This is a Lace Monitor taken in the Grampions in Victoria. This was the first goanna that I encountered in the wild. (taken Mar2002) In a country that doesnt have that many large predatory animals it makes seeing one of these creatures at close quarters really exciting. Most of these images were taken with telephoto lens...it is not the type of creature I would want to corner or startle. If you want to see a larger image of any of these pics, just double click on them.
In Australia we refer to our monitor lizards as goannas. It might sound like an aboriginal word but it is actually a word early europeans came up with. It is really just a mispronunciation of the word iguanna (another type of large lizard found elsewhere in the world-but belonging to a different family).
There are about 50 species of these lizards world wide and Australia has 26 of them. The largest of one, the perentie can grow to about 2.4 m. They are powerfully built creatures which will readily takes to trees if startled. They live in most parts of the country except Tasmania, where it is too cold for them and while many of them live in desert areas they can also be found around water and in tropical rainforrest.
Barcaldine, Qld. (above & below) Spencer's Monitor (Varanus spenceri )
(above & below)