Species group: Monitor Lizards
Scientific name: Varanus dumerilii
Dumeril’s monitors are found in Southeast Asia, where it lives in Mangrove swamps. Like other Monitors, the Dumeril's Monitor is aggressive but can be tamed with regular interaction and handling. Ideally, the cage should include multiple hiding spots to provide a sense of security.
Appearance / health:
Juvenile Dumeril’s Monitors have bright orange heads, however after 4-8 weeks, this coloration changes to brown as the lizard matures. With proper feeding, Dumeril's Monitors grow quickly and adults can reach 3-4 feet in length and can live 15-20 years in captivity.
Behavior / temperament:
Raising Dumeril's Monitors from juveniles makes it easier to tame them by regular gentle handling. The natural tendency of Monitors is aggression, which can result to nasty bites and tail lashing; therefore, care is always advised. Overall, Nile Monitors are hardy and easy to feed and care for.
Dumeril's Monitors should be in a habitat which is between 85-90 degrees F. with a basking spot of 95 degrees F. At night the temperature can drop to 75 degrees F.
Raising tame juvenile Dumeril's is easier than taming adults. When threatened, they bite and lash their tails.
As with other Monitors, the Dumeril's is carnivorous. In captivity, its diet would include crickets (and other insects), waxworms (and other worms), rodents, and fish. It can be fed cooked eggs and packaged monitor food. Mineral-dusted crickets and vitamin supplements should be given regularly for added nutrition.
A Good Choice for Monitor Enthusiasts (with space!)
Dumeril’s monitors first came to my attention during my years as a zookeeper, and have remained great favorites of mine. Active and highly intelligent, they frequent riversides and swamps in the wild, and favor semi-aquatic habitats in captivity. This complicates care somewhat, as swimming facilities for a 4-5 foot-long lizard (that also likes to climb!) are difficult to provide. Feeding them properly may tax some owners, as fish, crustaceans, frogs and large invertebrates, not rodents, comprise the bulk of their natural diet; rodent-only diets are not ideal for pets. But for folks who can provide a huge custom-built cage or a room dedicated for use as their living quarters, and varied diet containing large insects, snails, crabs and whole fish as well as rodents, these interesting lizards can make excellent pets.
Although captive-bred Dumeril’s monitors are considered easier to handle than other similarly-sized species, they are capable of inflicting severe injuries with teeth, claws and tails, and even the calmest should be handled with thick leather gloves (the ultra-sharp claws will tear skin as animal shifts when being held). Most also charge food with abandon, and will not hesitate to grab a hand or finger that gets in their way – always employ a long-handled feeding tong!.
From findiviglio Nov 10 2015 4:30PM