Rusty desert monitor

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Rusty desert monitor
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Varanidae
Genus: Varanus
Subgenus: Odatria
Species: V. eremius
Binomial name
Varanus eremius
Lucas & Frost, 1895[1]

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


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


The rusty desert monitor reaches a total length of about 50 cm.[1] The colouration of this monitor lizard on the upper side is light to dark reddish-brown with numerous, irregularly distributed, black or deep-brown spots. Sometimes, smaller primrose or cream-colored spots are present. Its tail shows alternating cream-colored and deep-brown longitudinal stripes, which are often broken up into scattered spots at the tail base. A conspicuous black stripe occurs from the snout to the eye.[1]


This species spends its life on the ground and seldom climbs trees. No successful breeding in captivity has yet been reported.[1]


Stomach contents indicate the diet by volume of the rusty desert monitor consists mainly of other lizards (76%). The remainder of animals eaten by this monitor include large grasshoppers and occasional scorpions.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e "". Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  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.
  8. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • 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