A Spiny-tailed Monitor (Varanus acanthurus) from near Exmouth, WA. These monitors are among the smaller monitor lizards we have in Australia, growing to a total length of around 70cm. They generally live under boulders or in rock crevices, however this fellow has made some discarded slabs of concrete amongst the sand dunes his home. The large flat surfaces are ideal to bask on in the morning or afternoon, and they also offer a great hiding place to spend the night.
As the name suggest, they have a spiny tail made up of large, overlapping, prickly scales that they can present to any predator that might chase them into a burrow or rock crevice. In a tight space their spiny tail forms a barrier between the predator and the rest of their body, and can withstand bites from pythons and even venomous snakes. **All my images are available for sale as a fine art print, canvas, framed print or digital download. Please visit my online shop or contact me to place an order.
Long story short: we ended up with a Tokay. Unsure of sex - presumed male. He’s big and bitey and beautiful. He already got my finger and drew blood, so he instantly has my respect.
He’ll be away in quarantine for a bit so we won’t bother him for a while as he gets settled down.