Telling the difference between a male and female iguana can be tricky. If you plan to buy your pet iguana from a pet store or even a breeder, you should be able to tell the two apart on your own.
This way, when you arrive home and put them in their new habitat, you know exactly what you have – a boy or a girl.
By knowing the sex of your iguana, you can learn everything about that specific gender, which will help you know how to care for it best and handle them properly. This way, you will have fewer surprises and a better understanding on how to deal with the various situations that will arise.
To sex an iguana, keep in mind that this cannot be determined until it has reached maturity. In other words, baby iguanas, whether male or female, look the same, making it impossible to sex.
The sexual maturity of an iguana is related not to age but to size. For instance, once the male iguana reaches six inches long, he is considered sexually mature. For the female, she would need to reach around 10 inches long.
For the male, it will generally show secondary sexual characteristics such as enlarged jowls. The male typically has a block-like shaped head and might have two fatty deposits, one located behind the eye and the other above the ear.
The male iguana will generally have a heavier body with a visible bulge by the base of the tail.
For the female, you will see that she is missing the secondary characteristics that are found on the male. Additionally, she will have a smaller head, not have the fatty deposits, her jowls will be more pronounced, and her body more sleek and streamlined.
The female iguana will also have the small femoral pores. These pores do not develop the waxy substance like the male however. The female will also lack the hemipenal bulge that the male has.
Many people thinking about buying an iguana want to know if there is an advantage of owning one gender over the other. Well, it really depends on what you want in that they do have many differences. That means that both the male and the female can be wonderful, interesting pets while also presenting their own unique problems.