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Field observations provide an insight into the ecology of the Rusty Monitor (Varanus semiremex) in South-eastern Queensland, Australia

Title

Field observations provide an insight into the ecology of the Rusty Monitor (Varanus semiremex) in South-eastern Queensland, Australia (7234 KB) pdf document icon

Author/s

Tremul, P.R

Citation

Tremul, P.R. 2017. Field observations provide an insight into the ecology of the Rusty Monitor (Varanus semiremex) in South-eastern Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Nature 60: 77-89. https://doi.org/10.17082/j.2204-1478.60.2017.2016-05

Accepted 8 August 2016
Published online 30 January 2017.
Peer reviewed:

Yes

DOI

https://doi.org/10.17082/j.2204-1478.60.2017.2016-05

Keywords Varanus semiremex, crabfeeding activity, home range, thermal regulation, mangrove species

Abstract

A southern population of the Rusty Monitor (Varanus semiremex) is known to occur at Wild Cattle Creek, Tannum Sands, Queensland. Thorough field observations conducted on foot revealed that
individuals are frequently observed active between late September and April. Five distinct adults were identified over a 300 metre length of tidal mangrove habitat. Two confirmed females had a
set home range and were recorded active within the same areas during a 29-month period. Both females became gravid and laid eggs between October and December. Hollows in mangrove trees
were used as refuge sites and may be occupied over time by several individuals. Crabs were the only prey items observed, in contrast to literature reports of a more varied diet. The monitors were
not active swimmers, preferring to forage between tides, but using the water in-transit where necessary. Daily activity commenced early in the summer months but was delayed during autumn
and spring. Activity was observed at temperatures as low as 25.5ºC

 

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