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Lesser Antillean iguana

Iguana delicatissima

Lesser Antillean iguana at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Reptiles
Order: Squamata
Family: Iguanidae

These striking lizards are native to scrub forest and woodland in the Northern Lesser Antilles – a group of islands in the Caribbean.

They are mainly herbivorous, feeding on leaves, flowers, fruits and shoots, depending on the season.

Interesting facts!

  • Male iguanas are territorial and will threaten rivals by displaying their dewlap and bobbing their heads. They also display a behaviour known as ‘snalting’ – using a special gland to sneeze excess salt out of their nose.
  • Female iguanas lay anywhere between 5 and 30 eggs. The eggs are buried underground and the babies hatch as fully formed mini iguanas.


Classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, these animals are legally protected throughout their range, although enforcement is difficult. Paignton Zoo is one of only a handful of zoos that keep this amazing lizard.