Iguana - A very common species in the Brazilian Northeast

Iguana - A very common species in the Brazilian Northeast

The Iguana-green or common iguana, [Iguana iguana (Linnaeus)], also known as chameleon among other names in the national territory, is one of the species of reptiles very sighted in this region.

It can occur in the tropical forests of Central and South America. An adult green iguana can measure 180 cm in length and weigh 6 to 8 kg. It feeds on fruits, leaves, insects and also small vertebrates. It has a crest that goes from the nape to the tail many times larger than the rest of the body. It has diurnal habits and is an oviparous lizard performing only one spawn per year, with an average of 30 eggs.

The beginning of the reproductive season is characterized by the hierarchy imposed by the dominant male. In this region from March to May, males usually designate large territories with a harem of several females. They have arboreal habits, that is, live in trees and when new ones have an intense green color, when larger, they have, along the body, dark stripes, although the male has the most vivid colors during the reproduction period. They are also good swimmers and use this to escape predators. The tail of an iguana has two-thirds of the total length of the body and is used as a whip for its defense. The iguana's popularity made it seen by many as a pet, and it was common for people to get it. Unfortunately, many end up being abandoned both in institutions and in the natural environment as well as consuming their eggs and meat when hunted by local communities.

These animals like all others play an important role in nature, and in this period we find many of them in the streets, inns and homes due to the reproductive period. But one of the major problems for the species is the loss of habitat by deforestation and urban growth, as well as domestic animals such as cats and dogs. The constant trampling on the routes between Tibau do Sul and Pipa, among many other routes, could be avoided by passing at low speed with attention on the road, thus avoiding several accidents with iguanas, other wild animals and man.

Por Daniel Henrique Gil. Text originally published in Bora Magazine - issue 05 - Apr / May 2014

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