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Southern Pilbara rock goanna

southern Pilbara rock goanna (Varanus hamersleyensis)
Karijini National Park, Western Australia
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Varanus hamersleyensis - Maryan, Oliver, Fitch & O'Connell, 2014
Pronunciation  vah-RAH-nuss   HAMM-errs-lee-ENN-sis
Etymology  Varanus: a Latinisation of the Arabic word, Waran, for lizards of the Arabian Peninsula. These lizards were said to warn of the presence of crocodiles, and became known in English as monitors.1 In Australia, they are typically called goannas.
hamersleyensis: "Named for the Hamersley Range of Western Australia, the region to which it is restricted. This is the most prominent mountainous area in Western Australia (including Mount Meharry, 1245 m, and the highest peak in the state) and home to a suite of endemic taxa. Used as a noun in apposition."2
Other names   
Total length
Species avg: 26.4 cm
Species avg: 29.5 cm
Clutch size
Description Distribution Natural history Conservation Further information More photos


"Known only from the Hamersley Range, a heavily dissected region of banded ironstone occupying the southern part of the Pilbara craton of Western Australia." Found from east of Newman, west to Mount Rica, and south to Rocklea Station.2

Found in the following Australian states/territories

Western Australia


"...strictly saxicolous and closely associated with rocky habitats such as banded ironstone rock faces and gorges".2
"...shelters in overhangs, crevices, cavities and occasionally under exfoliated rock slabs. Typical vegetation on these faces varies, but often includes Eucalyptus and Triodia (Spinifex). Field observations indicate a preference for flat, horizontal sheet ironstone with an east- west aspect to allow optimum basking in the morning. It is extremely swift and agile; ascending vertical rock faces with ease, and quickly takes shelter in deep crevices when disturbed."2

Notes and disclaimer
This information may not be complete. While all care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in this page, primary sources should always be consulted for definitive information. Animals have an endearing habit of disobeying the rules, so the information on this page should be interpreted with a degree of flexibility.
The author and site operator accepts no responsibility for any losses or damages incurred through using this web site or the information contained herein. Don't get bitten by anything!
This page may be cited as:
  Varanus hamersleyensis at the Australian Reptile Online Database. Last updated 2017-02-22 18:04:26.
  Retrieved from on the 17th of October, 2021.
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