Varanus giganteus or Perentie Monitor
The Perentie Monitor is Australia's largest, and indeed our largest lizard. Its scientific name, 'Varanus giganteus' literally means 'giant monitor'. As they get to a length of 2.5 metres and a weight of 15 kilograms, it's easy to see why this name is well deserved. At this size, Perentie monitor lizards are able to prey on animals such as rabbits, and even small kangaroos. Their powerful claws make them a formidable predator. Their strong, whip-like tail can also be used as a weapon. As an aggressive display, a Perentie monitor will distend its neck pouch and make a loud hissing noise.
Female Perentie monitor lizards will lay from 6 to 11 eggs in a long burrow dug under a solid object (such as a rock), and then cover this over. The young are brightly coloured and very nervous.Monitor lizards, otherwise known as Goannas, are named as such because it was thought that they warned of the presence of crocodiles, hence 'monitor'. The scientific name of 'Varanus' comes from the Arabic word 'Waran', which was the name given to lizards from the Arabian Peninsula.
Did you know...
- The perentie monitor is Australia's, and indeed our largest lizard.
- Its scientific name, Varanus giganteus, literally means ''giant monitor'.
- Young perentie monitor lizards are brightly coloured and very nervous.
- Perentie monitor lizards can get to a length of 2.5 metres and a weight of 15 kilograms. At large size, perenties are able to prey on animals such as rabbits, and even small kangaroos.
Where to find Perentie monitor lizards in Australia: