Green iguanas got their name because well, they’re green, except for some instances of abnormally colored or patterned individuals found in normal populations.
There are also several variations on the green colored iguana, like being deeply green or pale. Some have a blueish color of a great or small amount. There are also prominent and subtle striping and so on.
Do green iguanas change color?
Absolutely. Baby iguanas are usually deep, bright vivid green with some stripes in their body and bands around their tail that would or would not meet evenly. At the start of their second year, they will start to mutate from their baby colors into adult colors. They might even lose their bright deep green and would fade into a lighter green.
They also change color when they are shedding, where their normal color starts to get dull and dim, even yellow. Unlike snakes that shed its skin at one piece, green iguanas shed in batches. And this will be visible through patches which look like someone has painted them with a transparent white paint.
Temperature change also causes green iguanas skin to change colors. When an iguana is cold, it turns into a darker shade to try to absorb more heat to warm them up.
It is the same as the human clothing, they say that dark color clothes absorb heat and light colors repel it.
Read more: Green Iguana Pet Care Sheet and Guide
Green iguana turning brown
Though iguanas do change color as I mention above, dark gray, dark brown, black and yellow are not their normal colors (aside from the brown and gray-headed iguanas). Color change in an iguana can be caused by stress, which begins on the head, upper body, tail, legs then around the torso to the belly.
There are many reasons for an iguana to be stressed, some of them are environmental, psychosocial and physiological. Some of the stressors for green iguanas are new people or animals that they feel threatened for, loud noises like screaming kids or barking dogs.
Iguana color turning gray or brown is a sign that your iguana is not happy or healthy and you must do something to fix it. You can try transferring it to a new room or enclosure and remove or keep it away from what causing its stress. These actions will help improve your iguana’s conditions.
It is also a best to have your iguana check by a reptile vet when his conditions don’t change after trying your best to improve its situation because prolonged stress hampers your iguana’s immune function and can lead to a more serious problem even death.
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