The pygmy desert monitor (Varanus eremius)[1] is a species of small monitor lizard native to Australia. It is also known as the rusty desert monitor.[2] The monitor lizard belongs to the subgenus Odatria along with the Pygmy Mulga Monitor.[3][4] This monitor lizard is oviparous as with other monitor lizards.[5]

Distribution Edit

Varanus eremius is the most widespread of the pygmy goannas. It lives in desert and semi-desert areas of South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It is possible that its range includes Queensland as well.[6][7]; Storr & Harold 1980).

Description Edit

The pygmy desert monitor reaches a total length of about 50 cm.[4] The coloration of this monitor lizard on the upper side is light to dark reddish brown with numreous, irregularly distributed, black or deep brown spots. Sometimes there are smaller primrose or cream-colored spots present. The tail of the Pygmy Desert Monitor shows alternating cream-colored and deep brown longitudinal stripes, which are often broken up into scattered spots at the tail base. A conspicious black stripe goes from the snout to the eye.[4]

Behavior Edit

Varanus eremius spends its life on the ground and seldom climbs trees. Up to now no successful breeding in captivity has been reported.[4]


Stomach contents indicate that the diet by volume of the pygmy desert monitor consists mainly of other lizards (76%). The remainder of animals eaten by this monitor include: large grasshoppers plus an occasional scorpion.[8]


  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named first
  6. Pianka, E. R. (1968). Notes on the biology of Varanus eremius. West. Aust. Nat. 11: 39-44 1968; Houston 1978;
  7. Storr G M (1980). The monitor lizards (genus Varanus Merrem, 1820) of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 8(2) 1980: 237-293.

Further readingEdit

  • Photo of at
  • Bennet, D.F. (2003). Australische Warane. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (5): 18-25
  • Bennet, D.F. 2003. Australian Monitors. Reptilia (GB) (30): 12-19
  • Cogger,H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • De Lisle, H.F. 1996. Natural History of Monitor Lizards. Krieger, Malabar (Florida)
  • Eidenmüller, B. 2007. Small monitors in the terrarium. Reptilia (GB) (50): 12-19
  • Eidenmüller, B. 2007. Kleinwarane im Terrarium. Reptilia (Münster) 12 (1): 16-23
  • Fuller, Susan; Peter Baverstock and Dennis King 1998. Biogeographic Origins of Goannas (Varanidae): A Molecular Perspective. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 9 (2): 294–307.
  • King, Dennis & Green, Brian. (1999). Goannas: The Biology of Varanid Lizards. University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 0-86840-456-X
  • Lucas, A. H. S., and C. Frost. 1895. Preliminary notice of certain new species of lizards from central Australia. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 7: 264-269
  • Mertens, R. 1958. Bemerkungen über die Warane Australiens. Senckenberg. Biol. 39: 229-264
  • Mertens, R. 1942. Die Familie der Warane (Varanidae), 3. Teil: Taxonomie. Abh. Senckenb. naturf. Ges., 466: 235-391
  • Pianka, E.R. 2003. Die Warane der australischen Wüste. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (5): 29-35
  • Pianka, E.R. 2003. Australian Desert Varanids. Reptilia (GB) (30): 20-26


Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.