The Perentie: Largest Monitor Lizard in Australia

A couple of years ago I wrote a post called Call That a Lizard? This Is a Lizard! It was about the goanna which is, indeed, a very large lizard. Australia has around 25 of the world’s species of these kind of lizards which are also known as monitors.

Pirentie_tripoddingThe biggest of these monitors, the most fearsome goanna in Australia, is the perentie, a predator that can grow up to 2.5 metres in length. Goannas are found throughout Australia (barring Tasmania), but the perentie is found only in the dry deserts of the outback from Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and through to Queensland.

They are very successful hunters because, quite simply, they can run and run and run. Pretty fast too. Legendary wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough caught up with one, but I have an important message for you before I play this video.

If you like rabbits, go and read my post about Wild and Domesticated Rabbits in Australia. DO NOT WATCH THE VIDEO! No, it doesn’t matter what happens, you really don’t need to worry about it. Go on, go and have a read about those fluffy bunny rabbits, you’ll love it.

Right, that’s got rid of them. Here is Sir David…

Imagine finding one of those things prowling around in your back garden. That’s exactly what happened to this bloke…

Perentie sightings are rare though, they are more likely to see you before you see them and they will retreat and hide, they don’t like human contact. You certainly wouldn’t want to corner one though, their claws are strong, their bite very painful (and slightly venomous), and their tails can be used like a whip.

The perentie is a quite awesome lizard and I think we can all be grateful that they don’t like to avoid humans, can’t we?

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Kim December 10, 2016, 4:10 pm |

    Our 2 parentes have stopped eating. There has been no change in diet and they live in Broome WA
    Nice and hot and humid. They live on sand, have logs rocks and a big clean water container to drink and bath.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated. We do not have a Vet in town that works with wildlife.

    • BobinOz December 12, 2016, 6:52 pm |

      Gosh, I don’t know, I think we do need a vet for this one. Hopefully one will come along, or somebody who understands parentes, to give you some advice. Cheers, Bob

  • Divyam February 14, 2015, 1:46 pm |

    They force you to drink beer?Really? O.o

    How come you”ve never mentioned about this kind of a practice on your blog?(Or at least none which I”ve read,and believe me I really read your blog :P)

    • BobinOz February 16, 2015, 1:49 pm |

      Oh I have mentioned it before, many times, sounds like you have more reading to do 🙂

  • Divyam February 7, 2015, 9:31 pm |

    Please tell me this wont come into my backyard if I come to Australia.

    You’re giving me the creeps Bob!

    • BobinOz February 9, 2015, 5:48 pm |

      As long as you don’t live in the outback from Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and through to Queensland, you should be alright.

      You’ll just get the usual goannas. 🙂

      • Divyam February 10, 2015, 10:19 am |

        Aaaaaaa…… Any pest treatment for the giant lizards? :/

        Oh I wanted to ask you,do you follow cricket Bob?On 14th Of Feb the cricket World Cup is starting being hosted by Australia and New Zealand and Australia are strong contenders 😀

        Going to the Gabba Stadium for a match perhaps?

        • BobinOz February 10, 2015, 7:56 pm |

          I certainly wouldn’t try stamping on the perentie, they are slightly more robust than your average cockroach.

          And no, I don’t follow cricket at all, so it is very unlikely I’ll end up at the Gabba. That said, World Cup? Could be fun to go to a game (or is it match?) I would just need to check that they won’t force us to drink weak tins of beer (as they sometimes do at these events) because I can’t watch cricket all day AND drink mids.


      • suzie gunn December 14, 2015, 3:33 pm |

        Best include south west australia in its range…one came through my garden about 10 years ago and i was as close to it as David Attenborough is to his “friend”. Saw one when i was a child in the jarrah forest as well..

        • BobinOz December 14, 2015, 7:50 pm |

          You were brave then, not sure I’d want to get that close. About 3 metres with my camera on zoom would do it for me 🙂

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