Nonnatives - Green Iguana

Green Iguana - Iguana iguana


Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1966

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 1 county  At least 10 years, 4 counties  Less than 10 years, 1 county  Not reported breeding

Statewide trend: Expanding

Threats to natives: Unknown. Adults are vegetarians, so they do not compete for food with our native lizards.

Species Account: This native of the neotropics is found on Key Biscayne and in urban and suburban areas elsewhere in southern Florida, especially where trees form dense canopies near water (Dalrymple 1994). However, they can also be found beneath canal side debris, on downtown sidewalks, and in urban backyards. When startled, this primarily arboreal species often drops from limbs of trees and swims or runs quickly away. Babies are bright green, but adults tend to be grayish green and may develop orange coloration anteriorly during the breeding season. The huge dewlap and vertebral crest are largest in males, which may reach over 1.8 m (6 ft) in length. This species is extremely popular in the pet trade and is frequently released or escapes, but specimens typically do not survive the winter except in southern Florida (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).

Habitats: Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns, Agricultural habitat, Rockland Hammock

County First Year Extirpated Year Breeding status Notes 


Less than 10 years Davie (Townsend et al. 2002)
DADE 1966


At least 10 years Miami area, but not breeding at first (King and Krakauer 1966); probably breeding since 1980 (Butterfield et al. 1997)
LEE 1990s


Less than 10 years Fort Myers (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999); Cape Coral (Krysko et al., in press)


Less than 10 years Coral Reef State Park (Duquesnel 1998); found on various keys from Key Largo to Stock Island (Krysko et al., in press) and populations are increasing.


Less than 10 years Palm Beach Gardens and Loxahatchee (Krysko et al., in press)


Not reported breeding West of Port St. Lucie (G. J. Ward and M. A. Flowers, Vero Beach, Florida, personal communication)


Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. 278pp.

Dalrymple, G. H. 1994. Non-indigenous amphibians and reptiles. Pages 67-71, 73-78 in D. C. Schmitz and T. C. Brown, project directors. An assessment of invasive non-indigenous species in Florida's public lands. Florida Department of Environmental Protection Technical Report No. TSS-94-100, Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

King, F. W., and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 29:144-154.

Krysko, K. L., K. M. Enge, J. H. Townsend, E. M. Langan, S. A. Johnson, and T. S. Campell. In Press. New county records of amphibians and reptiles from Florida. Herpetological Review.

Links to more information

The Wild Ones species account

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