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7 Jul 2022

For Biodiversity Month (September) this year, Wingecarribee Shire Council is wanting to showcase some of the awesome photos taken by citizen scientists using the Southern Highlands Nature Map. Select...


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Discussion

bufferzone wrote:
Yesterday
wow thank you All a big Learning Curve for us will try at a later stage to get more pictures and pictures of the termites in the Area, we dont disturb the actual termite mounds as they are so big and probably best left alone we will try and get Photos of more active termites that are in the surrounding trees on the property

Varanus varius
DonFletcher wrote:
28 Feb 2024
If you want more info or want to continue the discussion my email is goannas@npaact.org.au, or I could add you to my 'Goanna News' email group.

Varanus varius
DonFletcher wrote:
28 Feb 2024
Hi bufferzone (or 6882, whoever is asking the questions, I cant tell)
I was asked to try to answer yr questions.

First, this species, V. varius (Tree Goanna or Lace Monitor) is not the one declared vulnerable in NSW. V. varius is secure, and common. The one that is declared vulnerable is V. rosenbergi, (Rosenberg's Goanna or Heath Monitor).

I cant see photos of the other goannas that this one is larger and darker than and has much different markings but possibly some of the other ones are V. rosenbergi. The latter has finer markings on the upper and lower jaw and the banding does not continue across the top of the head. In V. varius the outer half of the tail has broad dark and light bands, whereas the narrow bands continue along most of the tail in V. rosenbergi.

Paradoxically, we know more about nesting in V. rosenbergi (the species my colleagues and I are researching), than V. varius. Both species nest in the mounds of a Gluegun Termite species, Nasutitermes exitiosus. V. varius is said to sometimes also nest in arboreal termite mounds.

From what I have observed, V. varius make egg laying holes at the base of the mound just like the area in the photo showing recent repairs by the termites. Probably in December. Hatching is many months later probably ~September.
V. varius mothers are believed to dig into the mound to release the young. When the young are released, a large ragged hole is left just like the one used for laying. Mounds appear to be places to leave scent signals, as well as breeding places so not all goannas visiting mounds are related to breeding.

V. rosenbergi differ in several points. The female commences digging from a point 2/3 up the mound and makes a neater hole. Breeding is 2 months later (Laying in February. Hatching in October). The mother visits the mound occasionally to check on things but provides no assistance to the hatchlings. The hatchlings dig themselves out, and emerge through a tiny hole high on the mound. Also the hatchlings return into the mound at night for several weeks.

V.varius is known to excavate and eat the eggs of V rosenbergi. Also cannibalism occurs, with males eating eggs in fresh but unguarded nests. Both only occur during the time before the termites seal the laying excavation.

Varanus varius
Curiosity wrote:
28 Feb 2024
Thanks for explaining, @donhe. I wish I had a better-quality image for you to work with.

Geometridae (family) ADULT
bufferzone wrote:
28 Feb 2024
hi I have read on Nature map that Status: listed as Vulnerable in NSW.

SHNM would like more information on this species, be on the look out for it.?
What does this Mean please? and do they get informed Automatically of the sighting?

Varanus varius

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