Hi all, I just wanted to run something by you all... I replied to a forum question on Reptiles Canada about sexing Iguanas as someone was asking how soon so they could get two (male & female). you can see my response and the subsequent ones after mine here: www.reptilescanada.com/forums/showthread.php?p=191596
Now, in the first persons reply they state that it's possible to "pop" a male iguana and I've only ever seen and heard it refered to for snakes. Personally I'd think that doing that is potentially harmful but, I wanted to run it by here because I don't know if maybe this was an old way of doing it(as there are many people living by old ways which are not generally used today). I have a fair amount I'd like to come back on as to where they are getting their info. This person (ominously is the name) has a lot of contradicting things throughout their posts. Just wanted to get some feedback, was what I said wrong? Let me know, I'd like to reply with a correction to my statement or to theirs. Let me know.
Post by IguanaKing on Nov 12, 2007 16:54:20 GMT -8
I would say that what you said was pretty much right on the money for the situation. Its true that iguanas can be sexed at an earlier time in their life by the method described...but due to the size of a juvenile or hatchling iguana, it is very risky (permanent injury is possible) and really should only be attempted by a vet that REALLY knows his stuff about iguanas. Overall though, what you said about females taking on male characteristics and behaviors and vice-versa is absolutely true, this DOES happen, especially in the wild, or in groups of multiple iguanas living in captivity. The problem I saw with that person's perspective on the situation is he said he has raised two adults and the rest have been hatchlings, so essentially he's basing his conclusion on what he knows of two adults. I have a feelling that his conclusions on behavioral and gender issues might be somewhat different if he has been around multiple adult iguanas. They all develop very unique personalities when they reach adulthood, and some even develop the physical traits of the opposite sex. If your iguana lays eggs, its definitely a female...but for him to say that a female will always attempt to lay eggs simply isn't true. Some lay every year, some never do. I thought the part about biting was kinda funny too. Iguanas are not purely defensive in their behavior, there are many (as some of us already know) that are aggressive biters. This happens all the time in the wild, the only thing stopping one ig from biting the other in a territorial challenge, is if the less-aggressive iguana can run and hide fast enough to get away from the other one. Bites being due to poor socialization and husbandry? Another fallacy. No matter how well an iguana is socialized, or how well they are cared for, there is always the possibility of being bitten and having that bite cause serious injury to the recipient. I mean...what...is he going to write a letter to Bob MacCargar and tell him he was bitten because he doesn't know what he's doing? LOL. It bothers me a little bit that this person is actively engaged in breeding iguanas, since he has so little apparent experience with the possible scenarios of raising an iguana to adulthood and beyond. OK...enough of my rant...but that's the way I see it. Good job, CB! ;D
Last Edit: Nov 12, 2007 16:56:28 GMT -8 by IguanaKing
email address: Enirgerep2005@yahoo.com
"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."
Post by prism_wolf on Nov 12, 2007 17:13:27 GMT -8
Looks like you have your hands full with that "Ominously" character. He makes some good points, but he's also very argumentative. The guy wanting to breed just doesn't have a clue...period... .
I wanted to post another set of bite pictures before responding.
For the most part you were right on target. As far as the bite goes...it's not really comparable to a bull shark. The pressure just isn't there. Their teeth are comparable to the composition of a tiger sharks - even down to tooth serrations, loss and replacement...but it would be interesting to get a shark of the same general mouth size and see who could do the more damage on the skin of a dead pig.
These are almost all from males in breeding season. It's important to understand that no matter how well-behaved an iguana is...some have hard breeding seasons where the hormones just take over. He's lucky to have never been faced with a full-grown, raging, hormonal male in full charge defending his territory...or trying to mate with him. Many of these pictures are from single iguana homes. No chance of smelling another ig there.
As far as "popping" for sexing...yes...it can be done, but it's more difficult than for snakes. An iguana may try to drop it's tail and a good reason it should not be done.
Iguanas taking on opposite sexual characteristics...yes...it does happen. Dimorphism in iguanas is very strong up until reaching sexual maturity. Even the hemipenal bulges are not present until the young man-ig buds. It takes special circumstances for the presence of the opposite sex features to come on, but it does happen.
An alpha female can take on more male characteristics, but not usually to the point of not being able to tell the sex at full maturity....although...it does happen, but usually in spayed females. The hormonal balance is interrupted and where there is no longer estrogen to balance the chemistry the testosterone takes the wheel. Males and females produce both hormone...when one is removed the other takes over. On the flipside - an omega male iguana will take on very female characteristics to the point of even throwing out female pheromones to keep the alpha male thinking it's female and not worthy of chasing from it's territory - or trying to kill it.
Sex this ig:
The above iguana was a head-bobber and would continuously charge the cage when the caretaker would come to feed. The wife had no problems with this ig, but the husband was looked upon as the "spawn of Satan" and must be destroyed.
To offer lettuce as the main diet and supplementing to make up the difference is not only lazy, but it can be dangerous. Unless blood tests are performed fairly frequently there is no way to know if the igs are getting dosed reasonably well, or too much, or not enough. No one knows yet the exact dosing scale, but counting on that to make up for the lack of variety is the wrong way to feed an iguana. It's like feeding a child celery sticks for a total diet and supplementing with vitamins to make up for the lack of nutrition of the celery.
You're more than welcome to use any of this post for any response you would like to give him... .
Thanks for your support guys. I guess I could've gone into more detail about the gender "look-alike" contests and what generally happens but I only had so much time to write. This person likely has too much of it. At any rate, I don't think he even read to the end of my post because he mentioned the Kaplan website and I had it already linked up along with the best ones (including this one) that I know of. I'll be replying with a bit more ammo now and I'll hopefully find some medical site or something which has information on it. I know there was one linked to NIAD (or at least I think it was from there). I'll definitely be pointing them back to the thread on Bites to people thats for sure.
And Prism...I assume when you said "sex this ig" it wasn't a trick question. I'd say 100% male but knowing the context of the discussion I'm second guessing. I know my best friends ig showed no signs of being female because she was alpha but one day laid eggs and that's when it all became clear lol Anyways, thanks again for both your insights...it's much appreciated.