Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps


Compiler and date details

February 2014 - ABRS


A family of lizards in which all 31 living species are placed in a single genus, Varanus. The family ranges from Africa to southern Asia, the Indo-Australian Archipelago, New Guinea and Australia. The 26 Australian species are primarily active diurnal predators, although many also feed on carrion.



Characterised in Australia by: well-developed pentadactyl limbs; movable eyelids; pupil more or less circular; external ear-opening present; body scales mostly juxtaposed; scales on top of head mostly small and irregular; tongue long, slender and deeply-forked like that of a snake.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
27-Feb-2014 VARANIDAE 27-Feb-2014 MODIFIED
28-May-2014 16-Aug-2012 MODIFIED
08-Mar-2011 08-Mar-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)