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Breeding the Green Iguana – Indoor and Outdoor Nest Sites – Part 2

Please see Part I of this article for notes on constructing a practical outdoor nesting area for Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana).

Nests with Underground Access

Some breeders (and commercial farms) prefer to provide an underground entranceway into the garbage can nest site (Please see Part I), which is more in keeping with the Green Iguana’s habit of constructing a nesting chamber at the end of a long tunnel. 

This can be easily arranged by running a pipe from a hole in the buried portion of the can to the surface (please see Part I of this article for details on plastic garbage can set-up).  Clay pipes are recommended, as they provide good traction….PVC might be too slick, especially at steep angles.  Iguanas entering the pipe will excavate a nesting chamber at its end, within the can.

Indoor Nests

It is difficult to provide sufficient depth for a proper nest indoors, but some success has been had with earth-filled plastic garbage cans lain on their sides (use a square-sided rather than a round can, so that it does not roll about).

You can increase the available digging area by placing a rectangular can on its narrow side, so that the higher (wide) sides extend upwards.  Place a step in front of the can to allow the female to reach the entrance hole, which should be cut in the upper portion of the lid.  The lids of cans used in indoor cages should be secured onto the can with duct tape.

I’ll cover incubation and raising the young in future articles.

Further Reading

To read about observations I’ve made on wild Green Iguanas and an interesting US Iguana story, please see The Green Iguana on the Venezuelan Llanos and Green Iguanas and Raccoons in Southern Florida.

About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.
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