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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 6

2. Hydrosaurus varius. — The Lace Lizard

2. Hydrosaurus varius.

The Lace Lizard.

I believe the present striped species, and the large spotted or Gigantic Lace Lizard (H. giganteus) to be identical; this is one of the most common forms on the plains of the Murray; so common, in fact, that I have often captured half a dozen of them on my return to the camp; they were generally found basking in the sun, close to their holes, down which they disappeared with extraordinary swiftness when disturbed. They grow to a large size, as much as 7 or 8 feet long, and feed upon carrion, as well as upon living animals; on various occasions several pounds of bones, and once a large "opossum" was taken from the stomach of one of these reptiles.

Their eggs, of which they deposit some 10 or 15, are large, covered with a tough leathery membrane; the young lizards being more than 10 inches long, at the time of birth.

The present species is well distributed over almost every part of Australia.