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Varanus kingorum Print E-mail
Kings' goanna

Varanus kingorum    Storr 1980

Kings' goanna is a very poorly known species that lives in the far north of Western Australia and Northern Territory. The very long tail (200-270% of the SVL) indicates that this is a rock dwelling goanna and they may be associated only with sandstone areas. It can be distinguished from all other species by its very long tail, curious loreal crease on the snout and pattern. In colour it is basically brown with a black reticulum in juveniles that breaks down with age to form dark spots and flecks. Maximum size is probably no more than 40cm TL. The longest known male has a SVL of 11cm, largest female is 9.2cm SVL (James et al 1992). Hatchling Kings' goannas are probably less than 6cm SVL.

Very few specimens of this delightful little goanna are known to science. They appear to feed only on insects (orthopterans, termites, blattids and insect eggs). Specimens caught in February have been in reproductive condition. (Losos & Greene 1988; James et al 1992). Kings' goanna has been bred in captivity (Weigel, pers. comm.) but no details are available the time of writing.
 
 

 

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The Butaan Project

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Since 1999 the Butaan Project has been studying the rare, endangered, and unique fruit-eating monitor lizards of the Philippines.  Butaan is just one of several races of frugivorous monitor lizards in the Philippines ("Pandan Biawak"), all of which are of at least as great a conservation concern as the Komodo dragon, but receive virtually none of the attention. Pandan Biawak occur only in lowland dipterocarp forest. The first species (Butaan) was discovered in 1845 and not seen alive by a scientist until the late 1970s. The next species (Mabitang) was discovered in 2001. Other species remain undescribed, and some may have gone extinct without ever having been recognised.

 

 

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