Goannas are quite a common sight on our property, although this one pictured is much larger than those we usually see.
It is about 180 cm long and a very impressive specimen.
This one ran up the tree when I disturbed it.
The Lace Monitor, or Lace Goanna, Varanus varius, is a member of the monitor lizard family. In Australia we commonly refer to them as goannas.
Lace monitors are the second-largest monitor in Australia after the Perentie.
They can be as long as 2.1 metres (over 6 ft 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.
Maximum weight of lace monitor can be 20 kg.(44 lb), but most adults are much smaller.
These common monitors are found in eastern Australia and range from 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, and are inactive in cooler weather when they 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 diet typically consists of insects, reptiles, small mammals, birds and birds’ eggs. They are also carrion eaters, feeding on already dead carcasses of other wildlife.
Lace monitors will also forage in areas inhabited by people, raiding chicken coops for poultry and eggs, rummaging through unprotected domestic garbage bags, and trash cans in picnic and recreational areas.
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 ceremonies.