Scientific name: Varanus gilleni
Conservation Status: Not evaluated
Body Length: 35 cm
Weight: 60–80 g
Incubation: 90–130 g
Number of eggs: 3–7
Distribution: Interior of South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia through to the north-west coast
Habitat: Desert and arid regions
Description: The Pygmy Mulga Monitor has a grey-brown back, which fades into light grey at the sides with a series of narrow, irregular reddish-brown spots and short bars. Its underbelly and throat is white with grey flecks. The Pygmy Mulga Monitor’s tail is nearly one-and-a-half times the length of its head and body.
Diet: Like other monitors, the Pygmy Mulga Monitor is a carnivore and preys on insects and other small lizards.
In the wild: This arboreal lizard is usually found under bark or in cracks of mulga, gum or desert oak trees. The monitor finds food by flicking its tongue to pick up scent particles in the air. Small prey animals are chased, caught in the monitor’s toothed jaws and swallowed whole. The monitor uses its claws and front teeth to catch and rip apart larger prey.
Larger monitors and birds of prey eat Pygmy Mulga Monitors.
Threats: Monitors in some areas are threatened by habitat loss.
At Perth Zoo: Pygmy Mulga Monitors can be found in the Reptile Encounter.
Did you know? Monitor lizards are thought to be venomous. While harmless to humans, the toxin is lethal to small animals.