Varanus gouldii (Gould’s Monitor): diet and cannibalism

Cody Davis Godwin, Jean Sean Doody, David Rhind, Simon Clulow, Kari F. Soennichsen, Christopher J L Murray, Brett Bartek, Ashley Severin, Lyndee Severin

Research output: Contribution to journalShort Survey/Scientific Reportpeer-review


The most widely distributed of Australia’s large monitors is the Gould’s Monitor (Varanus gouldii; Cogger 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Victoria, Australia. 774 pp.), and consequently, its diet is well known. This species is strictly carnivorous, with a diet consisting of insects, frogs, snakes, lizards, mammals, birds, and vertebrate eggs (Shine 1986. Herpetologica 42:346–360; Losos and Green 1988. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 35:379–407; Pianka 1994. Aust. J. Ecol. 19:395–408; Thompson 2004. In Pianka and King [eds.], Varanoid Lizards of the World, pp. 380–400. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana; Sutherland 2011. Herpetologica 67:146–153; Norval et al. 2019. IRCF Rept. Amphib. 26:132–133). Observations of predation are important supplements to studies of stomach content because the latter often bias prey size toward smaller items as larger prey items are eaten less frequently (Griffiths 1980. Am. Nat. 116:743–752). Here, we report observations of V. gouldii preying upon previously unrecorded prey species, as well as an incident of cannibalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-137
Number of pages2
JournalHerpetolgiocal Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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