Gould’s Goanna

Varanus gouldii TL 1.6m

(Sand Goanna; Sand Monitor)

What does it look like?  Moderately robust, with long, laterally compressed tail and large, angular head with dark stripe behind eye. Yellow or reddish-brown to blackish above, with numerous large and small yellow spots and speckles, forming largely cryptic pattern of transverse rows and longitudinal lines. Belly white or yellowish with darker spots, and throat has grey streaks. End of tail pale cream to yellow and unbanded.

Where is it found?  Occurs throughout most of mainland Australia, except most of southern coastline, south-west and central Qld.

What are its habitats & habits? Found in varied open habitats with sandy soils throughout its large range, including forests, woodland, shrubland and sandy deserts. Terrestrial, sheltering in burrows or hollow logs. Feeds on invertebrates, smaller lizards and their eggs, frogs, mammals, birds and carrion. Oviparous, laying around 7 parchment-shelled eggs in burrows. Raises itself on hindlegs and tail.