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Varanus pilbarensis Print E-mail

Pilbara goanna

Varanus pilbarensis  Storr 1980

As its name suggests the Pilbara goanna is restricted to the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It reaches a maximum length of about 50cm TL. The largest seen by James et al (1992) were 17.2cm SVL (male) and 12.8cm SVL (female). The tail is 175-205% of the SVL, suggesting that this is another rock dwelling species. Like Glauert's goanna, the Pilbara monitor has a boldly banded tail and rows of enlarged scales immediately behind the vent are present in both sexes (Storr 1980; Storr et al 1983).

We know nothing about the natural history of this glorious animal. Losos & Greene (1988) and James et al (1992) examined the stomach contents of just three animals and found only orthopterans, a spider and a skink. Johnstone (1988) records that they forage for orthopterans. Gravid females containing two or three eggs have been collected between July and October.

There are no published reports regarding the care of this animal in captivity. They should probably be housed in the same manner as other long-tailed rock goannas.

 
 

 

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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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