THE REPTILES OF AUSTRALIA - MONITORS

AUSTRALIAN REPTILE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION
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SPOTTED MONITORS
(or Panoptes)

NORTHERN YELLOW SPOTTED MONITOR
or Floodplain Goanna

Varanus panoptes panoptes
and the
DESERT SPOTTED MONITOR
Varanus panoptes rubidus

Note that a 3rd subspecies called the Argus Monitor (Varanus panoptes horni) which is found in New Guinea and some Torres Strait Islands.
According to Glen Storr of the WA Museum that subspecies is a synonym of Varanus panoptes panoptes however the The Reptile Database still lists it as Varanus panoptes horni


Yellow Spotted Monitors (Varanus panoptes) are often confused with the Sand Monitor (Varanus gouldii) and people often dispute the identity of some specimens.

Yellow Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes panoptes) feeding on a dead wallaby - photographed on south-western Cape York, Queensland
A large Yellow Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes panoptes) feeding on a dead wallaby - photographed on south-western Cape York, Queensland



Approximate distribution of Yellow Spotted Monitors (Varanus panoptes)

Note that a 3rd subspecies called the Argus Monitor (Varanus panoptes horni) (RED ON MAP) which is found in New Guinea and some Torres Strait Islands.

According to Glen Storr of the WA Museum this subspecies is a synonym of Varanus panoptes panoptes
Approximate distribution of Yellow Spotted Monitors (Varanus panoptes)

The Northern Yellow Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes panoptes) is Shown in GREEN on the map.
It is also found on some offshore islands


The Desert Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes rubidus) (ORANGE ON MAP) may have a solid yellow tail tip like most Sand Monitors (Varanus gouldii),
whereas Varanus panoptes panoptes usually has a yellowish tail tip which as some banding on it.


Yellow Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes panoptes) inserts its head inside this dead wallaby for a feed.



This Yellow Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes panoptes) has blood on its head after putting its inside this dead wallaby for a feed.
Notice the banding on the tail which is commonly seen on this species.



This very large Yellow Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes panoptes) has a belly full of food


Northern Yellow Spotted Monitors Varanus panoptes panoptes
Northern Yellow Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes panoptes), Darwin area

Northern Yellow Spotted Monitors Varanus panoptes panoptes
The picture above was taken on the side of the Stuart Highway North of Katherine NT.
This Northern Yellow Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes panoptes) allowed me to approach close enough to take this picture before running away.

Note that the pattern on this lizard and the one below are not typical of this species, and some people may consider them to be Sand Monitors (Varanus gouldii), however its is also not typical of that species.
Many people believe that more scientific research needs to be done on Varanus panoptes

 

Northern Yellow Spotted Monitors Varanus panoptes panoptes
The 2 monitors in this photo that were found dead on the road north of Katherine NT show one of the problems with grabbing a meal on a roadway.
Both are believed to be Northern Yellow Spotted Monitors (Varanus panoptes panoptes) notice the banding on the tail tip.


YELLOW SPOTTED MONITOR Varanus panoptes
Spotted Monitors (Varanus panoptes) often stand on their back legs!
The lizard above appears to be a Desert Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes rubidus)

Goanna Warning Sign
This sign was at a reserve in Port Macquarie, NSW - the Goanna in the picture is a Spotted Monitor (Varanus panoptes), however that species does not occur in NSW. The monitors in that area that can be a problem are Lace Monitors (Varanus varius)


LINKS OF INTEREST

Varanus panoptes STORR, 1980
Reptile Database

Argus Monitor (Varanus panoptes horni )
Monitors of the World

Click here for more Information about Australian Monitors




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Varanoid Lizards of the World A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia 5th edition Edition

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About John Fowler | About John Hollister | Report Faulty Link | Report an Error | Contact John Fowler Author of the Australian Herpetology Website and Holiday in Kos - Owner of the Adelaide Reptile Forum

Contact John Hollister Author of John Hollister Reptile Collection - Herping the Trans-Pecos & Sweetwater, Texas Rattlesnake Roundup

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Updated October 24, 2021


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