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Monitor Lizards


Varanus glauerti Print E-mail
Glauert's goanna is an elegant, rock-dwelling lizard with a very long tail and long limbs. Mertens described it from two specimens previously assigned to V.timorensis similis. This beautiful goanna is found only in the extreme north of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and also occurs on a number of islands off the coast...
Varanus brevicauda Print E-mail
The short-tailed goanna is the smallest living monitor lizard, and quite possibly the smallest species that has ever existed. They live in desert regions of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland, most often in areas of spinifex.
Pet Crocodile Monitors Print E-mail
ImageThe crocodile monitor, Varanus salvadorii, is perhaps responsible for more hospital visits than any other lizard in the USA, despite the fact that only about 200 are legally imported each year. Crocodile monitors have a remarkable set of teeth that inflict deep and severe flesh wounds. The most serious result in permanent disability and almost all crocodile monitor bites leave permanent scars. Read about people's experiences with Varanus salvadorii in our review.
Library and Other Resources Print E-mail

Reprints, bibilography, translations, reviews, reprints, links and more.


Varanus caudolineatus Print E-mail
V.caudolineatus is a small monitor lizard that occurs only in Western Australia. It does not appear to live around the coast, nor on any offshore islands (Storr 1980). Favoured habitats are grasslands, shrublands and woodlands and it appears to inhabit a wide range of Acacia and spinifex dominated habitats...
Varanus yemenensis Print E-mail
The Yemen monitor was the most magnificent discovery of the 1980's. Specimens had been collected in the late 19th Century and had been in the British Museum since 1903 and 1906 but it had been presumed that the specimens had been mislabelled and must have been collected in Africa.
Varanus flavescens Print E-mail
ImageThe yellow monitor is a poorly known species and is considered to be one of the most endangered monitor lizards. It is found only in Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan (Minton 1966; Smith 1932; Swan & Leviton 1962; Auffenberg et al 1989; Sarker 1987).
International Varanid Interest Group Print E-mail
 The International Varanid Interest Group is a volunteer-based organization established to advance varanid research, conservation, and husbandry, and to promote scientific literacy among varanid enthusiasts worldwide. Membership to the IVIG is free, and open to anyone with an interest in monitor lizards. Click Here
Varanus dumerilii Print E-mail
ImageDumeril's monitor is a very mysterious animal. It is found in southern parts of Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra and many smaller neighbouring islands including Natu, Bangka and Bellitung.
Varanus varius Print E-mail
ImageThe lace goanna is the second largest lizard in Australia. It is widespread in eastern Queensland, eastern New South Wales and most of Victoria but is restricted to the extreme south-east of South Australia (Houston 1978). They also inhabit some islands off the eastern coast (e.g. Mackay 1959).
Varanus jobiensis Print E-mail
ImageThe Sepik monitor is usually known by the name of V.karlschmidti (Mertens 1951). Bohme (1991) recognised that Mertens had redescribed an animal originally named by Ahl (1932). This is another species about which very little is known. They can be distinguished from V.indicus by the possession of smaller scales...
Varanus baritji Print E-mail
White's Goanna (baritji is an aboriginal word for white and the lizard is named after its discoverer Dr Neville White) is a small spiny-tailed monitor known at present only from the extreme north of the Northern Territory.
Varanus gouldii Print E-mail
Note: Update to taxonomy 2001: Internation Comission for Zoological Nomeclature ruled that the revised names mentioned here should be abandoned.

ImageAt present three subspecies are recognised; V.panoptes panoptes inhabits the extreme north of eastern Western Australia and the Northern Territory, the islands of the Torres Straits and probably many other islands...
Varanus similis Print E-mail
Differences between this goanna and V.scalaris have been outlined above. Bohme (1988) considered V.similis to be "probably a valid species" on the basis of its hemipenal morphology. Unfortunately he makes no reference to V.scalaris.
Varanus storri Print E-mail
Storr's goanna is another spiny-tailed dwarf species found in inland areas of northern Australia. V.storri ocreatus occurs in Western Australia and Northern Territory, V.storri storri is known only from Queensland. The species can be distinguished from V.acanthurus by its smaller size, fewer rows of scales around the belly and their duller pattern.
Water Monitor Print E-mail
The first two articles in this occasional series on the monitor lizards of Asia discussed two rare and enigmatic animals found only in rainforests and mangrove swamps. Virtually nothing is known of their biology and they are only rarely seen in captivity, at least on this side of the Atlantic (Bennett 1993, 1995).
Varanus mertensi Print E-mail
ImageMertens' goanna is perhaps the most amphibious member of the monitor lizard family. It is found in northern Australia, from Western Australia east to western Queensland. According to Schmida (1985) they are common on waterways throughout northern Australia.
Varanus mitchelli Print E-mail
ImageMitchell's monitor is a small arboreal goanna found along the waterways of northern Western Australia and Northern Territory. Its long compressed tail led Mertens (1958) to place the species in the subgenus Varanus along with other large Australian goannas, but more recent studies suggest that this is a dwarf monitor of the Odatria subgenus...
Can I trust people who sell "captive bred" monitors? Print E-mail
ImageAlthough captive breeding of monitor lizards has been revolutionised over the last ten years, the proportion of captive bred animals in the trade is still miniscule. This is because captive breeding has tended to concentrate on Australian species, with an emphasis on the dwarf (Odatria) species.
Varanus glebopalma Print E-mail
ImageThe twilight goanna is another long-tailed rock-dwelling species. It has a much larger distribution than Glauert's goanna. inhabiting the far north of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland but is absent from the Cape York Peninsula. They also inhabit a number of islands off the northern coast.
Varanus giganteus Print E-mail
ImageThe perentie is the king of the Australian goannas. It is the largest lizard on the continent and one of the most beautiful animals in the world. It was once thought to be an uncommon creature but in recent years the number of sightings has greatly increased and the known range of the species has expanded.
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William Oliver. Champion of biodiversity and its students. So many of us benefited from his advice and expertise. What a character. RIP.


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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Foraging behaviour

butaan7.jpgWe use feces to investigate diet and activity areas of butaan. In total we have examined more than 1500 samples, possibly the largest ever collected for a single population of reptiles.  Butaan and their relatives are huge specialised frugivores, much bigger than any other specialised frugivorous animal in  the Philippines. They need a constant supply of fruit but lack the wings that allow other frugivores to forage in different forest fragments. Large and immobile, the butaan depends on a very narrow range of foods.



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