Spiny-tailed Iguanas

(Ctenosaura sp.)

 Norbert: Our original Banana Iguana

We began working with Spiny-tailed Iguanas (Ctenosaura species) in 2001 with the purchase of some juvenile wild collected Mexican Banded Spinytails C. similis - from a feral population in S. Florida. They are a very attractive but poor tempered species and we eventually chose to pass on continuing the project. In 2003 we decided to look at  C. pectinata which was reputed to be a much calmer species. They proved much more pleasant to work with but our line had fertility issues that made them frustrating as a breeding project. We then gave C. melanosterna, the Black Chested blue backed Iguana a try. They were an interesting mix of the previous two species being pretty much intermediate  in all respects. They were still a little flighty for my tastes and we were offered a good trade for them so ended that project in 2012. Our goal now is work with some new blood in pectinata as we really missed working with that species.  We purchased a pair of yearlings and a juvie male from the original high yellow Kelly Paul line in late 2012 and a few Mexican ranch-bred hatchlings. We are rearing these now with our 1st shot at hatchlings in 2014.  Our yearlings both proved to be females and as we have no male to go with them, we currently have them with an exceptional Mexican Banded Spinytail. The trio gets along well so we'll see what they do while we're waiting on our pectinata male to get large enough to pair with our girls. We've had pectinata-similis crosses before and they are probably the most beautiful of the spinytails we've ever had.  With luck something nice will come if this. Below is a brief synopsis of how we have kept our Ctenosaurs to date. 


We rear them on the same base diet as our Uromastyx (see our care sheet for Uromastyx) but with the occasional insect and canned dog food added (they grow much better with the added protein but will become very aggressive feeders (nippy) at feeding time - especially for the canned dog food). We also drop the ambient temperatures to the mid 90's. We bed them on coconut husk chunks and occasionally mist their cages with water (weekly as hatchlings, much less so as they mature).  We also give them taller habitats with large branches for climbing and basking (see photos).



 Iguana Hatchling Tank (upper cage in stack) Breeder Tank (modified shower stall) in our home



 Norbert's 1st breeding Our first DDF produced Banana Iguana 2009



 Our Florida Similis male Pectinata-Similis Intergrade found in Florida as a hatchling




Kelly Paul, producer of most the spiny-tailed iguana species in the U.S. with  a pair of his Banana morph Mexican iguanas (C pectinata).

 We've set up a group of six 4' x 2 1/2' x 3' tall Vision tanks to sit in waiting to rear our next groups in so we are ready to go. Now if we can just get some hatchlings!  Hatchling Ctenosaurs from us are a long shot for 2014 but feel free to e-mail us if you wish to get on a waiting list for some. We don't take deposits but fill "Wanted" lists on a first come, first served basis.



Email: douglasdix@deerfernfarms.com

Copyright 1992-2014 by  Douglas Dix. All rights reserved for all photos and text