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Northern Pilbara rock monitor

northern Pilbara rock monitor (Varanus pilbarensis)
Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia
Photo © Stephen Zozaya
Varanus pilbarensis - Storr, 1980
Pronunciation  vah-RAH-nuss   PILL-bar-ENN-siss
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.
pilbarensis: "Named for the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the region to which it is restricted. Used as a noun in apposition."2
Other names   
Total length
Species avg: 47 cm
Clutch size
Description Distribution Natural history Conservation Further information More photos


"Endemic to the northern Pilbara region of Western Australia, largely to the north of the Fortescue River Basin and centred on the Chichester Range. Records extend from the Burrup Peninsula and West Intercourse Island in the northwest, east to the Ord Ranges, Yarrie Mine and Carawine Gorge. There is a single record south of the Fortescue River in the western Chichester Range near Pannawonica".2

Found in the following Australian states/territories

Western Australia


"...closely associated with rocky habitats, typically undulating granite and greenstone terrain with significant areas of basaltic ranges (tumbled boulder piles are prominent) and dissected plateau, vegetated with spinifex (Triodia), sparse shrubs and eucalypts (Mckenzie et al. 2009)."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 pilbarensis at the Australian Reptile Online Database. Last updated 2019-02-07 00:54:20.
  Retrieved from on the 17th of October, 2021.
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All photographs in The Australian Reptile Online Database are © the photographer and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the photographer.
No part of The Australian Reptile Online Database may be reproduced without written permission from Stewart Macdonald.
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