The following notes are based on how we have been successfully keeping and breeding our own Casqueheads.
Eastern Casquehead Iguanas originate from the rain forests of Central America (Southern Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Yukatan Peninsula).
Casqueheads get their name from the crown or cone that protrudes from the back of their head and there are two main species, laemanctus serratus and laemanctus longipes. Ours are the latter which are slightly smaller and do not have the serrated cone or dorsal crest characteristic of L. serratus. Colouring for L. Longipes is overall a bright green with brown stripes running down the length of the body and into the tail. When females become gravid the colouring becomes brighter and brown crossbanding running over the back can appear. Their length from nose to vent is around 12 - 15cm, with a total length of up to 55cm including a very long slender tail that can easily be 3 to 4 times the length of the body and is not dropped.
L. longipes are active during the day and are a very agile arboreal species so need plenty of space and décor to climb. We keep ours in large glass Exoterra terrariums (minimum 90cm x 45cm x 60cm for 1 or 2 adults) with about 6cm of moist coco-coir type loose substrate to help maintain the humidity, and a selection of vines, leaves and cork branches to climb around on. They like a high basking temperature of about 95f provided from above by either a ceramic or filament heat bulb in a reflector dome through a thermostatic controller, with the cool area of the viv in the high 70’s. High humidity is also essential and needs to be kept ideally above 70%. This can be achieved by either regular manual spraying or by using an automated rain/misting system. L. longipes are ‘dew lappers’ so drink the water that collects on plant leaves and other decor. Ours will also occasionally drink from a shallow water dish. UV is provided by a 10% tube fitted to the viv hood on a 12hr timer.
One advantage of L. longipes is that provided the accommodation is large enough several can easily be housed together as they do well in groups and are very tolerant of each other. We do and there has never been any issues of dominance or aggression, although ours are all females (see breeding for how this works).
Eastern Casquehead Iguanas are insectivores so need to be fed a variety of small sized live insects. We feed a mixture of Silent Brown Crickets, Locusts and Mealworms, supplemented by occasional Waxworms, Calciworms and Dubia Roaches. Adults are fed 3 or 4 times a week, babies every day, and all live food is dusted with proprietary vitamin supplements and calcium. Although Casqueheads do not require any veg, we put a small amount in the vivs for the live food (which helps stop crickets etc eating any decor). We have found our Casqueheads to be very active and inquisitive, to the point of being quite nosey. They were easily tamed and will tolerate some handling, but can be very quick and flighty if taken by surprise. They can be hand fed with care, but can also give a painful nip if they want, and even seem to enjoy a quick shower when they see the spray bottle come out.
- Originate from rain forests of Central America (Southern Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Yukatan Peninsula).
- They grow to around 12 - 15cm nose to vent, or up to 55cm including slender tail.
- Ideally housing should be at least 90 x 45 x 60cm and resistant to humidity.
- They are arboreal so need plenty of climbing decor in their vivarium.
- They need a basking temperature of about 95f, from above, and a 10% UV source.
- Humidity needs to be maintained above 70% with regular spraying and misting.
- They are insectivores so should be fed a mix of the usual locusts, crickets, mealworms etc.
- They are Diurnal so are active during the day.
- They can be kept in a group IF the housing is large enough.
- They can be tamed and tolerate handling as they get older.
Please note, all the photographs and text on this site were taken/written by and belong to Fen Dragons And More. As such they cannot be copied or distributed, in part or whole, without the owners permission (Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988).