Monitor Lizard

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:      Reptilia
Order:        Squamata
Family:     Varanidae
Genus:        Varanus

The main dwelling place of the large Monitor Lizards is  the jungle regions, whereas a few are water-bound. Still, there are a few varieties of monitor lizards known to possess faint amount of venom, like the Komodo dragon, the largest in this variety.

Nile Monitor Lizard


The physical features of the Monitor Lizards are: Powerful claws and tail, long neck and well formed limbs. Even though the majority of the varieties is terrestrial, you will find arboreal as well as semi-aquatic monitors as well. Despite the fact that the majority of the monitor lizards is carnivorous, three special arboreal varieties, namely Varanus mabitang, Varanus bitatawa and Varanus Olivaceus are are frugivorous (fruit eating). The color of these lizards varies from Brown to  Green, Tan, Gray with scales on the skin.

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We assume that Monitor Lizards are moderately clever animals, and certain people declare that monitor lizards do recognize numbers till six, This implies that monitor lizards can count! It is in the wild that the monitor lizards make use of their intelligence for threat perception and for hunting their prey.


Water Monitor
Water Monitor Lizard

The different varieties of these lizards spread over an extensive area that includes the islands of South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, Australia, Philippines, New Guinea, the Subcontinent of India leading to China right through South East Asia merging into Indonesia and Africa. In the Malaysian State of Pahang on the Tioman Island, you can find a major number of the monitor lizards. You can also come across a few of them in South Florida, mainly in the Everglades,  where they pose a threat to the wildlife, the cattle as well as the alligators.

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As a pet

Not all take a fancy to monitor lizards. Even though  pet monitor lizards are easy to tame, and you can have fun with them, it incurs a lot of hard work in nurturing them. Provide a habitat that is appropriate and big enough, with the right food and routine care.


Similar to other lizards, breeding a Monitor lizard needs patience, knowledge and time. Husbandry is the chief component in breeding. Production is possible only with the right type of food, temperature and housing that replicate its natural environment.


The size of the adult pet determines the height and size of the cage. A cage of size 8’ x 3’ x 6’ is sufficient for a big monitor. Often go for the biggest enclosure. The enclosure appears secure and safe when you furnish it with shelves, strong branches, ramps, ledges and other decorative items facilitating your pet to bask, climb and search for a hideout.
A large tub or a kiddie pool with ramps for easy entrance and exit is essential for monitors that take pleasure staying in the water. A water heater is also essential.
A lengthy UVB fluorescent bulb that emits its light over a wide area is an added advantage.

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Grasshoppers, mealworms, crickets, cockroaches are the insects in their diet.
The monitor food available in the market gives the exact amount of nutrients and vitamins.
Feed your pet on pre-killed mice of suitable size.
Chop and grind to bite size,  the raw food  available at the grocery shops, like ground chicken or turkey, shrimp, eggs, crab or fish.
Supplement with Vitamin D3 and A calcium, a reptile multivitamin.


It is also necessary to tame a pet monitor. Biting, whipping its tail and scratching are actions show its displeasure. This gives pain. For taming the Monitor lizards you need constant patience and frequent handling. If you are ready to spare some time with your pet, it turns as a fantastic pet.

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