Lace monitor


Lace monitor

Taxobox
name = Lace Monitor
status = LR



image_width = 200px
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Reptilia
ordo = Squamata
subordo = Scleroglossa
familia = Varanidae
genus = "Varanus"
species = "V. varius"
binomial = "Varanus varius"
binomial_authority = (Shaw, 1790)

The Lace Monitor, or Lace Goanna, "Varanus varius", is a member of the monitor lizard family, Australian members of which are commonly known as goannas.

Lace Monitors, are also known as Lace Goannas in Australia and are the second-largest monitor in Australia after the Perentie. They can be as long as 2.1 metres (over 6ft 10ins) with a head and body length of up to 76.5 cm (2½ ft). The tail is long and slender and about 1.5 times the length of the head and body. [Ehmann, Harald. "Encyclopedia of Australian Animals: Reptiles", p. 158. (1992). The Australian Museum. ISBN 0-207-17379-6 ("Reptiles").] ["Wildlife of Tropical North Queensland: Cooktown to Mackay", p. 233. (2000). Queensland Museum. ISBN 0-7242-9349-3] Maximum weight of lace monitor can be 20 kg., but most adults are much smaller.

These common terrestrial and often arboreal monitors are found in eastern Australia and range from Cape Bedford on Cape York Peninsula to south-eastern South Australia. They frequent both open and closed forests and forage over long distances (up to 3 km a day).

They are mainly active from September to May, but are inactive in cooler weather and shelter in a tree hollow or under a fallen tree or large rock.

The females lay from 4 to 14 eggs in spring or summer in termite nests. They frequently attack the large composting nests of Scrub Turkeys to steal their eggs, and often show injuries on their tails inflicted by male Scrub Turkeys pecking at them to drive them away.

Their patterning consists of white spots, blotches or bands on their body. Their distribution is chiefly coastal. Their diet typically consists of insects, reptiles, small mammals, birds and birds' eggs.

Like all Australian goannas, they were a favourite traditional food of Australian Aboriginal peoples and their fat was particularly valued as a medicine and for use in ceremoniesFact|date=June 2007.

Venom

In late 2005, University of Melbourne researchers discovered that Perenties ("Varanus giganteus") and other lizards, may be somewhat venomous. Previously, it had been thought that bites inflicted by these lizards were simply prone to infection because of bacteria in the lizards' mouths, but these researchers have shown that the immediate effects are caused by mild envenomation. Bites on human digits by a Lace Monitor ("Varanus varius"), a Komodo Dragon ("V. komodoensis") and a Spotted Tree Monitor ("V. scalaris") have been observed and all produced similar results in humans: rapid swelling within minutes, localised disruption of blood clotting, shooting pain up to the elbow, with some symptoms lasting for several hours. [Fry, Brian G., et al. (2006). "Early evolution of the venom system in lizards and snakes." "Nature". Letters. Vol. 439/2 February 2006, pp. 584-588. Pdf file available for download at: [http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=%22Early%20evolution%20of%20the%20venom%20system%20in%20lizards%20and%20snakes%22%20Letters%20Nature%2010.1038&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=ws] ]

Foototes

References

* King, Dennis & Green, Brian. 1999. "Goannas: The Biology of Varanid Lizards". University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 0-86840-456-X


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