A new goanna!

3 April, 2014

In a recent paper published in the taxonomical journal Zootaxa, Biologic’s Brad Maryan and Morgan O’Connell along with their research colleagues confirmed the existence of yet another species of Australian varanid- Varanus hamersleyensis. On recent field surveys by Biologic in the southern Pilbara (specifically the eastern Hamersley Range), the authors observed that the Pilbara Rock Monitor (Varanus pilbarensis) from these sites differed noticeably in colour pattern from northern populations. Further observations and investigation of the mitochondrial and morphological variation within V. pilbarensis show that the true V. pilbarensis is restricted to the northern Pilbara, and the population in the southern part of the Pilbara represents a new species. This newly described species appears to be secure and widespread throughout the Hamersley Range, and occurs in popular tourist destinations such as at Karijini National Park (one of the largest National Parks in Western Australia). More details at

Varanus hamersleyensis

Varanus hamersleyensis (Photo Brad Maryan)