A perentie monitor lizard


Perenties are the largest of all the Australian monitor lizards, measuring an impressive 2.5 metres. They can run incredibly fast either on all fours, or just their hind legs. If threatened, they distend a large neck pouch and expel a rattling hiss. Should this dramatic display fail, the perentie lunges forward and strikes its opponent before quickly turning and fleeing to hide in the nearest rocky crevice or burrow. They can even bring down smaller species of kangaroo.

Scientific name: Varanus giganteus

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Perentie taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Perentie can be found in a number of locations including: Australia. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Perentie distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Desert Desert
Desert and dry scrubland describes any area that receives less than 250mm of rainfall a year. Not just the endless, baking sand dunes of popular conception, it includes arid areas in temperate regions.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web