The Pygmy Mulga Goanna (Varanus gilleni)
The Pygmy Mulga Goanna (Varanus gilleni)

There are few tree-dwelling reptiles in Arid Australia, but wherever there are sufficient trees or shrubs, this species, the Pygmy Mulga Goanna (Varanus gilleni) can be found.

The mulga shrublands favoured by this species are sensitive to disturbance and while they are extensive now, their range could be dramatically reduced by changing factors like bushfire frequency, increased pastoral activity, mining and other ‘developments’. They are also found on the spinifex sandplains of north western and central Australia. As well as mulga trees, they can also be found in the hollows of eucalyptus and under the loose bark of the desert she-oaks.

Common name
Known as the pygmy mulga goanna, the pygmy mulga monitor, mulga monitor, Gillen’s monitor.

Check out the Alice Springs Reptile Centre to see a great collection of reptiles.

Photos © Ausemade PL

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Varanidae
  • Genus: Varanus
  • Subgenus: Odatria
  • Species: V. gilleni
  • Binomial name: Varanus gilleni