Lace Monitor or Tree Goanna
The Tree Goanna or Lace Monitor, Varanus varius, is native to Victoria and up the eastern coast of Australia. Whilst quite common in some places, it has been listed as endangered on this year’s DSE advisory listing for Victoria.
Here are some images of a large goanna fortunately taken by local photographer, Leo Z. He explained he found the goanna climbing a tree on the northern side of the reservoir in March of 2006.
Lace monitors shelter in tree hollows or logs. Their habitat is dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands and they forage for food in trees and also on the ground. They are carnivores, living on insects, small mammals, birds, bird eggs and reptiles. They also fossick through rubbish and waste left by humans.
They can range quite far on a daily basis – up to 3km according to one source – and they climb trees when they feel threatened.
Lace monitors can grow up to 2 m in length. It is difficult to tell the sexes apart, although males do grow bigger.
Sources and further resources
Museum Victoria (n.d.) Tree Goanna or Lace Monitor Varanus varius: Lizards of Victoria series. http://museumvictoria.com.au/discoverycentre/infosheets/lizards-found-in-victoria/tree-goanna/
Wikipedia (2013) Lace monitor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lace_monitor