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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
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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