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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

Lace Monitor (Lace Goanna)

The Lace Monitor or Lace Goanna, Varanus varius, is a lizard found in Australia. Their range extends from Cape Bedford on Cape York Peninsula to south-eastern South Australia. They frequent both open and closed forests and forage over long distances (up to 2 miles a day). They are mainly active from September to May and shelter during the cooler months.

Lace Monitors grow to over 6.5 feet in length, the tail makes up 1.5 times the total body length. Their patterning consists of white spots, blotches or brands on their body. Their diet typically consists of insects, reptiles, small mammals, birds and birds’ eggs. They frequently attack the large composting nests of Scrub Turkeys to steal their eggs, and often show injuries on their tails inflicted by male Scrub Turkeys pecking at them to drive them away.

The female Lace Monitor lays from 4 to 14 eggs in spring or early summer in hollow tree stumps, abandoned termite nests, or even just a hole in the ground. Like all Australian goannas, they were a favorite traditional food of Australian Aboriginal peoples and their fat was particularly valued as a medicine and for use in ceremonies.

Lace Monitor Lace Goanna