Goanna Vs Iguana: Get To Know Which Is Right For You

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In the world of reptiles, two of the most intriguing species are the goanna and the iguana. While they may look similar, they have a number of key differences that make them fascinating to observe. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the goanna vs iguana, exploring the unique features and characteristics of each reptile, and how they differ from one another. So if you’ve ever wanted to know the difference between these two amazing creatures, you’ve come to the right place!

Goanna Iguana
Large lizards found in Australia Found in Central and South America
Can reach a length of up to 2 metres Can reach a length of up to 1.5 metres
Eats insects, small mammals and reptiles Eats flowers, fruits, leaves and other vegetation
Lives in a variety of habitats, including deserts, woodlands and rainforests Lives in tropical and subtropical regions, usually near sources of water

Goanna Vs Iguana

Chart Comparing: Goanna Vs Iguana

Goanna Iguana
Goannas are large lizards found in Australia and New Guinea. Iguanas are large lizards found in Central and South America.
Goannas range in size from 25 cm to 2.5 m. Iguanas range in size from 25 cm to 1.5 m.
Goannas are carnivorous. Iguanas are herbivorous.
Goannas have a long, muscular tail. Iguanas have a long, thin tail.
Goannas have strong, sharp claws. Iguanas have sharp claws.
Goannas have a triangular head. Iguanas have a rounded head.
Goannas are solitary animals. Iguanas are social animals.
Goannas have a grayish-brown color. Iguanas have a wide range of colors.
Goannas lay eggs. Iguanas give birth to live young.

Goanna Vs Iguana

Goannas and iguanas are two types of lizards that are often confused with each other. They may look similar, but there are many differences between them. This article will compare the two kinds of lizards and explain the differences between them.


Goannas are found in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Southeast Asia. They prefer dry, arid environments, such as deserts and rocky outcroppings. Iguanas, on the other hand, are found in tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America. They prefer warm, humid climates and are often found near bodies of water.

Goannas are also adapted to life on the ground, while iguanas are adapted to life in the trees. Goannas will often take shelter in burrows and crevices, while iguanas will climb to the tops of trees in order to escape predators.

Both goannas and iguanas are adept climbers and swimmers, but iguanas tend to be more agile climbers and swimmers than goannas.


Goannas are carnivorous, meaning they eat other animals. They typically feed on insects, small mammals, and other reptiles. Iguanas, on the other hand, are omnivores. They eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists of fruits, vegetables, flowers, insects, and other small animals.

Goannas have a better developed sense of smell than iguanas, which helps them to find their food. Iguanas, however, have better vision than goannas and can spot their prey from a greater distance.

Goannas and iguanas both have sharp claws that they use to catch and tear apart their prey.

Size and Coloration

Goannas are typically larger than iguanas, reaching lengths of up to 3 feet. Iguanas, on the other hand, usually reach lengths of around 2 feet.

Goannas come in a variety of colors, ranging from black to green to yellow. Iguanas, however, are usually bright green. Some species of iguanas may also have spots or stripes of other colors.

Goannas and iguanas also have different head shapes. Goannas have a broad, triangular head, while iguanas have a narrow, triangular head.


Goannas are solitary animals, while iguanas are social animals. Goannas will often avoid contact with other animals, while iguanas will often form small groups.

Goannas are also more active during the day, while iguanas are more active at night. Goannas will often bask in the sun during the day, while iguanas will often sleep in the tree canopy during the day.

Both goannas and iguanas are territorial animals and will defend their territory from intruders. Goannas are more likely to use physical aggression to defend their territory, while iguanas are more likely to use visual displays.


Goannas lay eggs, while iguanas give birth to live young. Goannas typically lay 3-10 eggs per clutch, while iguanas typically give birth to 2-5 young.

Goannas are also more likely to abandon their eggs after laying them, while iguanas are more likely to guard and protect their young.

Goannas and iguanas both have a lifespan of around 10-15 years in the wild.

Goanna Vs Iguana Pros & Cons

  • Goanna Pros
    • Goannas have a greater lifespan than iguanas
    • Goannas are more adaptable to different climates
    • Goannas are easier to care for than iguanas
  • Goanna Cons
    • Goannas require more space than iguanas
    • Goannas can be more aggressive than iguanas
    • Goannas require more maintenance than iguanas
  • Iguana Pros
    • Iguanas are smaller than goannas
    • Iguanas are more docile than goannas
    • Iguanas require less maintenance than goannas
  • Iguana Cons
    • Iguanas have a shorter lifespan than goannas
    • Iguanas are less adaptable to different climates
    • Iguanas require more specialized care than goannas

Which is Better – Goanna Vs Iguana?

When it comes to deciding which is better between Goanna and Iguana, it is hard to determine. Both animals have their own unique characteristics and qualities that make them special. Both animals have their own advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into consideration when making a decision.

Goannas are a type of large Australian monitor lizard with strong claws and a powerful tail. They can grow up to two metres in length and are well-known for their climbing ability. They are also known to be more active during the day compared to other lizards. Goannas are omnivorous and are known to eat small animals, insects, fruits, and vegetables.

Iguanas, on the other hand, are a type of large tropical lizard with a more slender body, long tail, and a crest of spines along the back. They are mainly herbivorous, feeding on leaves and flowers. They are also very active during the day, but are not as good at climbing as Goannas. Iguanas can grow up to two metres in length, but usually stay around the one metre mark.

When it comes to making a decision between the two, it really comes down to personal preference. However, here are three reasons why Goannas may be the better choice:

  • Goannas are better climbers than Iguanas, making them better suited for living in a more vertical environment.
  • Goannas are omnivores, whereas Iguanas are herbivores, meaning they can eat a more varied diet.
  • Goannas are generally more active during the day, making them easier to observe.

In conclusion, Goannas may be a better choice if you are looking for a more active, omnivorous lizard that is a good climber. However, if you are looking for a more laid-back, herbivorous lizard, then an Iguana may be the better choice for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Goannas and iguanas are two types of reptiles that share some similarities, but have many differences. Here are some questions and answers about goannas and iguanas.

What is the Difference Between a Goanna and an Iguana?

Goannas and iguanas are both reptiles that belong to the same order, Squamata, but they are two different species. Goannas are found all over Australia and the surrounding islands, while iguanas are primarily found in Central and South America. Goannas are usually larger than iguanas and can grow to lengths of up to two meters. They have strong, muscular legs, long tails, and sharp claws that help them climb trees. Iguanas are smaller, reaching a maximum length of just under one meter. They have more slender legs and a shorter tail. Both species have a set of armor-like scales that protect their body.

Another main difference between goannas and iguanas is their diet. Goannas are carnivorous, while iguanas are omnivorous. Goannas feed on small animals such as insects, spiders, and small reptiles, while iguanas eat a variety of both plant and animal-based food.

How Do Goannas and Iguanas Behave?

Goannas and iguanas both have similar behaviors. They are both solitary animals, meaning they do not live in groups like some other reptiles. They both spend most of their days basking in the sun to regulate their body temperature. They are also both very good climbers and can often be seen climbing trees and rocks.

The main difference between the two is their temperament. Goannas can be very aggressive when threatened and will often try to attack if they feel cornered. Iguanas, on the other hand, are much more docile and will usually try to escape if they feel threatened.

What is the Natural Habitat of Goannas and Iguanas?

Goannas and iguanas both live in a variety of habitats. Goannas are found in all types of environments throughout Australia and the nearby islands, including deserts, forests, and grasslands. Iguanas are primarily found in tropical rainforests and other warm, humid habitats in Central and South America.

Both species are also found in urban areas, where they can take advantage of human food sources. Goannas are often seen in suburban backyards and parks, while iguanas are frequently spotted in cities like Miami and Puerto Rico.

Are Goannas and Iguanas Endangered?

Goannas and iguanas are both listed as species of least concern by the IUCN, meaning they are not currently considered endangered. However, both species are threatened by habitat destruction, climate change, and illegal hunting.

Goannas are especially vulnerable to habitat destruction. Much of their natural habitat is being destroyed in Australia due to human activities such as mining, logging, and urban development. Iguanas are also threatened by habitat destruction and illegal pet trading.

What is the Lifespan of Goannas and Iguanas?

Goannas and iguanas have similar lifespans, but there are some differences. Goannas can live up to 20 years in the wild, while iguanas can live up to 10 years. In captivity, both species can live up to 30 years with proper care and nutrition.

Goannas tend to mature more quickly than iguanas and reach reproductive age after 2-3 years. Iguanas take much longer to mature and usually reach sexual maturity after 4-5 years.

Cat vs Iguana Costa Rica

Ultimately, the Goanna and Iguana are two of the most fascinating creatures that inhabit the planet. Both have unique and remarkable physical characteristics, as well as distinct behaviors and adaptations. Although they may look similar, they are actually quite different in many ways. From their diet to their size and habitat, these two lizards are far from being the same. With their remarkable abilities and fascinating features, the Goanna and Iguana are sure to captivate the attention of wildlife enthusiasts everywhere.

Aubrey Sawyer


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