Varanus keithhornei WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Canopy Goanna
  Varanus keithhornei is a member of the subgenera Euprepiosaurus. This is the only member of the prasinus-group which occures on mainland Australia. The major coloration is black. CZECHURA (1980) mentioned this species for Australia. WELLS & WELLINGTON (1985) described this animal as a new species, using the description of CZECHURA (1980). SPRACKLAND keithhornei(1991b) described the same type specimen in his taxonomic revision of the prasinus-group as V. teriae. Because the description by WELLS & WELLINGTON (1985) as V. keithhornei is done earlier, the older name should be used for this monitor species.
The coloration of this goanna is dark black on the upper side. The head scales are moderately big and smooth, some supraocularia are extended but are hardly different to the interocularia. The nostril is on top of the snout and it is directed to the outside, it is situated closer to the tip of the snout than to the eye. 75-90 scale rows are around midbody. The tail is moderately pressed together at the side without a visible keel. The length is approximately 2.0 times as long as SVL. The tail scales have an light keel, they are ordered in regular rings. The animal can reach a totla length of about 75 cm.

Distribution, habitat and behavior


keithhorneiThe distribution of V. keithhornei is restricted to a very small area in the Iron Range and the McIlwraith Range on the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland (CZECHURA 1980, GREENE 1986, SPRACKLAND 1991b).
Four animals were observed in the area of the Iron Range (IRWIN 1994). Three of these animals were caught at this, as they were presumably searching for food on the ground within the fallen leaves, the fourth animal was up in a tree in a height of about 5 meters.





Keeping and breeding

keithhorneiOnly at the Reptile Park of Beerwah in Queensland these monitors were kept in captivity. Till now, no exact keeping conditions are published. Because this monitor species is very close related to V. prasinus, you can keep these monitors in an enclosure, which is built for a tree climber from the tropical rainforest. Someteime it is good to separate the animals, so it could be good, if the enclosure has two partitions to make it possible for the animals to sunbask undisturbed and without direct visual contact to the other monitor.
Multiple clutches were observed (IRWIN 1996c). Unfortunately, the eggs were never buried properly till now. They were always dropped in the enclosure. Another clutch in 1997 of four eggs were buried in a nesting box (E
NGLE 2000, MANNION, pers. comm.) after this was modified so that a temperature gradient from one side to the other side was installed (EIDENMÜLLER 1990, 1995, EIDENMÜLLER & WICKER 1995). 3 babies from this clutch hatched after an incubation period of 170 - 171 days. The offspring had a SVL between 97 and 100 mm with a total length between 232 and 251 mm. The body mass was about 10 g. At a further clutch nly one baby hatched after 180 days. The SLV was 101 mm, the total lenght was 243 mm, and it weight 12 g. The hatchlings fed on insects without any problems and developed well.