A green iguana has different ways of displaying anger, fear, agitation, happiness, and contentment. In order to better understand and care for your pet, you should know what he may be trying to tell you. Some emotions are displayed with only slight variations of movements or postures. It may take a while to learn your pet’s unique actions, but it is well worth the time.
Biting is a way for your iguana to display anger, fear, or anxiety. A bite is usually not the first sign that your iguana is unhappy. Being aware of your pet’s other actions to determine his mood is the best way to prevent getting bit.
Claws & Feet
An iguana uses its claws to grab and hold onto something. Getting scratched by your iguana is often just an accident from him trying to get support. Your pet may on occasion kick when it is unhappy.
The dewlap is the flap of skin under your iguana’s chin. It is used to display various emotions as well as a way to regulate heat. Combined with other actions it can be used as a hello, establishing dominance, or as a sign of being upset.
Eyes can display many emotions. Closed eyes can show a sign of happiness or relaxation. An iguana staring at you with dilated pupils and an evil look may be a sign of unhappiness. Dilated eyes while staring at something can also be a sign of curiosity.
Head bobbing is common among iguanas and other reptiles. A slow bob may be a way of saying hello. A fast, more intense bob can be a sign that your pet could be upset or angry.
Your iguana may display how he feels by opening his mouth. An open mouth can be a sign that he is too hot and needs to be moved to a cooler location. A slightly open mouth can be a sign of curiosity. An open mouth can also be a warning that your iguana is upset.
Your iguana’s skin may change colors. Often, color changes are one of the ways your iguana regulates heat. A darker iguana may be attempting to warm himself and a lighter color can mean that he is too hot or warm enough. Light or dark color changes can also be a sign of unhappiness, anger, or fear.
Tails are used as a weapon for defense. If an iguana is scared, it can whip its tail which can be quite painful.