What do dragon iguanas eat?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Dragon iguanas, also known as green iguanas or common iguanas, are primarily herbivorous reptiles. In the wild, they feed on a variety of plant matter, and this should be replicated in their captive diet to ensure their nutritional needs are met. As an expert in iguana care, I can provide you with a detailed list of the foods that dragon iguanas eat.

1. Dark, leafy greens: These should form the basis of their diet. Greens such as collard greens, turnip greens, and dandelion greens are excellent choices. These greens are rich in vitamins and minerals essential for the iguanas’ well-being.

2. Safe flowers: Dragon iguanas can also enjoy various flowers as part of their diet. Hibiscus flowers, roses, and orchids are safe options. These flowers not only add variety to their diet but also provide additional nutrients.

3. Leafy ornamental plants: Some leafy ornamental plants can be included in their diet. It’s important to ensure that these plants are safe for consumption and have not been treated with any harmful chemicals or pesticides. Examples include hibiscus leaves and leaves from non-toxic plants like ficus or dracaena.

4. Vegetables: Including a variety of vegetables in their diet is important to provide a well-rounded nutritional profile. Vegetables such as squash, bell peppers, and carrots can be offered. These vegetables are not only nutritious but also add some variety in taste and texture.

5. Sweet, juicy fruits: Dragon iguanas can also enjoy fruits as a treat. Sweet and juicy fruits like melons, mangoes, and berries can be offered occasionally. However, it’s important to remember that fruits should not comprise the majority of their diet as they are high in sugar and should be fed in moderation.

It’s worth mentioning that the diet of dragon iguanas should be supplemented with calcium and vitamin D3 to prevent deficiencies. Calcium can be provided through calcium powder or by dusting their food with calcium supplements. Vitamin D3 can be obtained through natural sunlight exposure or by using reptile-specific UVB lights.

In my personal experience, I have found that offering a variety of foods is beneficial for the overall health and well-being of dragon iguanas. It’s important to observe their feeding habits and preferences to ensure they are consuming a balanced diet. Regularly monitoring their weight and consulting with a reptile veterinarian can also help in fine-tuning their dietary needs.

Remember, providing a diverse and nutritious diet is essential for the long-term health and happiness of dragon iguanas.