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how are iguanas poisonous????
(: :(

Duncan Child

ive bin a proud owner of a common green iguana and you have less than 10% chance of catching salmonella but poisenous....... i say. that is the biggest load of rubbish i have heard in my life. so anyone who says otherwise has bin greatly miss informed.

Dave Tufte

Well, I hate to rain on your parade, but the link is to the work of serious scientists who've been studying lizard venom.

They believe that the fact that lizards can and do spread infectious bacteria through their bites has kept people from looking into whether part of the nasty effect from the bite was, in fact, venom.


Got real drunk at Melia Cozumel Monday, June 16th through Wednesday, June 18th. Drank most of their tequila.

I saw an iguana by the pool with other hotel members checking it out. So I go up to it, and pet it a couple times.........then it turned and I had my fingers exposed. Iguana niped my right middle and right ring finger making it bleed. I started laughing, went back to the bar and I had blook running down my hand. I said, I just got bit by that Iguana. Some guy from London was sitting there and says I should get it checked out cause they are poisonous. I say ....never heard that before. I go to the so called Dr. at Melia Cozumel and he charges me $44 for the perscription of antibiotics and Ibuprofen. Then when I check out Monday, June 23rd he wants an additiona $88 for the consultation and the two fucking bandaids he puts on my fingers. I like what the FUCK! Kiss it you motha fugga.


I have heard funny stuff but poisonous iguanas is not right! If they were piosonous do you think they would let them walk around at mexican hotels!!! The wensite should put thw right information instead of scaring people for no damn reason!!!!


iguanas dont have venom glands... they have salmonella in there mouths... as an iguana owner that has been bitten a few times its actually on of the cleanest animal bites ive ever had. theyre teeth are so sharp that its like someone nicked you with a scalpel.

and just by the way the reason you got prescribed an anti biotic instead of an "anti venom" is because theres no "venom"

this is the beginning of some conspiracy to tax iguana owners or something

Dave Tufte

No ... it is right.

This post was based on an article that appeared in Nature - the top peer-reviewed science journal in the world.

Since I put this post up, there is now a wikipedia page that talks about a lot of the literature, and links to this article and others:



Dave Tufte

This post gets some fevered responses from people who clearly love iguanas.

But ... sorry folks ... all I do is report the science.

Stefan Praegitzer

I've been bit numerous times over my life by iguanas. Just recently my iguana bit my nose. In fact a week infection sill have my nose my fingers it's bs.. Mis informed people are funny

Dave Tufte

Ummm ... the research shows that it's a myth that infections are more common from iguana bites, and that the reality is they have toxins in their saliva. If you clicked on the link in my post you'd see this:

"Here we report the presence of venom toxins in two additional lizard lineages (Monitor Lizards and Iguania) ... revealed that nine toxin types are shared between lizards and snakes. ... The iguanian lizard Pogona barbata retains ... venom-secreting glands on both the upper and lower jaws ...


I just got bit by one on my ear. What do I do?? And what will happen

Dave Tufte

I'm not a doctor ...

Definitely put an antibiotic on it. Whether or not iguanas are poisonous, they still harbor a lot of bacteria.

You can't do much about the toxins though.

Heather Dempsey

Actually, it is very possible to be bitten numorous times by a venomous animal if it's not very venomous. Meaning if there's very little venom in its saliva, it's possible to be bitten and not have a serious reaction, so even though you've been bitten by an iguana and nothing vary bad happened it is still a venomous animal. Just not serious. Just because an animal had venom doesn't mean it's bad. Just means you need to be careful and take care of the bites, clean the wound and the area around it and you'll be safe it's nothing like a rattlesnake or any other venomous snakes that by the way carries heavy amounts of venom in its saliva primarily because these snakes have a gland that produces big amounts of it.

Dave Tufte

Excellent point. Thanks for redirecting the conversation.

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