Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Iguanas in South Florida

We spent Christmas on our boat in No Name Harbor, in Bill Baggs St Park on Key Biscayne,FL.

Each morning we would row our dingy over to the Mangrove trees to see the Iguanas. This is one of the biggest ones. They can be 2-3 ft, but the Park Ranger said there was one close to 4ft. I think this might have been it.

12.20.08 No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne, FL 031cs3 Here’s a close up of it’s face. I am guessing this is a male. He has a pretty big dewlap and spines. There were several like this one, but many more smaller green ones. I wasn’t able to capture the vivid color. They seemed more skittish than the smaller ones. 12.20.08 No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne, FL 031cs2

I don’t know much about Iguanas. I have read it’s hard to tell them apart until they are older. 12.20.08 No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne, FL 032cs

12.20.08 No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne, FL 034csHere’s a close-up of its face.12.20.08 No Name Harbor, Key Biscayne, FL 034cs2

12.20.08 sunset No Name Harbor 053cs

This one was sitting on a rock to get warm. We had a few cool days but the sun warmed the rocks up. 12.20.08 sunset No Name Harbor 056cs

The Iguanas are not native to FL. They are probably the offspring of pets that were released and since they have no natural enemies…they are taking over. I guess they do a lot of damage to gardens etc. They are herbivores, they eat plants. We saw them sitting on the “fenders” that guide you under bridges and on the hedges in peoples yards. I thought they were kind of neat and how much fun it would be to have them hanging around, until I found out they had become such a problem. 


  1. Really awesome captures! They do look really cool, it's a shame they have become a problem.

    Craig Glenn

  2. Wonderful photos and informative post. I saw quite a few iquanas when we visited Mexico and they are an incredible creature, but I don't think I'd like them hanging around my backyard, especially if they took to eating my flowers!

  3. They are magnificent looking creatures. Too bad they have been regarded as a pest in Florida.

  4. We went on vacation down in Ft. Lauderdale a couple of years ago- the iguana were roaming the neighborhood and lounging around on the seawalls and docks. My little kids were fascinated by them and wanted to take one home as a pet. Luckily, they never were able to catch one. :)


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