When Fijian Crested Iguanas first hatch from their eggs they are dark green, but after several hours their skin becomes bright emerald green and narrow white bands can be seen along their body. Their distinctive crest is also present from birth and can grow up to 1.2cm long. Juvenile Crested Iguanas look just like miniature versions of their parents. Females are the same in appearance as the males. Adults grow to 70-80cm and weigh 300-350 gms.
Crested Iguanas are a rare species restricted to the rain shadow forests of a few scattered islands in the Fiji including the tiny island of Yaduataba. The Fijian Crested Iguana on Yaduataba Island is the only protected population in the world, and there is estimated to be less than 4000 lizards on this island. Due to the small size of each island population, the species as a whole is extremely vulnerable. Their life is spent mostly off the ground amongst the branches and leaves of their forest home.
A Fijian Crested Iguana's diet is mainly herbivorous, eating a wide variety of leaves, shoots and fruits from trees and shrubs. They will also eat small insects from time to time. Their favorite food is from the "Vau" tree which bears sweet Hibiscus flowers and is also the species of tree they spend most of their time in.
Mating season for the Fijian Crested Iguana is from March through to April. They have the longest incubation period of any Iguana in the world - up to nine months. The eggs are white and leathery, with the average number of eggs in a clutch being 4. A couple of weeks before hatching, a brown oval mark appears on the surface of the egg. This marks the spot where the baby crested Iguana's head will pop out of the shell. It can take up to a whole day for the baby Iguana to completely hatch.
Fijian Crested Iguana Profiles
Kermit is one of our gorgeous Fijian Crested Iguanas. He was born in 2005 and you have to admit, he is an absolutely amazing looking animal.
We are very fortunate to have these Iguanas here at Australia Zoo, especially given they are amongst the most critically endangered lizards on the planet. They are only found on three islands in the west of Fiji.
Kermit is great, he loves coming out for walks around the Zoo and loves to have his photo taken. So much so, Kermit featured in our 2011 Australia Zoo desk calendar for the month of March.
So next time you're at Australia Zoo come down and have your photo taken with Kermit.
Age: 26 Years (DOB 1/1/1989)
Name: Se Se
Common name: Fijian Crested Iguana
Scientific name: Brachylopus vitiensis
Distribution: Se Se is a Crested Iguana from Modriki Island, which is part of the Fijian Atoll. Crested Iguanas also occur in small numbers on a few other islands within Fiji.
The Crested Iguana is currently listed as 'Critically Endangered' and is facing extinction. Their biggest threats are some of the introduced species (rats, mongoose, goats) which either prey on the iguanas and their eggs or directly compete for food. There is an Iguana Sanctuary on Yaduataba Island that is currently free of these introduced species and it acts as a safe haven for the iguanas. There are less than 5000 of these lizards left.
Character: Se Se has been at Australia Zoo for five years and is definitely a favourite among reptile keepers. He was collected by Steve and Terri personally from Monuriki so has a special place in our hearts. His favourite treat is some freshly picked Hibiscus flowers and he'll run toward you to eagerly to receive them.