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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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Varanus bitatawa

Varanus bitatawa is the third species of  monitor lizard to be recognised by science that belongs to the "Pandan Biawak" group,  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 (Varanus olivaceus or Butaan) was discovered in 1845 and not seen alive by a scientist until the late 1970s. The next species (Varanus mabitang or Mabitang) was discovered in 2001 and in 2010 Varanus bitatawa (Butikaw or Bitatawa) was described. Other species of frugivorous monitor lizards may remain undescribed, but many may have  gone extinct without ever having been recognised.

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