns to bright yellow, orange and greens depending on the species.

Rock Iguanas

Rock IguanaRock Iguanas are native to west India and they’re commonly known as “West Indian Iguanas.” They’re prehistoric looking lizards that can grow to 5 feet in length. Depending on the species of rock iguana, their colors can be brown, gray, green, blue and even bright red. There are a total of 16 different species and sub species of rock iguanas, all of which are considered endangered species due to habitat loss from agricultural development. Several organizations have teamed up to help protect and repopulate these lovely iguanas.

Even More Iguanas!

Listed above are the main types of iguanas. Some of these have multiple species and subspecies. So there are still more to look at! Just not on this page. Check around for more iguana information, subspecies, cool pictures and other lizard stuff.

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