What Do Iguanas Eat in the Wild?

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Iguanas live in many areas of Central and South America, and the diet they consume in the wild is very different than what those same reptiles eat in captivity. In the wild, iguanas eat several different types of plants, which varies by what is available in the animal's immediate habitat. The iguana's diet might also vary based on the time of year.

In Populated Areas

  • In areas with human habitation, iguanas are considered a pest. The reptiles eat landscape items, including shrubs and trees. Iguanas also eat flowers, which can ruin a flower bed. Gardens and fruit orchards are also not immune to iguanas. The animal will eat berries, tomatoes and mangoes. People should not feed wild iguanas because this will attract more of the animals.

Leaves

  • The staple food of a wild iguana's diet is leaves from fruits and plants. Green leaves in particular are the most common food in the animal's diet. Some of the plant leaves consumed by wild iguanas include lettuce, kale, spinach and turnip greens when available. In many iguana habitats, these plants are not widely available, so the animals eat leaves from princess vine, rock rosemary and West Indian woodnettle.

Flowers and Fruit

  • Secondary in a wild iguana's diet are flowers and fruit. In areas with little human habitation and human-grown fruits and flowers, the animals eat wild flowers and fruits. In the tropical climates that many iguanas frequent, orchids and exotic flowers are on the menu. When they can find them, iguanas will eat wild figs, mangoes, tomatoes, bananas and berries.

Animal Protein

  • While iguanas seem to prefer to eat plans and fruits, occasionally the reptile will eat animals. For example, adult iguanas sometimes eat insects. Iguanas are also sometimes cannibals and adults will eat small iguanas that are only a few days or weeks old.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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