Two weeks ago I took possesion of a 1 1/2 yr old male green iguana. He seems to be in good health. His body is about 10 inches in length and his tail 12 inches. He is currently housed in a 40 gal aquarium while I build a large enclosure. When I brought him home, I started him on Mellisa Kaplan's "Basic Salad" diet along with leafy greens. He has been eating very well. The temps of the tank have been maintained at: daytime - basking area 95 degrees and 85 at other end of tank, nightime - 80-85 degrees.

The tank is heated with a 60 watt incandescent bulb and a 150 watt CHE. A one year old 24" 5.0 UVB bulb is being used, although it is more indirect because the heating bulb and CHE along with thier fixtures, take up most of the space above the tank. He has no problem with me reaching in his tank to change food and water or to clean but when I try to pick him up he goes nuts and begins thrashing about. Once I have him in my hand, I am able to calm him down.

My question is, I have noticed that he sometimes will turn almost black all over his entire upper body/back while his lower half remains green. Next time I interact with him he will be a bright green color. Next time black again, and so on and so on. Is this normal behavoir? Thanks,
G
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Two weeks ago I took possesion of a 1 1/2 yr old male green iguana. He seems to be in good health.

Hi there..

2 weeks is not a long time yet for your Ig to have become fullyaccustomed to his new home. The colour changes you mentioned could be a result of several things including stress.
Temperatures sound good. I'd change the UVB light for a newer one and move it closer to his favourite basking spot (in his new enclosure). I apologize, but I am not a big supporter of the MK diet ..but it is a good start, as you are obviously doing some research. Lots and lots of dark greens, and lots of variety is the key. European grocers are a great source if you've any in your neighbourhood.
A really good resource book is "Iguana Iguana, Guide to Successful Captive Care" by Fredric L. Frye
Taming takes a great deal of time and patience. Try hand feeding and talking a lot so he becomes accustomed to your voice. They thrive on routine and dislike any changes, even those that may seem pathetically insignificant. ;o)
Upon spending time with your Ig, you will learn to read his body languange, including colour changes. They are often a clue as to how he's feeling both emotionally and physically.
If you haven't already found one, be sure to locate a knowledgeable vet. It would be a good idea to take him for an initial check up now. Let us know how you are coming along.
Colleen-
Thanks Cj. Why are you not a supporter of the MK diet? You mentioned lost of dark greens...in the diet, I used Green beans, dandelion greens and collard greens along with a variety of other vegis and fruits.

GL
Thanks Cj. Why are you not a supporter of the MK diet? You mentioned lost of dark greens...in the diet, I used Green beans, dandelion greens and collard greens along with a variety of other vegis and fruits.

Her diet simply lacks variety. (In my opinion).
Yes, lots of dark greens. Collards and Dandilions are super..also

rapini, Endive, chard, mustard greens, beet greens(often free from

green grocer), watercress . Occassionally Kale, outer cabbage

greens etc. Just think variety.
Use your fruits (treats) for handfeeding and taming.

You will find your Ig will have his definite favourites.

My fellow loves mango and prickly pear! He will run

across a room, and over the dog for some pear!
The book I recommended has food charts in it listing

food values. It really is worth the price of the book.

I am sure there are other books out there that other

posters can recommend as well. I tend to stay away

from the web sites, there is just too much conflicting

information.
Again I recommend the vet visit. It is far easier

(and cheaper) to stay on top of your Igs good health

instead of waiting for illness to occur.
Often by the time these animals show signs of illness,

it is too late.
Colleen-
i agree with CJ
Along the lines of variety in their diet, what foods should be avoided? Aside from the ones with no nutritional value, are there any that are poisonous?
I was also wondering if its possible to buy general purpose antibiotics over the counter? Such as baytril for example.
Along the lines of variety in their diet, what foods should be avoided? Aside from the ones with no nutritional value, are there any that are poisonous?

There are many toxic plants. Best to do your research, find a chart listing them. Especially if you keep house plants. Don't want your free roaming Ig to digest anything inappropriate.
I was also wondering if its possible to buy general purpose antibiotics over the counter? Such as baytril for example.

Sorry, I don't know the answer to this, but i doubt it. I personally rely on my vet for such products.
Cj-
To G. and Dave..I can scan and send you some food value charts, as well as a (long)list of toxic plants to be aware of. Let me know if you are interested.
Cj-
To G. and Dave..I can scan and send you some food value charts, as well as a (long)list of toxic plants to be aware of. Let me know if you are interested. Cj-

I'd like them too, please?
)
Cindy
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