Spotted Tree Monitor
Photo: C & D Frith
Reptiles & Frogs
Spotted Tree Monitor (Varanus timorensis)
- Found in northern Australian tropics.
- They are an arboreal (tree dwelling), species that utilise the shelter of hollow tree trunks and limbs as resting places.
- In Australia the Spotted Tree Monitor lives in wet tropical rainforest to dry areas of western Queensland and the Northern Territory.
- The lizard hunts on the ground for insects, amphibians, reptiles and mammals but retreats to the trees if alarmed
- Skin is characterised by a pattern of light circles on a dark background.
- Rarely exceeds 60-70 cm in overall length
- They are easily seen at The Chamber's.
- The spotted tree monitor likes to bask in patches of sunlight but when disturbed rushes off at high speed.
- You are normally made aware of their presence by the rustling leaf sound as they run across the forest floor and up a nearby tree to escape your approach.
- When sighted they will conceal themselves from your view by moving to the reverse side of the trunk. As you move around the tree they will spiral up the trunk trying to keep out of your sight.
- As they are a very shy animal they will more often than not be heard and not spotted.