Ctenosaura pectinata, Mexican Spinytail Iguana (banana morph)

Discussion in 'Iguanas' started by Sean Kunjambu, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Sean Kunjambu

    Sean Kunjambu New Member

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    hi guys, i just bought a mexican spinytail iguana (banana morph) a week ago. i was told he is 1 1/2 years old and he is about 20inches when i measured him.
    this is one of the repuitable shops in hong kong and still it does not come with papers and such.
    i have had him for a week and i just want to make sure he is a banana morph as i read they are alot tamer then the other ones. how big do these iguana's grow?
    at the moment my cage size is 3ft length, 2 feet width and 4 feet height. what should their adult cage size be? is it neccssry to have it tall as they r ground iguanas.
    is there a particular care sheet online for these breeds? i cant find any and am following the iguana diet.

    he has been in my home for a 7days and he does not eat when i place his food. he eats it of my hand and just chooses to eat little. he likes arugala and okra.
    what am i doing wrong? i keep him in my dressing room so it is very quiet.
    i use one 150w power sun for 12 hrs aday and it is placed on the top.
    please advise. and tell me what i am doing right and wrong.
    thank you.
    1.JPG Ctenosaura pectinata, Mexican Spinytail Iguana (banana morph) 3.JPG 2.JPG
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  3. Cammy

    Cammy ReptileBoards Addict

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    Hellooo, and welcome to the forums. I hate seeing a thread go completely unanswered, so I took a quick peek at a few care guides online as well as a quick reference book I have at home...I will try to go through your questions in order.

    First, he does appear to have some high yellow in him, but the banana morphs I am seeing online have a lot more yellow spread out over their entire body. How old is he? Maybe the color is something that develops over time? I'm sorry, but I'm not really familiar with this species. =\ As for temperament differences between morphs, I'd say that's a misconception. C. pectinata are supposed to be more tamable than C. similis (another popular spiny tailed iguana), so maybe someone accidentally referred to pectinata as bananas, impying that bananas were tamer than the regular morph, when in fact they meant that pectinata as a whole were tamer than other species of spiny tailed iguanas.

    Mexican spiny tailed iguanas grow to about 3-4 feet on average (including tail). Because they are not an extremely popular pet, there is not a widely accepted minimum cage size for adults. Typical suggestions seem to range around 4 feet long, 3 feet deep, 4 feet tall. Personally, that seems a little small to me. After all, a 4 foot long cage would just barely let a 3-4 foot lizard stretch out length-wise. It would have no room to actually walk a decent amount...I do tend to be pretty liberal about minimum cage sizes for my own animals, but still, those lengths just seem pretty small for a longer lizard. No, they do not need the extra height that a green iguana needs. Three to four feet in height is probably sufficient. But I would defintitely give them more cage length than 3-4 feet...probably no less than 6 feet? I don't know from experience, but that's just my two cents on the matter.

    The online care guides that I can find are not very detailed and all pretty much say the same thing, so I won't overload you with links to things you've probably already essentially read. As for the diet, they are primarily herbivorous but may benefit from the occasional animal protein. A few good feeder insects/worms every 3-4 weeks is probably plenty. Try to keep them on a wide variety of fresh foods, which should mostly be fresh greens. I'd say the beautiful dragons nutritional guide is a good reference for feeding your spiny various foods, both produce and live feeders. (http://www.beautifuldragons.com/Nutrition.html) The Green Iguana Society also has a nice quick reference for good fruits and veggies. (http://www.greenigsociety.org/foodchart.htm) Deer Fern Farms (a reputable breeder of a wide variety of herps) also offers their spinies the occasional tortoise pellet food by Mazuri or finch pellet food by Pretty Bird. I haven't looked into the specifics of this, but as a supplement it can't hurt. Also, make sure to dust the food every 3-4 days with a calcium/vitamin D3 supplement such as Rep Cal. A multivitamin supplement such as Herptivite is also a good investment.

    I would guess his lack of appetite is due to stress from his new environment. You've only had him a week, so he's probably still settling in. However, what are his temperatures at, and what are you using to measure those temperatures? If it is not quite warm enough, he won't be inclined to eat very much. Is he pooping regularly? I'm glad to see you have a MVB set up for him, and judging by the pictures he seems to be basking regularly. That's a good sign. =) It's always a relief to see someone with a large lizard in a large enough cage for once, too, lol. Overall, you seem to be doing very well with the little guy. Once again, welcome to the forums and congrats on your new pet. Feel free to ask any more questions that pop into your mind. =D
     
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  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  5. яowan.ω

    яowan.ω Member

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    Also, I just wanted to add: if you didn't know the adult cage size, read a care-sheet, etc. then you probably shouldn't have purchased the animal. I'm sure that you care about it, but it's always best to do your research beforehand.

    Anyhow, welcome to the boards and good luck with your lizard, he's beautiful!
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  7. Sean Kunjambu

    Sean Kunjambu New Member

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    hi thank you so much!!! yes i read some caresheets online, there were not very comprehensive and it is always good to know from keepers extra hints and stuff. i think i am going to keep him in this care till winter is over (he is just a yr old) then in spring build him something 6 by 6 by 5.
    i wanted to keep him in my living room but since the size needs to be bigger i will move him into one of my bedrooms.
     
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  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  9. Cammy

    Cammy ReptileBoards Addict

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    Sounds like he's in very good hands. And you're right, there is very little information about them available, and what is available is very basic.

    One thing my book mentions that I didn't really see mentioned anywhere else is their tendency to get snout damage due to their high activity levels. I see this a lot in juvenile water dragons. It can be prevented by making sure the sides and back wall are opaque, and putting an opaque barrier along the bottom front which is at least as tall as the lizard is when standing on its hindquarters. This will ensure that the spiny can't see outside of the cage when close to the glass, which should stop the lizard from obsessively running back and forth along it. Obviously making sure the cage is large enough will help prevent it from running into walls as well. Those dimensions sound perfect, so you should have absolutely no problem there. =) My book also mentions that they are mostly wild caught. If this is the case with yours, you should have it checked out by a vet and probably have it given a blanket treatment for internal parasites, which are naturally present in all wild caught specimens, and can cause damage if allowed to flourish during times of stress (such as being moved into a new home).
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  11. Sean Kunjambu

    Sean Kunjambu New Member

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    the bananna morph is always captive bred.
     
  12. Cammy

    Cammy ReptileBoards Addict

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    Oh, wow, that was pretty dumb of me; I wasn't even thinking about that, haha. X)
     

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