Armed with a prodigious head, camouflaged skin and sharp tree climbing skills, the lace monitor is a sturdy forager and a tenacious opportunist. Besides raiding the odd garbage bin when the going gets tough, this stealth-like lizard is known to launch aggressively into birds nests for a raw egg feast.

lace monitor

Found all the way from north-east Queensland to the bottom of South Australia, the lace monitor is the second largest monitor lizard in Australia. Its long tail and bulky head also prove ideal for tree climbing and foraging in both open and closed forest, which it does daily for over 3km.

The terrestrial pirate lifestyle of the lace monitor, while often resulting in triumph, also leads to its fair share of tragedies. As their tail often carries the wounds of inflamed scrub turkeys, who viciously peck the lizard during a botched egg swindle.

When not stealing eggs, foraging through forests, or raiding the odd garbage bin, the lace monitor can be found eating small insects, reptiles, and the carcasses of other deceased wildlife. And in the colder months, it can often be found resting in a tree hollow or under a large rock, when it is less active.

The lace monitor, which is not aggressive to humans, is distinguished by a grey, blueish black body covered in cream spots, and a snout marked with black and yellow bands. Something to look out for in the grounds of Thala, where they’re often found searching for food, or bits of golden sunshine that filter through the branches.