Alice Springs Fauna •

Alice Springs ReptilesBearded Dragon Bynoe’s Gecko Common Desert Ctenotus Ctenotus saxatilis Eastern Tree Dtella Long-nosed Dragon Perentie

Australia’s largest lizard species, the Perentie (Varanus giganteus) is found throughout the arid Central Australian region and have been sighted in Alice Springs in people’s gardens, as well as wild ones walking around Alice Springs Desert Park and the grounds of other local attractions.

Perentie (Varanus giganteus), Alice Springs Desert Park
Perentie (Varanus giganteus), Alice Springs NT

Belonging to the monitor family Varanidae, sometimes referred to as goannas, the perenties are distinctive reptiles with their long neck, angular brow, powerful limbs and long, laterally compressed tail. Each of their limbs has five clawed toes and a mouth with sharp curved, backward pointing teeth. It is a fast sprinter and is known to stand on its back legs and tail for a better view of the surrounds.

Perentie (Varanus giganteus), Alice Springs Reptile Centre
Perentie (Varanus giganteus), Alice Springs Reptile Centre
Perentie (Varanus giganteus), Alice Springs Reptile Centre
Juvenile Perentie (Varanus giganteus), Alice Springs Reptile Centre

You can even seen a sculpture of the Perentie by Artist Dan Murphy at Undoolya Rd roundabout.

Perentie by Artist Dan Murphy, 26 March, 2015 (at the Undoolya Rd roundabout)
Perentie by Artist Dan Murphy, 26 March, 2015 (at the Undoolya Rd roundabout)

The perentie and goannas are also depicted by some Aboriginal artist. Check out our story on How the Perentie and Goanna got their colours. See our photos of the Perentie and Juvenile Perentie at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre.

Checkout our Reptiles section for more info on the Perentie (Varanus giganteus).


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Varanidae
  • Genus: Varanus
  • Subgenus: Varanus
  • Species: V. giganteus
  • Binomial name: Varanus giganteus
Perentie (Varanus giganteus), Alice Springs, NT
Free roaming wild Perentie at Alice Springs Desert Park

Alice Springs ReptilesBearded Dragon Bynoe’s Gecko Common Desert Ctenotus Ctenotus saxatilis Eastern Tree Dtella Long-nosed Dragon Perentie

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