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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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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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