Scientific Name: Varanus giganteus
Australia is the home of the monitor lizard or goanna. Although there are other species in Africa, Europe and Asia, no other country has the same diversity with over twenty of the world's 30-odd species.
The perentie is Australia's largest lizard reaching over 2.5 metres in length. It has a long neck and a stout, robust body ending in a long, tapering tail. The colour is yellow or cream with tawny brown rosettes edged in dark brown on their back and they have dark limbs with white spots. The head and neck are pale creamy-white overlaid with a reticulated pattern of black lines and flecks.
The perentie can be found in arid parts of South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory, it is usually found around rocky hills and outcrops. It often shelters in burrows, which it digs with its powerful front legs and claws. These may be extensive and have several escape exits.
The diet of juveniles consists of other lizards, insects and small mammals. As they grow they will readily tackle large venomous snakes, rabbits, birds and their eggs and even small marsupials such as wallabies.
The female perentie lays around 6-10 eggs in a burrow, usually beneath a large object such as a boulder. The brightly coloured young hatch around 2-3 months later.