Yellow-spotted Monitor

Yellow-spotted Monitor tasting the air with its forked tongue
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Scientific Name: Varanus panoptes

Size: Total Length 1.4m

What does it look like?

The Yellow-spotted Monitor is stocky, with powerful limbs and moderately long, laterally compressed tail. Reddish-brown to blackish above, with alternating transverse rows of larger dark brown and smaller, dark-edged, pale yellow spots. Neck has longer longitudinal streaks and lines, with blackish stripe extending from eye to start of neck. Tail has darker banding, normally extending to tip. Underparts whitish or yellow, paler on throat, and with blackish spots. 

Where is it found?

Northern and western Australian, including central and western WA, and from Kimberley region WA, through northern NT, to northern and central Qld. 

What are its habitats & habits?

The Yellow-spotted Monitor occurs in wide variety of habitats, including woodland, grassland and coastal beaches, and often seen in floodplains and in vicinity of waterways. Terrestrial; feeds on variety of invertebrates, small mammals and freshwater turtle eggs, as well as carrion. The species has suffered a decline as a result of eating the introduced poisonous Cane Toad Rhinella marina. Oviparous, laying around 11 eggs in a burrow. 

Interesting facts

Alternate Names: Northern Sand Goanna; Floodplain Monitor 

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A Naturalist's Guide to the Reptiles of Australia (2nd Edition) cover

This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of Australia

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