STRIPED - TAILED MONITOR - Varanus Caudolineatus
This monitor is one of the smallest in Australia, reaching an average total length of 32 cm. It is a grey colour with a reddish - brown tinge on its back, has numerous dark spots over its back and base of the tail and there are four distinct longitudinal lines on the remaining two thirds of its tail.
Absent from the central parts of the Pilbara where it is replaced by a recently discovered species Varanus bushi which was previously just assumed to be a locality variant of Varanus caudolineatus.
It occurs in the arid mid-western interior around hard and stony soils with Mulga woodlands or scrublands. It is arboreal, sheltering in hollow trees, stumps and trunk splits, under bark, exfoliations and even in termite mounds. They are particularly fond of dead Mulga trees where they miraculously squeeze into the smallest of cracks
It feeds on other lizards or their tails (if they are too difficult to subdue), cockroaches, spiders, caterpillars, centipedes and grasshoppers.
Sexing of individuals is difficult and this should be done by hemipenal translumination, a technique recently pioneered by Dr Danny Brown. Egg deposition is normally around early summer and they can lay up to six eggs. Successful incubation periods are recorded between 90 to 110 days at 30 degrees Celsius. Under favorable conditions they can have more than one clutch in a season.
Not such a commonly kept species outside of W.A. this maybe more the case that they haven't been widely collected for the pet trade as of yet. This species needs to be kept at high temperatures and they have a reputation for suffering respiratory infections and often do not recover.
All native reptiles in W.A remain protected under the W.A Wildlife Conservation Act (1950)