Spiny Tailed Monitor Varanus acanthurus
The spiny tailed goanna is a small to medium sized monitor that is found in the northern subtropical, tropical half of Australia and is also present on some of the associated islands. Their relatively small size and ability to adapt to captivity has made this monitor very popular and is strongly represented in collections across Australia.
In the wild the spiny tailed goanna can be found sheltering in ground burrows, under rocks, in termite mounds, and readily takes refuge amongst rubbish like piles of timber, corrugated iron and under 44 gallon drums left behind by humans. While generally considered to be terrestrial they have been encountered living inside tree hollows. When inside rock crevices this monitor can use its spiny tail very effectively to wedge it self against the rock surfaces thus making it extremely difficult to be dislodged by predators.
Spiny tailed goannas will prey upon other small monitors, lizards, mammals, and insects..
I have personally found on occasions the discarded tail of this monitor when exploring their habitat. We highly suspect that feral cats may be regular culprits as there are many living here in the Pilbara.
Mating in the Pilbara area seems to be around about late October. On average the female will lay about six eggs but can lay up to eight and can have more than one clutch per year.