The black spiny-tailed iguana is a lizard first native to Mexico and Central America. Although, that part of the world is its original homeland, this lizard has been extensively bred. It is available in almost every country in the world as a pet.
This lizard is characterized by the distinctive keeled scales on its long tail from where it gets its name, spiny tailed. The male members of the species grow up to 1.5 meters while females grow up to 1 meter. These pets have a crest of long spines that extend down the center of their back.
Although, different iguanas have different colors, adult spiny tailed iguanas have whitish gray color that comes with a series of 4-12 dark dorsal bands that extend to the ventral scales.
The male members also tend to develop an orange color around the head and throat. The color usually comes about during the breeding season.
On average, these iguanas can live for up to 15 years. Some males have been shown to live up to 25 years of age.
Taking care of the spiny tailed iguanas
Taking care of these iguanas is fairly easy. This is because you don’t require too much of designated space, special food or housing to take proper care of these pets.
When it comes to space, you only need a cage or an aquarium. When constructing the cage, you should remember that the iguanas are excellent climbers; therefore, ensure that the cage is sealed at the top to prevent these pets from escaping.
A juvenile iguana can reside in a 30-50 gallon aquarium. But their rapid growth will cause them to outgrow this enclosed space within several months. The enclosed space must be large enough for the pet to walk around.
There is no recommended cage size for iguanas as different iguanas come in different sizes. You should ensure that you construct a cage that is ideal for the iguana by making sure that they have plenty of space to move around. Since these pets love climbing, it is wise to include several tree branches for the pets to climb on.
These iguanas need and love the sun. Hence, it is recommended that they be able to bask in their enclosures. To ensure that the pet gets as much sun as possible, it’s advised that you construct outdoor enclosures.
In situations where outdoor enclosures compromise the security of the pet, you should go for indoor enclosures. To provide warmth, indoor enclosures should have full-spectrum bulbs that should occupy at least two-thirds of the enclosure’s length.
Experts recommend that you should provide basking shelves for the iguanas. For maximum benefits, the shelves should be situated at least 10 inches from the bulbs.
While you should ensure indoor enclosures are well lit, you should ensure that they have temperatures of between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The basking areas of the enclosures should have temperatures of between 95 and 105 degrees.
In addition to providing the right temperatures in the enclosures, you should also ensure that you provide hiding spots for the pets. This is because the pets like hiding. Excellent materials that you can use are cork bark that has been bored several hollows. When bowing the hollows, you should be cautious of your pet’s size. As always you should ensure that the hollow matches the size of your pet.
Feeding the spiny tailed
When it comes to food, iguanas are primarily herbivores and they feed on fruits, leaves, stems, and flowers. It has been shown that the pets also tend to occasionally feed on smaller animals and insects. The pets also tend to occasionally feed on arthropods and eggs.
If you are living in the urban areas where you can’t grow the plants for the pets to feed on, you should purchase the plants from your local stores. When you buy the plants from the stores you should keep them for at least 30 days before you give them to the pets. This is to ensure that all systemic pesticides and fertilizers on the plants are inactive. Some of the excellent foods include: shredded carrots, mixed greens, dandelions, pursland, and mulberry.
Behavior of the pets
The pets don’t easily trust; therefore, it’s common for them to be very cold to strangers. Earning the pet’s trust takes time and you have to treat it properly. For example you should never restrain the pet by its tail. The good side with the pet is that once you earn its trust, you become the pet’s best friend.