An Australian lace monitor
(Varanus varius) on a tree.
|Many, see text.|
Monitor lizards are the family Varanidae, a group of lizards which includes the largest living lizard, the Komodo Dragon. Varanidae contains only a single genus: Varanus.
In Australia monitor lizards are known as goannas (See main article).
Monitor lizards are considered to be the most highly developed lizards, possessing a relatively rapid metabolism for reptiles, several sensory adaptations that benefit the hunting of live prey, and a lower jaw that may be unhinged to facilitate eating large prey animals. Recent work indicates that the Varanid lizards, including the Komodo dragon, are indeed venomous and do not produce strains of deadly bacteria as previously thought. However, instead of injecting the venom into prey from fangs like most of their snake cousins do, the venom stays around the base of the teeth.
Origin of Name
It has been said that the name of monitor lizards is derived from a superstition that the creatures would give a warning about the presence of crocodiles. However, this explanation may be apocryphal. According to Wildwatch, the name actually resulted from a mishearing of the Arabic word oaran (lizard) as the German warnen (to warn), which was subsequently Latinized into monitor.
- Varanus acanthurus:
Spiny-tailed goanna or Ridge-tailed monitor
- Varanus acanthurus acanthurus interestus or ???
- Varanus acanthurus brachyurus or ???
- Varanus acanthurus insulanicus or ???
- Varanus albigularis or
- Varanus albigularis albigularis
Varanus albigularis angolensis
Varanus albigularis ionidesi or Black-throated Monitor
- Varanus albigularis albigularis
- Varanus auffenbergi Peacock monitor
Varanus baritji Northern ridge-tailed goanna
Varanus beccarii Black tree monitor
Varanus bengalensis Bengal monitor
Varanus bogerti Louisiade tree monitor
Varanus brevicauda Short-tailed monitor
Varanus caerulivirens Blue pin-spot monitor
Varanus caudolineatus Stripe-tailed goanna
Varanus cerambonensis Ceram mangrove monitor
Varanus doreanus Blue-tailed monitor
Varanus dumerilii Dumeril monitor aka Brown Rough Neck Monitor
Varanus eremius Desert pygmy monitor
Varanus exanthematicus: Savannah monitor
Varanus finschi Finsch's monitor
Varanus flavescens: Yellow mangrove monitor
Varanus giganteus: the Perentie
Varanus gilleni Pygmy mulga goanna
Varanus glauerti Kimberley rock monitor
Varanus glebopalma Black-palmed rock monitor
Varanus gouldii Sand goanna (also Gould's goanna, or Ground goanna)
Varanus griseus Desert monitor
Varanus indicus Mangrove monitor
Varanus jobiensis Peach-throat monitor
Varanus juxtindicus Hakoi
Varanus keithhornei Canopy goanna
Varanus kingorum King's goanna
Varanus komodoensis: Komodo dragon
Varanus mabitang Panay monitor
Varanus macraei Blue tree monitor
Varanus melinus Quince monitor
Varanus mertensi: Mertens' water monitor
Varanus mitchelli Mitchell's water monitor
Varanus nebulosus Clouded monitor
Varanus niloticus: Nile monitor
Varanus olivaceus Gray's monitor, Butaan
Varanus ornatus Ornate monitor
Varanus panoptes Argus monitor, Yellow-spotted goanna, Floodplain goanna
Varanus pilbarensis Pilbara rock monitor
Varanus prasinus: Emerald tree monitor
- Varanus primordius Blunt-spined goanna
Varanus prisca: Megalania (extinct)
Varanus rosenbergi Rosenberg's goanna
Varanus rudicollis: Black Roughneck monitor
Varanus salvadorii: Crocodile monitor, Artrelia
Varanus salvator: Water monitor
Varanus scalaris Spotted tree goanna
Varanus semiremex Mangrove pygmy goanna
Varanus spenceri Spencer's goanna
Varanus spinulosus St. Isabel mangrove monitor
Varanus storri Storr's goanna
Varanus telenesetes Lia (Biri), Rossel Island tree monitor
Varanus timorensis: Timor tree monitor or Timor monitor
Varanus tristis Black-headed tree goanna
Varanus varius: Lace monitor
Varanus yemenensis Yemen monitor
Varanus yuwonoi Tricolor monitor
The movie monster Varan takes its name from this genus.
In a season 4 episode of Hey Arnold, the character Helga owned a monitor lizard.