• The Humphead Maori Wrasse is one of the largest coral fish in the world. Its total length (TL) ranges from 2-3cm in juveniles to 250cm in adult fishes (just abit longer than the world's tallest basketball player). An adult wrasse can weigh up to 191kg (almost as heavy as a sumo wrestler!!). Male Humphead maori wrasses are on average 1.4 times larger than the females who can only grow to a maximum of 100cm TL. Adult Humphead maori wrasses can be easily distinguished from other fishes by the prominent bulbous hump on the forehead. This bulbous hump is not so obvious in juveniles.

    Humphead Maori Wrasse

  • The Kadavu parrot is the most distinctive of Fiji's colourful Shining Parrots. It is a large parrot, similar in size to Fiji's other two endemic Shining Parrots, measuring up to 45 cm from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail. The colouration of the Kadavu parrot distinguishes it from the other two species. Its head, neck and underparts are a bright scarlet with a blue collar that extends across back of the neck; the back and the rump are a bright shining green. The flight feathers and tail are green, strongly suffused with blue. The bill and feet are black, and the irises are orange in colour. Males and females are similar, however, the bill of males is larger and the head is more square-shaped than females.

    Kadavu Parrot

  • The Tagimaucia is a liana (woody vine), that forms thickets high up in the canopy, much similar to the growth of the duva, Derris trifoliata. The inflorescences occur on the stems or in association with the leaves. The flowers are very striking with white petals and filaments; rich purple anthers; yellow basal lobes, and inflorescence branches and bracts that are scarlet or deep red in colour. The leaves of the Tagimaucia grow in a similar manner to that of Mikania micrantha (mile-a-minute or wabosucu) in that the leaves begin from the start of the stem.

    TAGIMAUCIA

  • The Fiji petrel is a small, all black-brown petrel with a short neck and stout black bill giving it a chunky, thickset appearance. It measures up to 28cm from the tip of its beak to the tip of its tail. In flight, the underwing has a pale silvery sheen. It has a pale washed-out blue tarsi; mostly black feet with a pale blue patch on centre of each web.

    FIJI PETREL

  • Fiji Banded Iguana adults are 136-193 mm SVL in size, while the hatchlings range from 65-83 mm SVL. Banded iguanas are generally more slender and smaller than their endemic relative the Fiji Crested Iguana, and have a smoother appearance. Banded iguanas have a single row of small scales, which look like a row of short sharp teeth running from their nape to the base of their tail, but on the Crested Iguana, these are much enlarged and form the crest from which it derives its name.

    FIJI BANDED IGUANA

  • The Hawksbill turtle has a distinctly narrow heart-shaped shell, and often has a distinct vertebral keel. Like the Green turtles, Chelonia mydas, the Hawksbill turtles belong to the family of hard-shelled turtles, Cheloniidae. The average length of an adult Hawksbill turtle's shell or carapace is 70cm, and can grow up to 1m in length. The carapace is dark brown in colour with mottled lighter and darker patterning. The scutes are strongly overlapping in adults, and not in hatchlings and juveniles. The edge of the carapace is serrated posteriorly. On the carapace are 5 vertebral plates, and 4 inframarginal plates on the bridge and four costal plates on each side of the carapace.

    HAWKSBILL TURTLE

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Mai Veikau: Tales of Fijian Wildlife
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This little gem contains 32 short stories recounting local folklore and providing substantiating scientific background to these traditional myths. The book is beautifully illustrated in water colours and pencil art of the Fijian wildlife described within. Many of these stories were relayed to the author around the tanoa or dari.
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NFMV January 2014 Newsletter - #17
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