Halsbandleguan ( Crotaphytus collaris, front left) and Chuckwalla ( Sauromalus obesus )

The iguana -like ( Iguania ) are a part of the order Squamata, to among other things, the families of iguanas ( Iguanidae ), the Agamas ( Agamidae ) and the chameleon ( Chamaeleonidae ) belong.

Many species of this taxon are equipped with spiny ridges on back and tail, with horns, helmet-like head outgrowths and fillet bags, which are important in threatening or courtship behavior.

Iguana -like world live in the tropics and subtropics. In Europe there are only three types, the Hardun ( Laudakia stellio ) and the Chameleon Chamaeleo africanus species Chamaeleo and.

The iguana -like include many tree - but also wüstenbewohnende lizards. The Southeast Asian kites ( Draco ) are even able to glide, the marine iguana ( Amblyrhynchus cristatus) search for their food in the ocean.


Iguania is also often used synonymously with Iguanidae. 1989 divided the herpetologists Frost & Etheridge the great family of iguanas ( Iguanidae ) in a series of smaller families that had the status of subfamilies previously. Under " Iguana -like " summarized one along the new families as well as the Agamas and chameleons. The originally grouped under Iguanidae families have as a common feature teeth that sit rootless at the inner edge of the jaw. Since you referred to this type of tooth attachment as pleurodont, all former Iguana families are placed in the rank -less taxon Pleurodonta. In Agamas and chameleons teeth sit on the top of the jaw ( acrodont ), they form the taxon Acrodonta.

The family relationships of the individual families cladogram shows the following:

Agamas ( Agamidae )

Chameleons ( Chamaeleonidae )


Iguanas ( Iguanidae )



Madagascar iguanas ( Opluridae )






Corytophanidae ( basilisk )

Dactyloidae ( Anolis )


  • V. Storch, U. Welsch: Systematic Zoology, Part 2: vertebral or cranial Animals, 6th Edition, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag Heidelberg • Berlin, 2004, ISBN 3-8274-1112-2
  • Frost, D. R.; Etheridge, R.; Janies, D. & Titus, T.A. (2001): Total evidence, sequence alignment, evolution of Polychrotid lizards, and a reclassification of the Iguania ( Squamata: Iguania ). American Museum Novitates 3343: 38 pp.. PDF
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Iguania