Varanus varius Lace Monitor
Millstream Falls, Atherton Tableland, Queensland, AustraliaFebruary 10, 2003
Lace Monitor (Varanus varius) Lace Monitor (Varanus varius)
Lace Monitors aren't as big as Perenties, but they are still huge lizards, far far bigger than any U.S. lizard. Australian herpetologists must just laugh at U.S. lizards. I can imagine Crocodile Dundee coming across, say, a leopard lizard and snorting "You call that a lizard? This is a lizard!" as he reaches into his tucker bag and pulls out a huge goanna. Good thing we have Gila Monsters so we can maintain some small amount of lizard one-upsmanship.

This particular very large lizard had just scared the bejeebers out of a nice Canadian couple with whom we had been chatting just before they headed down the path to the falls. The lizard had been concealed in tall dry grass when they spooked it by walking near, and it reacted by bolting out of the grass right past them and up the nearest tree. I don't think the poor Canadians ever made it to the falls, which were quite nice.

Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Australia.

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