Sexing Green Iguanas
©1994. 2000 Melissa Kaplan
Non-invasive sexing needs to wait until the iguana is 8" long snout-vent length (svl) (this is approximately at 12 months of age assuming proper environment and diet from date of purchase or shortly thereafter). Pet stores selling baby iguanas younger than a year of age who tell you what sex they are are, quite simply, lying to you. Iguanas whose overall growth has been severely stunted will continue their sexual development, although it may be delayed. Generally speaking, the following signs will be seen in iguanas who are 2+ years old and under 8" svl. Note that the onset of the first breeding season, occurring at 1.5 years of age or so in a healthy iguana, may not occur for 3-6 years in apparently healthy, but actually malnourished, iguanas.
During breeding season, the plugs on sexually mature males may extrude from the pores, becoming quite visible in silhouette. It is theorized that they drag their thighs (and the plugs) along the ground/branches/rocks thus marking their territories or announcing their presence by leaving waxy scented trails from the scrapings off of the plugs.
Breeding Season "Gifts"
During the breeding season, ejaculate matter may be seen as a milky white substance floating in the urates.
However, there is one exception to the males = smooth bobbing rule: Males who have never been exposed to other males, who have been raised with dominant aggressive males or who have never seen themselves in a mirror or other reflective surface frequently bob like females. The more they do it, however, they will eventually develop the fluid male bobs if they move to a household or otherwise become the dominant male. Females, on the other hand, rarely lose the jerkiness.
Males bob in greeting as well as to gently reassert their dominance on a routine basis (I refer to is as the "I'm king of the hill and you're not" bob) - these are administered from a relaxed reclining position. When they are doing a specific territorial bob to perceived competitor, they will raise themselves up, laterally compress themselves a bit, then bob.
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© 1994-2013 Melissa Kaplan or as otherwise noted by other authors of articles on this site