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Varanus giganteus

Wildlife Wednesday: Perentie (Varanus giganteus)

This is a very seldom sighting for anyone, due to its shy nature and the remoteness of its habitat (such as Gnaraloo). The perenties can be found in the desert area of Western Australia, South Australia, Northern territories and Queensland. We were very lucky to encounter the Perenties (Varanus giganteus) which is the largest native monitor lizard or goanna in Australia. The perentie can reach up to 2.5 m long! Our fellow was not that long yet, but we sure kept our distance.

They have a funny behaviour that, they often stand on their back legs and tail to gain a better view of the surrounding terrain. This behaviour, known as “tripoding”, is quite common in monitor species. Perenties are fast sprinters, and can run using either all four legs or just their hind legs. One should still keep their distance, especially if they start hissing. They can lunge forward with open mouths and can do much damage. Not only by their teeth but also as there is evidence of them being somewhat venomous.
They are beautiful in their scale patterns, but we advise you to keep your distance, though they are shy.

Sophia Dahl

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