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Monitor Lizards


Varanus spenceri Print E-mail
Spencer's goanna is the least known of the large Australian monitor lizards. It appears to live only in grasslands on the clay plains of eastern Northern Territory and north-western Queensland (Cogger 1993). They usually reach lengths of 100cm TL (Schmida 1985) with a maximum of about 125cm TL.
Varanus eremius Print E-mail
ImageThis busy little monitor is one of the most widespread of the pygmy goannas. It lives in desert and semi-desert areas of Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia but its occurrence in Queensland is uncertain...
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...
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 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 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.
Library and Other Resources Print E-mail

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


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.
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).
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...
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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...
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 doreanus Print E-mail
ImageThe rediscovery of the blue-tailed monitor is the latest in an exciting series of discoveries by Wolfgang Bohme and Georg Horn. Described and forgotten, the holotype had been destroyed by a wartime bomb, but the precise description given by Meyer allowed the recent workers to identify it as identical to their new-found species
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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About Mampam
Bye Bye Butaan


Butaan start to visit fruiting trees before they are large enough to swallow the fruits. They make repeat journeys to trees, perhaps to reinforce memory of the position of the tree. If the youngster survives it may continue to use this tree for many decades. Fruiting trees like this are a vital resource for entire populations of butaan. Learn more >

Help Mampam
The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Research
butaan3.jpgThe only obligate fruit-eaters among reptiles are three species of monitor lizard that live in the Philippines. Frugivorous vertebrates tend to be able to fly (almost all are bats and birds) and so these lizards have a unique ecological role as highly specialized and relatively immobile fruit eaters. Before this project started, the only studies of this unique giant and endangered lizard had involved killing the animals. We have developed a set of techniques that allow us to learn about these animals in a completely non-destructive way.


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