Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monitor Species for Beginners

I believe the smallest monitor lizard available in the pet trade is the Spotted Tree Monitor (Varanus timorensis). This species grows to a maximum length of about 70cm, although is known to be nervous and difficult to handle. This species is not yet as widely available as other species sold as pets. The most common monitors sold in the pet trade are the African savannah monitor (Varanus exanthematicus) and the African Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus). Both of these species can easily achieve a length of 1m and can grow up to 1.5m and 2m respectively. One of the largest minors sold as pets is the Asian water monitor (Varanus salvator), which can grow up to a whopping 2.5m but is thought of as one of the most docile species. A few other monitor species are regularly available in small numbers in the pet trade such as Dumeril's monitors (Varanus dumerilii), black rough-necked monitors (Varanus rudicollis) and mangrove monitors (Varanus indicus). These are moderately large and relatively easy to manage.