Rainforest Animals – Lace Monitor

Name:

Lace Monitor

Scientific Name:

Varanus varius

position:

Conservation Dependent

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Suborder: Scleroglossa

Family: Varanidae

Genus: Varanus

Species: V. varius

General Information:

The lace monitor, also known as the lace goanna (goanna, being the shared Australian name for a monitor lizard), is the second largest monitor lizard found in Australia. It has been recently discovered that, similar to perenties and other monitors, in addition as Gila monsters, bearded lizards, and the Komodo dragon, the lace monitor is quite venomous. Bites on humans have produced rapid swelling and pain, with some symptoms lasting for several hours. However, this has not stopped the Australian aboriginal people from eating it as a favorite traditional food.

Physical Description:

On average, they are close to 5 ft in length, but some having been known to grow to over 6.5 feet long. It is patterned in a dark steel gray with yellowish bands of spots. Its underside is a light yellowish color. The lace monitor has toes that are equipped with long, curved claws which are used for climbing, and its long tongue is forked like that of a snake.

Diet:

Its appetite is general, and includes insects, bird eggs, birds, reptiles, and small rodents. It is also known to satisfy on carrion. After a large meal, this lizard can go for weeks without eating.

Habitat:

Lace monitors are distributed along the eastern coast of Australia, and are found in forests and coastal tablelands. It is an arboreal creature and is often found on fairly large trees. It remains more idle during cooler weather, and finds shelter in tree hollows or under fallen trees and large rocks.

Reproduction:

Lace monitors associate in the spring or early summer to copy, giving birth 4 – 6 weeks after mating. It lays its eggs in termite mounds (especially those found in trees). The young hatch 8 – 9 months later, when the female truly returns to dig them out.

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