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The lace monitor or lace goanna (Varanus varius) is a member of the monitor lizard family, Australian members of which are commonly known as goannas. It belongs to the subgenus Varanus. This one was large, maybe 3 or 4 feet long (but could have been longer!), and quite solid. It was on the road in a patch of dense rainforest, in the mountains that form part of the collapsed rim of Mt Warning an ancient volcano. I stopped the car and got out and it ran into the bush and climbed a tree 10 meters or so away from the side of the road.
Lace monitors are the second-largest monitor in Australia after the perentie. They can be as long as 2.1 m (over 6.8 ft) with a head-and-body length of up to 76.5 cm (2.5 ft). The tail is long and slender and about 1.5 times the length of the head and body. The maximum weight of lace monitor can be 20 kg (44 lb), but most adults are much smaller. They frequent both open and closed forests and forage over long distances (up to 3 km a day). The goanna features prominently in Aboriginal mythology and Australian folklore.