Today we meet another regular visitor to my place. I see these beautiful creatures regularly during our summers here. We refer to them as 'goannas' and they have the most stunning skin ... the patterning consists of white spots, lace-like blotches or bands all over their body. Each one I've seen seems to have slightly different markings too - wider bands down the tail, larger lacy spots etc.
This particular goanna was on the hunt for eggs and attempting to get into our duck/chook pen. It was interesting watching his attempt. (Please click on the photos for an enlarged view)
Righto ... feeling a pit peckish! Eggs for lunch I think!
Mmmm .... maybe I can slip in under the gate!
No luck ... I'll try going down here and see if I can get in under the fence!
Drat! No luck there either ... hmmmm... thinking, thinking!
Hmmm! ... I wonder??
Aaaahaa!! Aren't I a clever little lizard?
These beauties are members of the monitor lizard family - the Australian members of which are commonly known as goannas. They're found all along the east coast of Oz.
This is the second largest monitor lizard in Australia - they can grow to 2 metres long from head to the tip of the tail!
These lizards are mostly terrestrial but they are often seen climbing trees and spending time hanging about in the branches. They are mainly active from September to May (Spring through Autumn), but not very active in our cooler weather.
They will eat insects, reptiles, small mammals, birds and birds' eggs. I think the lace monitors actually eat more birds and eggs than other goannas. They will frequently attack the large nests of the scrub turkeys out in the bush to steal their eggs, and they are often spotted trying to get into the chook/duck pens around the neighbourhood.
They have very strong claws and powerful legs ... and can hang around in trees for ages!
Now look closely .... can you see me?
Come a little closer!