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Fijian Banded Iguana

Appearance

Male and female Fijian banded iguanas are sexually dimorphic with males being slightly larger than females. Both are coloured emerald green but males have two to three blue to light green stripes which run along the body and their tails also feature a number of these bands. Females may have some light spots or partial bands. Their underside and the nostrils are coloured yellow. The eyes are a red-orange colour. Their crest is just 0.5cm (0.2in) tall.

Their total length may be to up 60cm (23.6in) long with over half of this being the tail which is used for balance as they climb through the trees.

Diet

Fijian banded iguanas are primarily herbivorous. They feed mostly on leaves, flowers, with a preference for the hibiscus flower, and fruits, including papaya and banana with the occasional insect also being eaten.

Young iguanas will drink by licking water off of leaves.

Fijian banded iguana

Scientific Name

Brachylophus bulabula 

Conservation Status

Endangered

Height

60cm (23.6in)

Lifespan

Wild 10-15 years

Captive Up to 25years

Diet

Herbivorous

Range

Fijian banded iguanas are found naturally on the Fijian islands. They have been introduced to Vanuatu.

Habitat

They live in shrubland, mesic, wet and moist forests, coastal swamps and rocky areas.

Reproduction

To attract a mate the male will bob his head and flick his tongue at the female.

Following a successful mating the female will dig a hole which is the length of her body in the soil. In to this she deposits 3 to 6 eggs. She taps down the soil over the eggs with her head. These eggs incubate for up to nine months. Hatching typically occurs in the wet season.

Breeding may take place twice a year.

Juvenile iguanas are on their own from day one.

Behavior

The Fijian banded iguana is a good climber and spends most of their time in the tree by crossing overlapping branches to remove the need to go on the ground.

When threatened the male iguana will bob his head to intimidate the other male. They can also turn black when a predator is near them.

Like most reptiles they are reliant on the heat from the sun for energy. They can darken the skin to absorb more heat.

Quick facts

This species is considered a national treasure in Fiji where they have featured on stamps, currency and phone book covers.

These are one of the very few iguanas which are found outside of the New World.

Photo Credits


Top

By H. Zell (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bottom

By H. Krisp (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

References

Fisher, R., Grant, T. & Harlow, P. 2012. Brachylophus bulabula. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T174471A1414101. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012.RLTS.T174471A1414101.en. Downloaded on 25 April 2020.

Australian Reptile Park - Wildlife Park Sydney & Animal Encounters Australia. 2020. Fijian Banded Iguana Habitat, Diet & Reproduction - NSW. [online] Available at: <https://reptilepark.com.au/animals/reptiles/iguana/fijian-banded-iguana/> [Accessed 25 April 2020].

Smithsonian's National Zoo. 2020. Fiji Banded Iguana. [online] Available at: <https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/fiji-banded-iguana> [Accessed 25 April 2020].

San Diego Zoo Kids. 2020. Fiji Iguana. [online] Available at: <https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/animals/fiji-iguana> [Accessed 25 April 2020].

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