Lace Monitor in Newstead

by Frances Cincotta

This terrific article reports on the recent local sighting of a Lace Monitor by Newstead local Darryl O’Bryan.

When I came along the road a 2m long Lace Monitor (Tree Goanna) Varanus varius darted across in front of my car and ran up a Grey Box where it is was well-camouflaged. In my 40+ years in Newstead it’s only the second sighting of this species. Good info on them is available in “Frogs and Reptiles of the Bendigo District” available from Newstead Natives Nursery.

According to Darryl … the previous time was possibly in the late seventies I think. This time I noticed quite a lot of bird disturbance and have since observed what may be a magpie nest destroyed in the vicinity.

Varanus varius, Newstead, 3rd December 2020

Footnote from Geoff Park – This species has always eluded me in the Newstead district. I’ve had a few reports over the years of both this species and also the Sand Goanna Varanus gouldii but have never been fortunate enough to encounter one in the flesh.

Postscript: Many thanks to respondents for their comments on this post. As suspected both V.varius and V.gouldii are ‘about’ locally … you just have to be in the right place at the right time!

10 responses to “Lace Monitor in Newstead

  1. Hi All, I have seen Lace monitors a couple of times in the last few years in Muckleford SF/NCR while working on the Eastern Yellow Robins. Unfortunately I did not realise how scarce there were in the area, and therfore did not bother to submit a record to the Vicotrian Biodiversity Atlas. Once was near the junction of South German and Mia Mia Track, the other time was On water Reservoir Track near Pullans Rd

  2. johnalexcarruthers


    • What a fantastic sighting. We saw a small one a few weeks ago on the road near Maldon, alas run over. It was the first I’ve seen in 26 years in the district.

  3. A Beautiful lace monitor …I used to live in the Southern Wimmera and have been lucky enough to have relatively frequent sightings. Lace monitors certainly have been in the past the major preditor of the corella that now prevail in plague proportions. Due to loss of habitat (and to a lesser degree road kill) Lacemonitor numbers are now greatly diminished

  4. Fabulous sighting and very interesting comments. I wonder if they’re making a comeback or if we’re just taking more notice. Beautiful animal.

  5. Have seen one here in Walmer about 4 years ago.
    They are amazing. Great photo Darryl.

  6. I saw one crossing the road in Tarnagulla a few weeks ago, as I was driving back into town from Dunolly. The tail is very distinct. I also saw one a couple of months back crossing the road on the way back from Inglewood. They are about, but not in huge amounts!


    We were met by one at our gate on Christmas eve ..  It zipped up the nearest tree  very rapidly.We live at the foot of the Warby  Ranges at Wangaratta South.  Get Outlook for AndroidFrom: Natural Newstead <>Sent: Sunday, 27 December 2020, 3:49 pmTo: helenvanriet@internode.on.netSubject: [New post] Lace Monitor in Newstead francescincotta posted: “by Frances CincottaThis terrific article reports on the recent local sighting of a Lace Monitor by Newstead local Darryl O’Bryan.When I came along the road a 2m long Lace Monitor (Tree Goanna) Varanus varius darted across in front of my car and ra”

  8. I have regularly seen the sand monitor at Tarrengower, once this summer and several times last year. One had a “burrow” under the radio tank at the top of the mount for several years but suspect he outgrew the space .Peter Skilbeck

  9. Helen & John Van Riet

    Hi Geoff,

    Lace monitors are regular visitors to our garden. They live next door in the Warby-Ovens National Park( just west of Wangaratta). A few years ago I caught a smaller one in the chook run, stealing eggs. We managed to catch it in a cat trap then took it to a spot in the N.P. to release it. They are magnificent animals with their ringed tail with a pink section.

    Thanks once again for your superb photos, especially the ones of insects

    Wishing you well in 2021.


    John and Helen van Riet

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