Lau Banded Iguana

Lau Banded Iguana Brachylophus fasciatus

Type of Animal:

Wet forest, lowland swampy forest, coastal forest, dry forest

Lau Islands of E Fiji. Introduced to Tonga & Vanuatu.

Green color, males have 2-3 white/pale-blue bands crossing emerald-green background w/ spot/stripe pattern in neck region, females solid green w/ occasional spotting/partial banding, both sexes have yellow underside, short crest, long tail, hatchlings/juveniles lighter green

Flowers, leaves, fruit, greens, vegetables, insects, insect larvae, grubs, smaller lizards

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, aquariums, & herpetoculture. Fiji Iguana Recovery Specialist Team working on conserving these & other 3 iguanas native to Fiji.


Additional Info:

Young: Hatchling
Group: Solitary

Male: 7 oz
Female: 5 oz

5-9 months 

Life Span:
10-15 years in wild, 25 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 15.19 in
Female: 10.7 in
Young: 3.27 in

Tail Length:
Male: 7.595 in
Female: 5.35 in
Young: 1.635 in

Main predators are cats, mongooses, rats, & pigs (all introduced).
Endangered due to introduced predators, habitat destruction, deforestation, pet trade, natural disasters, hunting for meat/eggs, overgrazing from feral goats, development, & human persecution.
Females lay 3-6 eggs & unlike many reptiles, actually guard them.
Active during the day (diurnal).
They’re highly arboreal.
Like other iguanas, they’re good swimmers.
Sexually mature at 3 years old.
Males court females by headbobbing & tongue flicking.

Fun Fact(s):
Until 2008 this species thought to be synonymous w/ Central Fiji Banded Iguana & called Fiji Banded Iguana. Further analysis in 2017 determined Gau Island population separate species (Gau Iguana).
Genus Brachylophus (these & 3 other Fijian species)believed to be descended from ancestors that rafted 5,600 mi W across Pacific Ocean from Americas since these only members of family Iguanidae not found in Americas.
These iguanas considered national treasure by Fijian government & featured on phone book covers/postage stamps/currency.
Since 1982, Fijian government has maintained entire captive population outside of Fiji obtained illegally/descended from smuggled animals. This is highly believable.
Fijian names for this species Vokai & Saumuri. 2 tribes regard these iguanas as totems & if name spoken in presence of women, offender beaten w/ stick. Many tribes terrified due to defensive behavior in which it can turn darker (often blackish), open mouth, & lunge at attackers.
Lau/Fiji Banded Iguana, male, Brookfield Zoo, taken by me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *