Femoral Plugs in Iguana with Pictures

Below are a set of pictures that detail the femoral pores and also the actual femoral plug of the male iguana, these are also an indicator of gender as the male has very prominent pores when mature and the females pores are hardly noticeable.

The actual femoral plug which sits in the pore on the inside thigh of the back leg of the iguana is made up of a waxy substance similar to a crayon in appearance and consistency, and this is drawn or dragged across items that the iguana may be crawling along to mark by scent and/or colour the iguanas territory or in some theories as a breeding ritual, maybe to impress or gain the attention of a female.

One problem that can occur when the Iguana’s femoral plugs are protruding as they would in a mature male in breeding condition, is the detachment or loss of the actual plug, this can happen when the back leg is dragged over a branch or obstacle (sometimes when actually using the plugs as a marking mechanism) this can be alarming for the owner when the result is a large gaping hole (see pictures below) but in the majority of cases these holes do heal up with no problems although it would be wise to keep an eye on the progress of the healing, and be prepared for the application of an antiseptic/antibiotic to help if need be, or even the assistance of a veterinarian if the healing is being problematic or signs of infection or abscess become apparent.

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These are the femoral pores of a mature male Iguana
This is the hole left by a missing femoral plug
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A close up of the actual cavity
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The actual plug itself

I am the editor-in-chief at MyPetReptiles.com. I have been a reptile enthusiast for over a decade, and during this time I have kept and bred a variety of different reptiles such as bearded dragons, geckos, and chameleons. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others to help them provide the best care possible for their pet reptiles.

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