Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Genus Varanus Merrem, 1820


Excluded Taxa


VARANIDAE: Varanus finschi Böhme, Horn & Ziegler, 1994 [records of this species from Australia are uncertain and we follow Weijola et al. (2016) in treating the species as absent from Australia until further work can verify its presence] — Weijola, V., Donnellan, S. & Lindqvist, C. 2016. A new blue-tailed Monitor lizard (Reptilia, Squamata, Varanus) of the Varanus indicus group from Mussau Island, Papua New Guinea. ZooKeys 568: 129-154 [148]

VARANIDAE: Varanus indicus (Daudin, 1802) [following neotype designation for Tupinambis indicus Daudin, 1802 the species is restricted to the Mollucan Islands, Indonesia, with Varanus chlorostigma (Gray, 1831) selected as the most appropriate name for Australian populations of the Varanus "indicus" group. See Weijola (2015) for further details.] — Weijola, V. 2015. Case 3676 Tupinambis indicus Daudin, 1802 (currently Varanus indicus; Reptilia, Squamata): proposed conservation of usage of the specific name by replacement of the neotype. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 72(2): 134-141

VARANIDAE: Varanus salvator (Laurenti, 1768) — Cogger, H.G. 1979. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed 608 pp. (Australian record based on BMNH, purportedly from Somerset, QLD, cited in Boulenger (1885))




Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia

Extra Distribution Information

Africa, S Asia, Indo-Australian Archipelago.

Note that conversion of the original AFD map of states, drainage basins and coastal and oceanic zones to IBRA and IMCRA regions may have produced errors. The new maps will be reviewed and corrected as updates occur. The maps may not indicate the entire distribution. See further details below.
IBRA and IMCRA regions (map not available)
drainage basins and coastal and oceanic zones (map not available)


Pilbara (PIL) ; ACT, NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Vic, WA: Avon Wheatbelt (AW), Brigalow Belt North (BBN), Brigalow Belt South (BBS), Broken Hill Complex (BHC), Central Mackay Coast (CMC), Coolgardie (COO), Eyre Yorke Block (EYB), Jarrah Forest (JF), Mallee (MAL), Murray Darling Depression (MDD), Nandewar (NAN), New England Tablelands (NET), NSW North Coast (NNC), NSW South Western Slopes (NSS), Riverina (RIV), South Eastern Queensland (SEQ), Swan Coastal Plain (SWA), Wet Tropics (WT) ; ACT, NSW, Qld, SA, Vic: South East Corner (SEC), South Eastern Highlands (SEH) ; ACT, NSW, Qld, SA, Vic, WA: Australian Alps (AA), Sydney Basin (SB) ; ACT, NSW, SA, Vic, WA: Esperance Plains (ESP), Hampton (HAM), Kanmantoo (KAN), Naracoorte Coastal Plain (NCP), Warren (WAR) ; NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Vic, WA: Arnhem Coast (ARC), Arnhem Plateau (ARP), Burt Plain (BRT), Central Arnhem (CA), Carnarvon (CAR), Channel Country (CHC), Central Kimberley (CK), Cobar Peneplain (CP), Central Ranges (CR), Cape York Peninsula (CYP), Daly Basin (DAB), Darwin Coastal (DAC), Dampierland (DL), Davenport Murchison Ranges (DMR), Darling Riverine Plains (DRP), Finke (FIN), Flinders Lofty Block (FLB), Gascoyne (GAS), Gawler (GAW), Gibson Desert (GD), Gulf Fall and Uplands (GFU), Geraldton Sandplains (GS), Great Sandy Desert (GSD), Gulf Coastal (GUC), Gulf Plains (GUP), Great Victoria Desert (GVD), Little Sandy Desert (LSD), MacDonnell Ranges (MAC), Mitchell Grass Downs (MGD), Mount Isa Inlier (MII), Mulga Lands (ML), Murchison (MUR), Northern Kimberley (NK), Nullarbor (NUL), Ord Victoria Plain (OVP), Pine Creek (PCK), Pilbara (PIL), Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields (SSD), Stony Plains (STP), Sturt Plateau (STU), Tanami (TAN), Tiwi Cobourg (TIW), Victoria Bonaparte (VB), Yalgoo (YAL) ; NSW, NT, Qld, SA, WA: Desert Uplands (DEU), Einasleigh Uplands (EIU)

Other Regions

Torres Strait Islands terrestrial, marine & freshwater

Original AFD Distribution Data

Afrotropical Region

Australian Region

  • Australia
    • Australian Capital Territory
    • New South Wales: Bulloo River basin, Lake Eyre basin, Murray-Darling basin, SE coastal
    • Northern Territory: Lake Eyre basin, N Gulf, N coastal, W plateau
    • Queensland: Bulloo River basin, Lake Eyre basin, Murray-Darling basin, N Gulf, NE coastal
    • South Australia: Lake Eyre basin, Murray-Darling basin, S Gulfs, SE coastal, W plateau
    • Victoria: Murray-Darling basin, SE coastal
    • Western Australia: N coastal, NW coastal, SW coastal, W plateau
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Solomon Islands

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)
03-Feb-2023 LACERTILIA 03-Feb-2023 MODIFIED
05-Jan-2015 Varanus Merrem, 1820 25-Nov-2022 MODIFIED
28-May-2014 LACERTILIA 03-Feb-2023 MODIFIED Dr Federica Turco (QM)
28-May-2014 VARANIDAE 03-Feb-2023 MODIFIED
28-May-2014 03-Feb-2023 MODIFIED
08-Mar-2011 03-Feb-2023 MODIFIED
03-Feb-2023 MODIFIED