Sonoran black iguana

At the Detroit Zoo
The Sonoran black iguana can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the park. There, visitors can learn about the 70 different species (and approximately 180 individuals) of reptiles at the Detroit Zoo, one-fifth of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.


The Sonoran black iguana is predominantly black but the dorsal surface may show black bands on a greyish background. Most have black mottling on their backs. The color may also lighten after basking in the sunlight, with yellowish and orange markings becoming evident along the sides. Its tail is ringed with rows of sharp, curved spines.


Scientific name: Ctenosaura similis
Continent: North America
Habitat: Dry, arid, open terrain around ruins, stone walls, rocky open slopes and branches of large trees along the open borders of the forests
Size: 4 feet
Weight: 5.5 pounds
Diet: Mainly legume fruits and other plant matter, sometimes rodents, bats, frogs, small birds (and bird eggs), crustaceans and a variety of insects
ReproductionAfter a gestation period of approximately 40 days, it digs a burrow about 1.5 feet deep and lays two to 25 eggs
Lifespan: 30 to 40 years
Conservation Status: Least Concern



The Sonoran black iguana is the fastest lizard on earth and has been recorded running at speeds of up to 30 mph.