Reptiles/Iguana behavior


I have three male iguanas and a female. They each have their own separate cages. My female is going through breeding season and everything I've read tells me that my males should be head bobbing more and even might be aggressive. However, that is not the case with mine. Each one is acting very lazy, just laying around, not eating or going potty. Is this normal? It's just so opposite of what I've read but I'm wondering if it's different because I have multiple males. Thank you...

Hi Gina,

From my personal experience, which is with males only, that does sound surprising. The presence of other males, which are rivals to both territory and to the female, should increase the bobbing and potential for aggression.

I have read that some males will not display this behaviour but it seems odd that all three of yours fall into that category.

My own two males cannot be allowed to see each other during the spring/summer. We actually keep them visually separated all year now. They go for each quickly and violently and only the cage walls have stopped them from inflicting damage on each other. My younger male who is 8 now even reacts to pictures of iguanas and tries to chase/attack my cats during breeding season.

You didn't happen to mention their ages but I am assuming they are at least around 2 years old which is when to first expect that behaviour.

Breeding behaviour is a product of good health and diet and a properly functioning metabolism. Daylight hours and ultraviolet light also play a significant role.

Could you give me a bit more information on their temperature, lighting, diet and supplementation? If something has been off there it may indicate a developing health issue which could be why they are not reacting in the expected way.

If their diet and other husbandry is good and they seem otherwise healthy then you may just be lucky and have three males that are "relaxed" during breeding season.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

©2016 All rights reserved.