Featherdale Wildlife Park - Sydney Australia

Sydney’s Hands-On Wildlife Experience

Perentie

monitors

At Featherdale Wildlife Park we care for a wide range of Australian native species. We intend to document them in detail for your reference on our website. This is a work in progress. Please let us know if you would like to learn more about a specific species that is not yet listed and we'll add them to the top of the list.

Common Goanna

Varanus varius

facts and figures

KINGDOM

Animalia

PHYLUM

Chordata

CLASS

Reptilia

ORDER

Squamata

FAMILY

Varanidae

GENUS

Varanus

SPECIES

varius

Did you know?

  • Monitors carry high amounts of bacteria in their mouths, making their bite extremely dangerous if left untreated. It is also believed now that Monitors have a venom gland as well.

Description

Also known as Lace Monitors, Common Goannas are the second-largest lizard species in Australia, growing up to 2m in length. Their tail is longer than their head and body combined, and aid them in their climbing and agile lifestyle. Typically Lace Monitors are a dark grey-blue in colour, with cream banding or spotting on top, and mostly cream underneath. The claws are very long, strong and sharp and the tongue is forked. The head is long and undefined in shape to the neck.


Habitat

Common Goannas inhabit open forests and woodlands, finding shelter in tree hollows, branches or stumps.


Diet

Common Goannas are carnivorous, feeding on a variety of insects, reptiles, small mammals, carrion, nesting birds and eggs.


Social organisation and Reproduction

Common Goannas are solitary animals except for the breeding season in spring and summer. 4-6 weeks after mating, females will lay 4-14 eggs in a termite mound. The termites will then fix the hole the female has made, creating a natural incubator for her eggs. Approximately 9 months later she will return to the mound and dig it out for her hatchlings to be released.

Mertens’ Water Monitor

Varanus mertensi

facts and figures

KINGDOM

Animalia

PHYLUM

Chordata

CLASS

Reptilia

ORDER

Squamata

FAMILY

Varanidae

GENUS

Varanus

SPECIES

mertensi

Did you know?

  • An excellent swimmer, Mertens’ Water Monitors have specially adapted nostrils that close when they dive underwater.

Description

Mertens’ Water Monitors are a semi-aquatic species, growing up to 1.1m in length. They are dark brown to tan on top with small yellow or cream spotting, and yellow underneath with some grey speckling. The tail is longer than the head and body length, and is used to assist in agile movements.


Habitat

As their name suggests, Mertens’ Water Monitors inhabit areas with bodies of water, namely coastal and inland water sources of northern Australia.


Diet

Mertens’ Water Monitors are carnivorous, feeding on an aquatic diet of fish, frogs, crabs and insects, as well as small mammals, birds and eggs.


Social organisation and Reproduction

Mertens’ Water Monitors are a generally solitary species, coming together for breeding. During the dry season, males will seek and females, and after mating the female will lay approximately 9 eggs in an excavated nest within a burrow chamber. Hatchlings will emerge 3-6 months later and enter the water soon after.