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Ha ha. The following picture of Esmerelda as a baby makes me laugh. Look at those silly little bug eyes and baby face.

NOW look at her! She’s a heavy, razor clawed dinosaur! I wonder if I could get her to stay still on a scale. She’s got to be at least twenty pounds…


I’ve got a little warning for anyone considering an iguana, they get BIG, they get STRONG, they need SPACE, and they have little razor blade CLAWS. Some may even bite you if you make them angry and I’m glad to say Esmerelda doesn’t have much of a temper, because that would HURT.

I’ve also got a little tip for anyone who currently has a young iguana. Don’t let them spend a lot of time on top of your head! Because when they get big and really heavy, they still think that your head is there hangout and not only does it hurt when they try to use their claws to climb up your face, but it also hurts your neck once they’re up for a while. Ha ha. I speak from experience!

Yesterday evening I decided to give Esmerelda another bath since she’s having her shed, but in the process of bringing her into the bathroom, she decided she wanted to climb up my head and one of her claws actually got snagged in my face, right beneath my eye, and she yanked it out before I had the chance to do it. OUCH! I also got a nice little scratch down my forehead. Note to self: Clip her nails BEFORE taking her out.

Then of course, I couldn’t get her OFF my head, so I ended up having to step into the tub, get on my knees, and put my head down onto the surface of the tub so that she could walk off. It must have looked ridiculous, but there was no other easy way.

So think about this if you’re considering an iguana, are you willing to look like a crazy person lying in an empty tub with an enormous lizard on your head? Because it might just come to that or something like it.


After getting cut to pieces last night trying to measure Esmerelda, it turns out she didn’t even grow an inch! All that pain for nothing. Still 40 inches.

I don’t know what got into her, but she was really grumpy last night and didn’t want anything to do with me.

Maybe I should have been keeping track of girth too. I can tell that her throat and dewlap have gotten wider and more prominent. She is really starting to looking like an adult Iguana. I can’t believe that in March, I will have had her a whole year.

She has literally doubled in size since the first day I got her. From 20 inches to 40 in 12 months. Wow.

Now 34 Inches, Esmerelda is getting too heavy to sit on my head!

Her claws are getting harder to handle and she needs to have them clipped more often for easier handling. I’m thinking about experimenting with covering some of her logs with the same type of sand paper material used for those sand perch covers for birds. I think this may help keep her nails filed down. I’ll update on how it goes.

Measured Esmerelda again August 9th and she is now 28 1/2 inches from nose to tail tip!

She is eating well and shedding regularly and is pretty calm with other people, Her claws can be very sharp though, so those need to be clipped at least monthly for comfortable handling. I have just been using regular people nail clippers with no problem. She can be a little fussy, so I just wrap her in a towel, only exposing the foot I want to work with. 

She really seems to like this Juvenile Iguana Food I got her at an exotics pet store near us. The brand is Rep Cal and it has a very ripe fruity smell. All I do is pour some out into her bowl and moisten it a little with one of my spray bottles. 

If you’re having trouble getting your iguana to eat pellet foods I’d recommend this. She took to it very quickly.

^Rep Cal food shown with Mustard Greens

On the other hand, she didn’t seem to care particularly for the Zilla brand: … er-164932/

She would eat it, but not as readily as the Rep Cal: … -oz-151969

Welcome to Frog City’s The Iguana Blog.

The purpose of this blog is to share my iguana experiences with other current or up and coming iguana owners. As she grows, I will share all sorts of my experiences with her, from nail clipping to that looming problem for all owners of a juvenile iguana – the future cage setup!

I bought Esmerelda from the most recent reptile expo (March 16th ’08) for just 12 dollars! The dealer said she was around 3-4 months old.

I was a little worried about her when I first brought her home because she kept sneezing. I though that, since she had been a moist plastic container all day at the show, that that could be a part of the problem. But I looked up "sneezing" in Melissa Kaplan’s "Iguanas For Dummies" book and realized that it’s quite natural! So don’t worry, sneezing is just how they expel salts!

It is amazing how sharp their little claws can be! I clipped Esmerelda’s nails about a week after I brought her home. She was giving me cuts all over my hands (and forgetting about them later and putting hand sanitizer all over them doesn’t feel good at all!). I used a regular people nail clipper to do it and had someone else hold her while I did the back feet.

To do the front feet, because she was getting skittish, I wrapped the back of her body in a towel. This worked pretty well. 

I used the drawing in Melissa Kaplan’s Iguanas For Dummies to see where you were exactly suppose to clip them (a very good guide and book to have on hand) and I had no problems. Though it was only the very tip that needed to be clip, it makes a world of difference!

For the most part, Esmerelda is very calm, but she [i]does[/i] try to whip me with her tail from time to time. But she will usually only do this if there is some sort of fast movement nearby. If I’m worried that she is going to whip me (someone’s walking by quickly, or she just raises her tail like she is about to) I just gently grab her tail and she gives me a funny look and usually lets her tail go back down.She is 20 inches long from her nose to the tip of her tail and I will post some images of her by the measuring stick soon. Right now she is in a bit of a makeshift 20 gallon long tank with a heat lamp, towel flooring, and a rubber ten gallon grid tank top, leaned against the side which serves as a good basking spot, with a bowl of food. This won’t last long though and I have a larger tank that I will probably move her into soon.

I have some info I could share on feeding, showers, and how she has responded to my water dragon but I will save those for another post for now.