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Varanus baritji Print E-mail
White's dwarf goanna
White's goanna

Extract from A Little Book of Monitor Lizards © D. Bennett 1995. Viper Press, UK

Varanus baritji King & Horner 1987

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. It can be distinguished from V.acanthurus only on the basis of its pattern and colour. V.baritji lacks the light ocellated markings on the back associated with V.acanthurus and also lacks the light and dark dorsal neck stripes. V.baritji has a bright yellow underside. Like V.acanthurus it favours areas of rocky outcrops and has been collected under both limestone and granite. A specimen caught in early June laid three eggs in captivity. Maximum known length is 72cm TL (25cm SVL) (King & Horner 1987). According to Thissen (1992) Swanson's (1976) picture of V.acanthurus is actually V.baritji.

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The Butaan Project
Monitoring Individuals 1

butaan1.jpgButaan are so shy they frequently remain in a tree for more than a week after being frightened. A large male we rescued from a trap hid in a tree for 22 days before coming down!* . Most lizards do not appear traumatised by being caught and released by scientists, and resume normal activity very quickly. But we think that butaan, especially older individuals, may permanently alter their activity areas after such an encounter. Because the animals are so shy, and highly vulnerable to human disturbance, we have had to develop a range of techniques that allow us to learn about them with the absolute minimum of interference.

 

 

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