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Lace monitor

Varanus varius


A long, slender tail, which is vertically flattened at the end, with a double ridge, on the top. It's dark bluish-black above, which is scattered with white or yellow flecks, blotches or spots. The adults spots are usually randomly scattered, while the juveniles'spots are aligned in cross-bands but in northern New South Wales and South-eastern Queensland they have broad yellow and black bands. Across the snout, chin and throat are black bands. The tail usually has irregular yellow cross-bands. Females are smaller than the males.


Rainforests, woodlands and wet sclerophyll forests (these forests are made up of any woody plant with leathery, evergreen leaves, that are specialised to reduce water loss), along the coast, ranges and inland. This photograph was taken on Mt. Wooroolin, Kingaroy. It is more scrubby woodland.


Of the family Varanidae, of tropical and sub-tropical regions, ranging in length from about 20cm to 3 metres (8 inches to 10 feet) An active, daytime lizard, especially in the afternoon. It searches for food on the ground and in trees. Nestling birds and eggs, fish, frogs, small mammals and reptiles, insects and carrion make up the diet of the Lace Monitor. Basks in the early morning-sun, then may travel up to 3km's a day, checking out hollows and crevices within a 65ha home range. Shallow burrows dug below rocks or fallen trees, rabbit warrens and termite mounds are the Lace Monitors shelter, for the night hours. Apparently 43 different shelter sites have been recorded. In cool weather and Winter, the lizard becomes inactive. If alarmed, it dashes up the nearest tree and keeps the trunk between itself and the threat. Inflating its throat pouch, hissing loudly and, at times, rearing up on its hind legs and lashing out with the tail, may occur if the Lace Monitor is cornered. In the Spring and Summer breeding season, the males will often mass around receptive (willing) females. To establish dominance, the males will chase each other and wrestle - rearing up, grasping each other with the forelimbs and often biting. A dominate male approaches a female and vigorously shakes his head, during courtship. If the female is receptive, she lies prostrate (flat) while the male then nuzzles and licks her back and sides. Females may mate with several males and copulating often occurs many times, over a few hours. A clutch of 6-20 eggs are laid, in December or January. These eggs are about 70mm long and are parchment-shelled. They may be laid in a hole, beneath a log, or in a tunnel dug into a termite mound. If in a termite mound, the termites will seal over the hole. Six to eight months later, the hatchlings either dig themselves out, or are released by the mother. The young are brightly banded black and yellow and are about 280mm long. And then the cycle-of-life begins again. Powerful claws, on powerful legs Just the longest tail Flicking tongue and beady eyes The poor prey's heart must flail While you seek here and you seek there They quiver and they quail. And though I hate that these do die You clean up lots of waste So, adding up the pros and cons Your good points I have faced And leave you to your scavenging Glad I don't have your taste. Reference:- Reader's Digest Great Illustrated Dictionary; Cronin's Key Guide Australian Reptiles and Frogs.

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Single D
Spotted by
Single D

Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Jan 28, 2019
Submitted on Sep 17, 2020

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