Yellow-spotted Monitor

Varanus panoptes TL 1.4m

(Northern Sand Goanna; Floodplain Monitor)

What does it look like?  Stocky, with powerful limbs and moderately long, laterally compressed tail. Reddish-brown to blackish above, with alternating transverse rows of larger dark brown and smaller, dark-edged, pale yellow spots. Neck has longer longitudinal streaks and lines, with blackish stripe extending from eye to start of neck. Tail has darker banding, normally extending to tip. Underparts whitish or yellow, paler on throat, and with blackish spots.

Where is it found?  Northern and western Australian, including central and western WA, and from Kimberley region WA, through northern NT, to northern and central Qld.

What are its habitats & habits? Occurs in wide variety of habitats, including woodland, grassland and coastal beaches, and often seen in floodplains and in vicinity of waterways. Terrestrial; feeds on variety of invertebrates, small mammals and freshwater turtle eggs, as well as carrion. Has suffered a decline as a result of eating the introduced poisonous Cane Toad Rhinella marina. Oviparous, laying around 11 eggs in a burrow.