Green Iguanas (nicknamed bamboo chicken) are attracted to bright colours such as red, orange and yellow. From personal experience I'd say that this bit of trivia found on a website dedicated to the care and feeding of pet iguanas is correct. We have had iguanas munch on our yellow hose nozzle, attack the orange handle on the rake, or beg for treats when I wear my red gardening gloves. But lettuce, cucumbers, and broccoli hold absolutely no fascination for them. Iguanas don't have teeth as such, just bony ridges that can, as my sister Joann discovered, do damage to fingers if you forget to keep those pink-wiggly-things out of the iguana's mouth.
Their biggest enemy seems to be dogs, especially dogs that are hungry, or dogs that like to dig. We have seen a few dead, or about-to-be-dead, iguanas being carted off by a dog or two on the island. Some of the dogs get quite excited, yipping while digging up the burrows, and that's when we use our super-duper water-cannon and chase the marauders away. However, occasionally the dog is a quiet, efficient hunter and secures his prize before we can interfere. Score: Dog - 1, Iguana - 0.
|Municipality installed iguana-crossing warning signs|
I was surprised to learn that Green Iguanas are classified as "Threatened" and are so listed on Appendix II of the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). We have at least 15 to 20 Green Iguanas currently in residence along this stretch of the beach. It's really hard to get an accurate head count because the little devils all look alike.
|One of our resident iguanas enjoying snacks|
Typically we experience a rapid drop in temperature with storms, making it difficult for the lizard to escape the inundation of water. So, between dogs, vehicles, hurricanes - and small boys with slingshots - these hapless critters can use a helping hand.
|Treats for iguana at local marina|
A couple of other funny facts about iguanas.
1. They shed. Depending on its growth rate and age an iguana will shed from once to many times in a year. An iguana's skin will begin to turn a dull, hazy shade of grey indicating it needs to shed. It's a messy affair with bits and pieces hanging off in a state of disarray. The fresh new skin will be shiny and brightly coloured.
2. The male iguanas have a hemipenis. That's two - that they can use alternately. Twice the fun!
3. A group of iguanas is called a lounge of lizards. As my character Jessica Sanderson mused in Tormenta Isla Book #3 of the Isla Mujeres Mystery series, Book;
|My attempt at hand-painting a sign.|