In this article, we’ll answer the question:
“What do iguanas eat?”
First, you’ll find a short summary of what iguanas eat in nature, then get a list of an iguana’s favorite foods that make up a typical iguana diet. And finally, answers to common questions about iguana feeding habits and nutrition.
Iguanas are herbivorous lizards in the order of Squamata group in the class of Reptilia and phylum Chordata. Two species are placed in the iguana genus: the green iguana, which is a popular pet, and the Lesser Antillean iguana, which is native to the Lesser Antilles.
What Do Iguanas Eat?
Iguanas eat plants, vegetables, flowers, and fruit because they are herbivores. An iguana’s diet is determined by the availability of vegetation in its habitat.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, “Most of the diet (80-90%) should be dark green leafy vegetables, with less than 20% of the diet as fruit.”
Iguana Diet (Favorite Food)
- Alfalfa hay
- Balloon vines
- Beet greens
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Princess vine
- Swish chard
- Turnip greens
What Foods Are Toxic to Iguanas?
Foods that are toxic to iguanas include spinach, romaine lettuce, onions, beets, beet greens, celery stalk, carrots, grapes, and broccoli. Vegetables, such as spinach, contain oxalate, which combines with calcium minerals, resulting in kidney blockage, necrosis, and eventual death.
This information on toxic foods comes from Cornell poisonous plants specific to iguanas.
How Often Does an Iguana Eat?
An iguana often eats once a day, but young or hatchling iguanas eat at least twice a day. The feeding frequency of an iguana varies depending on age and size.
How Much Do Iguanas Eat Per Day?
Iguanas eat approximately 10.5 grams of food per day, comprising various plants, vegetables, fruits, and flowers. The food consumption rate of an iguana depends on its size and age; young iguanas eat less food than adult iguanas because of reduced metabolic rate.
How Long Can Iguanas Live Without Food?
Iguanas can live up to a week or two without food. Sometimes, an iguana can live for up to a month without food if it has a healthy weight before fasting.
Do Iguanas Eat Meat?
Iguanas do not eat meat because they are herbivores that strictly eat plants. Iguanas should not eat meat or bugs or be fed this type of food.
However, according to Animal Diversity Web, “They occasionally eat a small amount of carrion or invertebrates.”
Do Iguanas Eat Fruit?
Iguanas do eat fruit such as apples, pears, bananas, mangoes, grapes, guava, dates, and raspberries. However, fruit should make up only a small percentage (less than 20%) of an iguana’s total diet. Excessive eating of fruits and vegetables containing high amounts of oxalic acid can be fatal to iguanas.
What Animals Eat Iguanas?
Iguanas are prey to a number of different species.
You can visit our other guide on what animals eat iguanas to find out which predators actively feed on these reptiles.
Iguana Eating Habits and Diet Summary
You now know what do iguanas eat in the wild as well as the typical food in an iguana diet.
As you discovered in this guide, iguanas are herbivores that only eat vegetation for nutrition with an iguana’s favorite food being things like plants, flowers, and vegetables.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.