Melissa Kaplan's
Herp Care Collection
Last updated January 1, 2014

Female Iguanas: Are they more difficult to tame?

©1994 Melissa Kaplan


Why don't female iguanas get as tame as males?

Why are females always so cranky?

I've been thinking a bit about adult female igs and why they are so often reported as being bitchy and unfriendly. Having watched the three big adult females around here, as they met and settled in with each other (and, in the process, redefining the existing organizational hierarchy) and having dealt with an assortment of males of various sizes temperaments, it comes to mind that the females are not bitchy or unfriendly - they're just used to dealing with macho (territorial, posturing, periodically lusty) males.

Where males defend and work to extend territory and try to mate with whatever female walks through or in close proximity to the area, females just can't be bothered with that nonsense, literally and figuratively brushing the males off if they are not receptive to their attentions. It is the females here who get the food first. And first of all females is the new alpha female, Iguanita, who supplanted the existing alpha female here when she came in. When I reach out to touch the newer ones, their immediate response is to shake their heads and push me off...until I start rubbing their heads. Then it's an "Oh, yeah, I remember! I LIKE this!" Fussy too when first picked up, again, until it clicks in that good thinks can come of being picked up and held.

In other words, it appears that the males are more programmed to submit to a dominant force where it takes more than just alpha male craziness to get through to a female...

All that being said, it should be noted that many females become highly socialized, very comfortable with humans, including strangers, often becoming (at times, at least!) the essence of cuddly and sweet.

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