The Most Popular Types of Pet Iguanas

Kari | September 08, 2021 | iguanas, pet iguanas
Pets And Animals Tips is reader-supported. A purchase from clicking through a link in our articles may earn us an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.
Photo by alexis antonio awKTWHx2wHE unsplash

Although notoriously difficult to tame, iguanas are a popular type of reptile that can be kept as pets. All iguanas generally require the same intensive level of care, but different types of iguanas in the world still have their own quirks and unique colorings. Perhaps the most popular pet iguana types include the beautiful green, desert, rhinoceros, spiny tailed and blue subspecies.

Popular Types Pet Iguanas

John Cobb on Unsplash

Green Iguana

When asked the color of a lizard, most people will probably answer, green. And we all think that for a reason—the most common pet iguana, a type of lizard itself, is, in fact, the green subspecies.

These iguanas originate from South America, natively found in the regions of Brazil and Paraguay. They are herbivores that only eat leafy greens, vegetables, fruits and flowers, and they’re known to grow up to seven feet long from tip to tail! They can also weigh upwards of 20 pounds, so it’s vital that they have a cage full of ample space that accommodates their ever-growing size. Along with their prominent green coloring, they can have unique markings of blue, white, black, pink and purple, among virtually every other color.

Popular Types Pet Iguanas Desert Iguana

Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

Desert Iguana

Unlike the green subtype that originates from tropical areas, the desert iguana comes right from the deserts of North America—think Southwest United States and Mexico. These iguanas support sandy-colored skin and only grow up to two feet in length, though that doesn’t mean they can be placed in small areas. They have meaty arms fit for desert-style rock climbing and they’re used to hiding in hot climates, so their cages must accommodate their native lifestyle in order to keep them happy.

Rhinoceros Iguana

Named after the rhinoceros-like horns that grow on the faces of the males, these iguanas are native to parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. They are often very muscular, growing up to five feet in length and weigh up to 20 pounds or more. This type of iguana is also known for its feisty temperament, so owners must handle them with lots of care.

Spiny Tailed Iguana

Native to parts of Central America, this iguana loves a hot and dry climate. They are great climbers that will become aggressive, frequently raising the spiny scales on their back in defense—hence, the name spiny tailed.

Popular Types Pet Iguanas Blue Iguana

David Clode on Unsplash

Blue Iguana

An extremely unique iguana that comes from the Cayman Islands, this iguana is known for its bright blue coloring and large size, as it can grow to weigh over 30 pounds. Although this type is not as aggressive as some others, it is protected by the islands because it is an endangered species, making it unlikely to find as a pet.

Do Iguanas Make Good Pets?

Iguanas are often difficult for beginner lizard keepers to tame, as they are very aggressive and not naturally accustomed to human touch. However, some intermediate owners can take on the green types of iguanas as pets. As they are most commonly found, they are the easiest type to handle, so long as owners are committed to understanding their unique nature.

About the Author
Leopard gecko in its habitat


Kari is a long-time pet lover and owner. She has experience raising cats, dogs, rabbits, and aquatic life. Whenever she's not writing, she's probably baking homemade dog treats or camping with her family and their own four-legged friends!... Learn More

What’s Trending

What Is the Best (Most Popular) Dwarf Gourami

Known for their bright colors and beautiful fins, dwarf gourami may ju [...]

How To Choose the Right Litter Box for Your Home

Cats are great pets that millions of people adore but caring for cats [...]

Understanding the Functions of Saddle Pads

Saddle pads fulfill a range of functions, and your reason for using a [...]

The Top Ten Best and Most Common Pet Snakes

There are many different types of snakes; some are great as pets and o [...]

What Size Cage Does a Parrotlet Need

If you are looking for a pet bird that is small, colorful and full of [...]

What Is the Best Kind of Bed for a Cat?

Where does your cat sleep? If your cat is anything like mine, the answ [...]