A sand goanna in the desert

Sand goanna

Sand goannas are active predators. Their constant tongue flicking during hunting allows them to detect the scent of hidden or buried prey. The females lay their eggs in the centre of an active termite mound and the resident termites keep the temperature and humidity just right for egg development.

Scientific name: Varanus gouldii

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Gould's monitor,
  • Racehorse goanna,
  • Sand monitor

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


Map showing the distribution of the Sand goanna taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Sand goanna 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 Sand goanna distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web