Varanus sp. nov. 'Central Australia'



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

It has not yet been established that it is an undescribed species:

"The morphometric variation encompassed by these specimens indicates the presence of a varanid intermediate in size between V. komodoensis and V. prisca (sensu stricto)... Whether these specimens represent a diachronous sample across the middle to late Pleistocene, or a morphocline of Pleistocene giant varanids from smaller central Australian forms toward larger eastern Australian forms is yet to be determined. Regardless, these specimens indicate a giant varanid present in central Australia during the Pleistocene"

(Hocknull et al., 2009)


Conservation Status

Extinct if valid

Last record: Late Pleistocene (Hocknull et al., 2009)



Central Australia


Biology & Ecology










Hocknull, Scott A., Piper, P. J., van den Bergh, G. D., Due, R. A., Morwood, M. J. and Kurniawan, I. (2009). Dragon's Paradise Lost: Palaeobiogeography, Evolution and Extinction of the Largest-Ever Terrestrial Lizards (Varanidae). PLoS ONE 4(9): e7241.

Hocknull, Scott A. et al. (2020). Extinction of eastern Sahul megafauna coincides with sustained environmental deterioration. Nature Communications 11: 2250.


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