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Same species, different outfit

October 25, 2014

Lace Monitor, Warby RangesThis is not about local sightings, but does highlight what you may come across when getting out and about to some of the wonderful  Biodiversity Spring events being held across the Goulburn Broken catchment and north-east Victoria, coordinated by the Euroa Arboretum. After attending the ‘Taminick Walk and Squawk’ (and seeing the promised Turquoise Parrots) we made our way up to the northern (Killawarra) section of  Warby-Ovens National Park and were lucky enough to spot this Lace Monitor (Varanus varius) pictured at left climbing up a Mugga Ironbark tree (Eucalyptus sideroxylon). This particular goanna is the less common ‘Bell’s form’ of the Lace Monitor, characterised by the broad banding on its body and tail.

When first spotted it had a small colourful feather stuck to the edge of its mouth – hopefully its last meal wasn’t a Turquoise Parrot!Lace Monitor, Dookie

The following day we attended the first of the Grassy Woodlands Field Days held at Dookie College. Following a morning of informative talks, we headed to the college’s bushland reserve where we again came across a Lace Monitor climbing a tree, this time the more usual form with a patterning of more subtle bands and spots – see the photo at right.

You are probably unlikely to encounter a Lace Monitor in the Flowerdale/Strath Creek area, but please, prove us wrong and report any sighting by leaving a comment below.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. ccobern permalink
    October 25, 2014 8:31 am

    They aren’t far away. Since the 2009 fires I’ve been told of two sightings.
    One in bushland on private property at Kinglake and another sighting at Kinglake West in the national park.

    • October 25, 2014 8:47 am

      Thanks Chris. Good to know they’re around – we’ll keep an eye out. We notice they are listed as Endangered on the Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria 2013. The Bell’s form is probably only found in dryer areas further north.

  2. October 27, 2014 6:14 am

    The Broken Creek FNC saw a very similarly sized Lace Monitor yesterday, the 26th, near the Spring Creek area of the Warbys, just off Adams Rd. We were looking for Turqs and saw quite a few. Other noted sightings were Echidnas, Yellow-footed Antechinus, a large Red-Bellied Black Snake, two species of skink yet to be identified by us, and a Peron’s Tree Frog ! Then we realised the frog had emerged from my camp chair pocket and had come from our pergola where we have a number feeding off our windows .It was recaptured and returned home last night where it is living again in my chair !

    • October 27, 2014 8:12 am

      We’d be interested to know if your monitor was Bell’s form – our reptile guide (Wilson and Swan) has it “… occurring in dry parts of Qld and NSW …”? The one we saw was further north in the Warbys, on Camp Road.
      Nice story about the frog!

      • October 28, 2014 7:49 am

        We all presumed it was and I’ve emailed our members to see whether a good photo was taken.We were being led that day by our members Roger and Helen Wrigley from Benalla. Roger is a geomorphologist and a past Dean of Dookie College . They spend a lot of time in the Warbys . We stopped to observe the monitor because of it having the rarer banding. I was at the Parrot Day and followed Doug Robinson.We had brilliant views of Turqs but no monitors .Roger and Helen were there too. We picked our spot in the Warbys at Picnic Creek on the recommendation of Chris Tzaros…..Paul Huckett of the BCFNC.

  3. kirstenr permalink
    October 29, 2014 2:20 pm

    Yep. We saw one early this year at our property that borders Kinglake NP too! Was great to see.

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