Do Iguanas Bite?

healthy feeding guide for your iguana

Do iguanas bite? Yes, they do. There are several types of iguana bites, intentional or deliberate, along with other bites that are most common by iguanas.

Want to know what causes your iguana to bite? Read on.

Unintended Bites

This bites usually happens when you hand feed. No need to worry, no serious injuries from this bite because the iguana is not intended to bite as an attack in a hostile environment.

Curious Bites

Iguanas usually examine when there is something new or smell they did not recognize before. They will stick out the tongue and proceed with a small bite to see if it responds.

Fright Bites

Usually, when you try to tame your iguana (see also our iguana taming article) that just found its new home, the iguana may wag its tail and try to bite – all in the state of fear. The strength of this type of bite not harmful and not something to worry about.

Territorial bites

Territorial domination is very important for iguana. Having more than one male iguana is a bad idea because you will always have territory-related attacks that can occur most of the times.

When out of its natural habitat, the iguana will try to dominate the area. When the territorial aggression is shown, it is better to leave it alone for a while until it eases. It may attack and try to bite when confronted.

Friendly bite

This type of bite is something that can goes on or lasts for a long time. This is not a bite that is harmful, the bite usually eases over the time and it will release its bite after some time.

Though if you are trying to pull it away, it will become more aggressive and bite harder.

Some keepers had tried to let the iguana dip slowly in the water when this bite goes on – so it might try to release the bite, but usually never works.

One way to handle it is by placing alcohol swab under its nose. If that does not work, try drip it into the mouth. If it’s biting and holding on your clothes, take it slowly and not to hurt its teeth.

The mating season bite

Male iguanas in the breeding season can be very aggressive and impossible for you to control them. They can chase you around the house to just throw you out of their territory. It is reported that male iguana can even sense hormonal changes in human females (during PMS)  which makes them even more loony.  If it comes to you, catch it quickly and move it to the place (cage).

So, what to do?

Ok, it’s obvious that bites and scratches aren’t pleasant part of your socializing with the reptile. In order to protect yourself, you can try wearing gloves (like these, for example) in order to prevent injuries, especially while your reptile isn’t tamed yet.