The name sand monitor can be used to describe many different species. The Gould's monitor is a terrestrial or "ground-dwelling" reptile that excavates large burrows for shelter. Rock escarpments and tree hollows are also suitable dwellings. Varanus gouldii inhabits a vast range throughout Australia. The Gould's monitor reaches an average length of Template:Convert and can weigh as much as Template:Convert. They can be found in Northern and Eastern Australia where they inhabit open woodlands and grasslands. Varanus flavirufus, a subspecies resides in Australia's interior. There are some places however where the ranges of Gould's, Flavirufus and Argus monitors overlap. The similarities between the species and their close proximity frequently cause confusion.
The Sand monitor is a relentless forager. It is diurnal meaning most of its activities take place during the day. Anything smaller than itself will be eagerly devoured. The diet of hatchlings and juveniles often consists mostly of insects and small lizards but generally varies more with age. Adult monitors will prey on mice, large insects, small agamids and geckoes, smaller varanids, snakes, and carrion. Gould's monitor does consume smaller species of monitor. Ackies, Rock Monitors and other dwarf species are often found and eaten. It is common to see a Gould's disturbing rock piles in an attempt to flush out any odatria. It lays it eggs in termite mounds to protect it eggs from the harsh desert climate.
Sources and photosEdit
- Photo of Varanus gouldii at Reptilesdownunder.com
- Photo of Varanus gouldii at Pbase.com
- Cogger, H. (1967). Australian Reptiles in Colour. Sydney: A. H. & A. W. Reed, ISBN 0-589-07012-6
- King, Dennis & Green, Brian. 1999. Goannas: The Biology of Varanid Lizards. University of New South Wales Press. ISBN 0-86840-456-X
- Brian Bush, Brad Maryan, Robert Browne-Cooper and David Robinson,(1995) A guide to the reptiles and frogs of the Perth region, Nedlands. UWA Press. ISBN 1-875560-42-4