Lace Monitor

Scientific name: Varanus varius

Have you ever watched the British naturalist Steve Backshall a television presenter on a mission to travel about the world from one continent to another in his challenge to find the most dangerous creatures on his Deadly 60 list.

He will keep you in suspense as he brings these creatures to life on the screen right in front of you. You never know from one night to another, just what he will find. He could come across an unusual creature high up in the trees, under the ocean or deep down inside the darkest cave.

Last night his adventure seeking brought him to Australia, in search of the Lace Monitor. We watched this with great interest as we had also seen these beautiful lizards.

We saw them while on our second trip around Australia in our caravan. We stopped at the Chimney's free campsite in Queensland for a couple of nights.

After setting up our caravan, my husband decided to have a nap. So I headed of for a walk with my camera, always on the lookout to take shots of beautiful birds. I had not gone more than a hundred foot when a sudden rustle in the grass put my hackles up. I have to admit I love the bush but am terrified of snakes.

Suddenly, this huge lizard appears from the undergrowth right in front of me.

Lace Monitor: Closeup of Lace MonitorCredit: TPhotos

When you see these close-up you will understand why I was a little scared

I bolted back to the caravan yelling to my husband. You guessed it; he saw the funny side of it and laughed.  Nothing appears to scare him, which in a way annoys me at times.

I had never seen one of these huge monitors before, in their natural environment, therefore I was not sure if they would harm humans. Yes, I had seen the huge Komado Dragons in Bali, although they were behind a fence. This was different; I followed close behind my husband, as he is bigger than I am.  We wandered about watching them forage for food, their fork tongue darting in and out. Their tongue is split in the center like the snakes. We found them curious, although not appearing dangerous at all.

We spoke to one of the regular campers to that area, and he told us that someone had killed two harmless snakes the day before and the monitors did not waste any time eating both.

Lace Monitor: Large Lace MonitorCredit: TPhotos

This Lace Monitor was about 2 meters long.

Monitor Heat Transfer

This would look great on the children's Tee shirts as a gift

Lace Monitor Statistics

Lace Monitor: Strong claws used for climbing treesCredit: TPhotos

Look at the powerful claws on the feet of this Lace Monitor used for climbing trees

Lace monitors can grow up to two meters in length, the female usually smaller than the male.  The markings on the lace monitor are usually dark grey with pale yellow bands and rows of spots.

Their feet have large strong claws used for climbing trees and fighting. They could do serious damage to you with these powerful claws. Lace Monitors have a long forked tongue like that of a snake.

Lace Monitor: Track made by MonitorCredit: TPhotos

 The trail left in the sand from the Lace Monitor


Lace monitors live in the forests along the East coastal parts of Australia. Often seen foraging along the ground for food, then when disturbed they will climb the nearest tree for safety. Even though they are two meters long they still move very quick.


Monitors eat mainly birds, bird eggs, reptiles, small mammals and insects.


After copulation, the Lace monitors will lay between 5-10 eggs in termite mounds on average these eggs measure 4 cm x 7 cm. Incubation is between 140-145 days. 

If you watch the Wild Recon video below, you will see how Steve milked the Lace Monitor similar to the way they milk the snake for their venom. 

The Chimney Camp Site where we saw these is named after the Chimney Stacks shown in image below.

Lace Monitor: Chimneys Camp SiteCredit: TPhotos

If you ever visit Australia then please stop and see the Beautiful Lace Monitors and of course have a look at many of our beautiful birds.

A visit to Australia would never be complete without visiting our white beaches in Western Australia, or taking in the scenery of the Great Outback. Places like Coober Pedy where you can fossick about for opals, and stay in motels under the ground.  Nor will you ever be bored visiting our natural bush and see the Australian animals in their natural environment.  

I could not show exactly where the Chimneys is on this map, although this should help you find your way there:

The Location of the Chimney's Free site is here:

108.5kms NorthWest of Injune
111.19kms South of Springsure 
150.21kms NorthEast of Augathella
193.56kms SouthWest of Woorabinda

 All images on this article © by TPhotos

Eggs for Lace Monitors Dinner

Wild Recon: Lace Monitor Venom

Top Trumps Deadly 60 Card Game by Winning Moves
Amazon Price: $25.20 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 10, 2016)
Great card game for adults and children over 3 years of age. Contains 30 cards featuring Steves deadly 60 weird and creepy animals and insects.