Lutz’s tree iguana is omnivorous, feeding on both arthropods and plant parts (4) (8). It is quite a selective feeder, eating the leaves and flowers of only four of the plant species growing in its habitat, and probably selecting these for their high water content and digestibility (4) (8) (9). The diet of Lutz’s tree iguana varies seasonally, with fewer insects and more plants eaten in the dry season (10). It also varies with body size, with the smallest individuals eating only arthropods, and the proportion of plant food in the diet increasing as the lizard grows (4).
When hunting arthropods, Lutz’s tree iguana uses a ‘sit-and-wait’ strategy, lying in wait for passing prey (8) (11). Individuals do not need to move around over large areas to find food and they therefore occupy relatively small home ranges, although those of males are larger and may overlap the home ranges of two or three females (11). Lutz’s tree iguana often shelters in debris, but also constructs extensive burrow systems which may have multiple entrances and extend up to a metre underground (3). If threatened by a predator, an individual may run to the burrow, flee into vegetation or dive under the sand, although its concealing colouration and habit of remaining motionless for long periods provide excellent defence against detection (3) (6).
The breeding season of Lutz’s tree iguana occurs between September and March, and is probably associated with rainfall. The female stores fat during drier periods, using it to help produce the first clutch of eggs at the start of the breeding season (12). Two eggs are usually laid, although clutch size may range from one to four, and the female may produce two or more clutches during the breeding season (12). Newly hatched Lutz’s tree iguanas have a snout-vent length of around 2.8 centimetres (2) (12). Males grow faster than females, but both sexes reach maturity from around eight to nine months (2). Few adult Lutz’s tree iguanas survive to breed again in the following year (13).