Odatria

Varanus glauerti MERTENS 1957
Kimberley Rock Monitor

 
glauerti
V. glauerti
Bullo River, NT
glauerti
glauerti
V. glauerti
Kununurra, WA
glauerti

Varanus glauerti is one of the medium-sized members of the subgenera Odatria. It is a rock dweller. V. glauerti was described by MERTENS (1957) as a subspecies of V. timorensis, but later, 1958, lifted up into species rank, because big differences in the scale counts to V. timorensis were stated.
Head, body and limbs show a blackish or deep brown coloration. The body has several indistinct cross rows, build by bright spots, the hind legs have cross rows of small spots. A temporal stripe is clearly visible at the side of the head. The tail is provided with alternated bands of bright white and dark. Belly and throat are whitish. The head scales are small, irregular and smooth. The nostril ia situated lateral, it is slightly closer to the tip of the snout than to the eye. 120-160 scale rows are around midbody. The tail is more or less round in the diameter without symptoms of a keel on top. It is approximately twice as long as the SVL. The scales are smooth at the tail base, and slightly keeled at the tail end. The total length is up to 80 cm.

 

 

 

 


Distribution, habitat and behavior

glauerti

glauertiThe distribution of V. glauerti extends on the northernmost part of Australia. Two not coherent distribution areas are confessed. In the Kimberleys you will find this monitor on big rocks, where it disappears into the crevices at danger (MERTENS 1958, KEAST 1959, WORRELL 1966, BUSTARD 1968, SWANSON 1976, STORR 1980, STORR et al. 1983b, WILSON & KNOWLES 1988, HOSER 1989, COGGER 1992, EHMANN 1992). A second population lives in the Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory. There the monitors are mainly found on trees (SWEET 1999, BEDFORD pers. comm.). The food consists of insects, spiders, geckos and skinks, which were caught during surveys through the crevices or along the tree trunks (LOSOS & GREENE 1988).
ROKYLLE (1989) could observe V. glauerti in the vicinity of Fitzroy Crossing, a small township south of the Kimberleys in Western Australia. This location is far south outside the distribution area of the western population.


Keeping and breeding
glauertiTo date few people have had the opportunity to keep this spectacular species in captivity. A single animal was housed for several years at the Perth Zoo, Western Australia. Food items appear confined to all sorts of insects and spiders (JAMES et al. 1992), with at least some captive animal consuming lizards at the exclusion of other food sources.
An overview of the care and breeding of 4 species of monitor lizards, including V. glauerti, is reported by RETES
& BENNETT (2001). KING & GREEN (1993, 1999) describe the young animals of this monitor species as unusual in having an intense blue coloration.
BEDFORD (pers. comm.) mentioned 24 clutches with a clutch size between 3 and 6 eggs. He incubated the eggs at 30°C, and the babies hatched after exactly 110 days.
   
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