Varanus panoptes (yellow-spotted monitor): toxic prey avoidance

Jean Sean Doody, Hugh James, Christopher Walmsley, David Rhind, Matthew E. Edgar, Maik Fidel, Domenic D’Amore, Simon Clulow, Colin R. McHenry

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


Although large predatory animals are capable of capturing and consuming large prey, most regularly consume smaller prey (e.g., Hart and Hamrin 1990. In Hughes [ed.], Behavioural Mechanisms of Food Selection, pp. 235–253. Springer-Verlag, Berlin). Large monitor lizards are no exception. For example, Varanus bengalensis reaches 1.75 m in total length but 75% of its diet consists of small invertebrates (Auffenberg 1994. The Bengal Monitor. The University Press of Florida, Gainesville. 560 pp.). Generalist predators such as large monitor lizards use different foraging strategies to obtain different prey, a pattern well documented for V. bengalensis (Auffenberg 1994, op. cit.). One foraging behaviour noted was regular searches for dung beetles (Scarabaeidae) in the dung pats of (mainly) large mammals. Herein we document similar foraging behaviour in the Yellow-spotted Monitor, Varanus panoptes, in northern Australia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-97
Number of pages2
JournalHerpetolgiocal Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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