CTENOSAURA PECTINATA PDF

Spiny-tailed iguanas Ctenosaura spp. They can make great pets or display animals. Despite laws to protect them, most spiny-tailed iguana populations are declining in the wild due to hunting, loss of habitat and poaching for the pet trade. Every effort should be made to purchase captive-born-and-bred animals because they generally are hardier and less skittish, and purchasing them helps take pressure off wild populations. Wild-caught spiny-tails are also available, most commonly the club-tailed iguana C.

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Spiny-tailed iguanas Ctenosaura spp. They can make great pets or display animals. Despite laws to protect them, most spiny-tailed iguana populations are declining in the wild due to hunting, loss of habitat and poaching for the pet trade.

Every effort should be made to purchase captive-born-and-bred animals because they generally are hardier and less skittish, and purchasing them helps take pressure off wild populations.

Wild-caught spiny-tails are also available, most commonly the club-tailed iguana C. There are also introduced populations of the black spiny-tailed iguana C. Spiny-Tailed Iguana Life Span Spiny-tailed iguanas can be long lived, easily living to 15 years of age. Many male spiny-tails can live up to 25 years of age or more. Spiny-Tailed Iguana Housing Caging requirements for spiny-tailed iguanas vary depending on the species and size of spiny-tailed iguana you keep.

Below are my recommended minimum enclosure sizes for a single spiny-tail or a pair. Smaller spiny-tailed iguanas measuring less than 18 inches in overall length: 36 inches long, 24 inches wide, 24 inches tall Spiny-tails with lengths of 18 to 40 inches: 4 feet long, 24 inches wide, 24 inches tall Larger species, such as the black spiny-tailed iguana: 6 feet long by 24 inches wide by 30 inches tall.

Outdoor enclosures are great for them. Indoor enclosures should have full-spectrum bulbs running two-thirds to the entire length of the enclosure, in addition to a basking bulb or two, depending on the size of the cage at one end.

To provide maximum health benefit from the full-spectrum lights, basking shelves or other sites should be situated no more than 10 inches from the bulb s. The ambient temperature in the enclosure should be between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit with basking areas reaching 95 to degrees. I live in Arizona where it is very hot and dry, and I mist their enclosures in the morning to replicate the high morning humidity of their natural habitat. Rabbit pellets can also be used, but do not mist these.

Various hide spots, such as cork bark hollows of appropriate size, should also be provided. I like to include live edible plants, such as hibiscus, of which both the flowers and leaves are edible, in my spiny-tail enclosures.

Purchase plants at least 30 days before you plan to use them, as many systemic pesticides and fertilizers may remain active in the plants and soil for at least 30 days. Photo Credit: Kelly Paul Outdoor cages are ideal for spiny-tailed iguanas. Spiny-Tailed Iguana Food Feed adult spiny-tailed iguanas a wide range of food, such as mixed greens, shredded carrots, mulberry and hibiscus leaves, and edible wild plants such as purslane, clover, dandelions, greens and flowers.

Seasonal fruit and vegetables can also be offered mine love figs. I have also offered Zoophobas, tomato hornworms and silk worms. I have never fed vertebrate prey such as mice to my Ctenosaura, but know keepers who have with no harmful effect. Calcium and vitamin supplements should be provided two to three times a week gravid females should receive supplemental calcium every day.

Dry commercial iguana diets are also available. Water misting is my preferred method of watering, particularly for baby spiny-tails, as they will drink the droplets off the plants. Do not mist if you use rabbit pellets as a substrate. Spiny-Tailed Iguana Handling and Temperament Spiny-tailed iguanas have been considered ill tempered, but this is not true for all Ctenosaura, especially in regard to captive-born-and-bred animals that behave differently than their wild-caught counterparts.

Captive-born-and-bred Mexican spiny-tails C. The San Esteban Island spiny-tailed iguana C. Wild-caught Guatemalan spiny-tailed C. A great way to build trust and calm new Ctenosaura is by hand-feeding them. Once they are comfortable with your presence and are taking food from your fingers, you can begin to pick them up. When picking up a pet spiny-tailed iguana, it is best to approach slowly and place your hand palm side up in front of the lizard.

Try putting your other hand behind it and gently coax the spiny-tail onto your hand. Never restrain your animal by the tail, as it can break off. Every spiny-tailed iguana is different. Some are so tame and inquisitive they seem to enjoy human interaction.

Others are a little flighty and require a bit more patience when interacting. Any spiny-tailed iguana that does not like to be handled will still make a fine display animal. Kelly Paul is a hobbyist with a lifelong interest in reptiles.

He has bred more than two dozen species, including six Ctenosaura. He has been a guest speaker at several events, including the International Herpetological Symposium. Email him at blueghostreptile msn. Related Articles.

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