Iguanas in Colder Weather: Understanding Their Behavior

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Understanding Iguanas in Colder Weather

As temperatures in Florida drop, iguanas may display strange behavior as they struggle to regulate their body temperature. These cold-blooded reptiles are not equipped to handle cold temperatures and may enter a state of torpor, similar to hibernation.

Signs of Cold Stress

Iguanas experiencing cold stress may display the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy and lack of movement
  • Lack of appetite
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Freezing and falling out of trees

What Causes Iguanas to Freeze?

Iguanas are unable to generate their own body heat, so when temperatures drop, their metabolism slows down and they become less active. Eventually, they enter a state of torpor, where they appear to be dead, but they are actually alive. They will wake up once temperatures warm up.

How to Keep Iguanas Safe

Iguanas are a protected species in Florida, and it is illegal to harm or kill them. If you come across a frozen iguana, the best course of action is to leave it alone and let it thaw out naturally.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do provide warmth and shelter for pet iguanas
  • Don’t handle frozen iguanas, they can sustain injuries
  • Do contact a professional wildlife removal service if you find an iguana on your property


Iguanas in colder weather may display strange behavior as they struggle to regulate their body temperature. By understanding the signs of cold stress and taking steps to keep them safe, we can help protect these reptiles during colder weather in Florida.”