Heath Monitor

Varanus rosenbergi TL 1.3m

What does it look like?  Moderately robust, with medium-length, laterally compressed tail. Dark grey to blackish above, with fine yellow or white spotting, forming alternating wider pale and darker narrow transverse bands, which extend from neck to tip of tail, and larger yellowish blotches on sides and legs. Head long and narrow, with pale-edged dark line extending through eye and above ear, and with vertical barring on lips. Underparts whitish with dark grey reticulated pattern.

Where is it found?  Southern Australia, from southern WA, through southern SA (including Kangaroo Island) and isolated areas of south-western Vic, and inland south-eastern and coastal northern NSW.

What are its habitats & habits? Occurs in open forests, woodland and heaths, where it digs burrows for shelter or occupies rock crevices, hollow logs or disused burrows of other animals. Largely terrestrial and diurnal, feeding mainly on carrion, reptiles, eggs, birds and small mammals. Oviparous, with up to 14 (average 12) eggs in a clutch, laid in termite mounds; clutch defended by female for up to 3 weeks.