Water Monitor

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Species group:

Other common names: Andaman Islands Water; Black Water Monitor; Two-striped Water Monitor; Southeast Asian Water Monitor

Scientific name: Varanus salvator

The basics:
The Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) is perhaps the most wide-spread of all Monitor lizards, found throughout South Asia, from northern India, to Vietnam, China and Indonesia. There are 5 subspecies of Varanus salvator:

  • Asian Water Monitor (Varanus salvator salvator)
  • Andaman Islands Water Monitor (Varanus salvator andamanensis)
  • Two-striped Water Monitor (Varanus salvator bivittatus)
  • Black Water Monitor (Varanus salvator komaini)
  • Southeast Asian Water Monitor (Varanus salvator macromaculatus)

Appearance / health:
The Asian Water Monitor is a large lizard, and can reach 3 meters in length. It is mostly grey in color, with some white crossbands on the tail, and a white chin and belly. The body is muscular, and the lizard has a long powerful laterally compressed tail.

Behavior / temperament:
Asian Water Monitors are opportunistic predators and will attack any small animal for food. What is unusual about them is their ability to stand on their hind legs supported by the tail in order to scout the area for prey. They are fast and brusquely active, and dislike being handled or restrained.

These Monitors need to be kept in sturdy enclosures that will accommodate their size, foraging nature, and heat requirements. Accessories should include rocks, sturdy plants, vines, branches, and a substrate deep enough to allow the lizard to burrow. A large water dish is recommended for drinking and soaking.
Fresh water should be provided daily.

Asian Water Monitors are carnivorous, requiring large meals of insects, birds, rodents, crabs, fish, and other lizards. It has a voracious appetite and will consume any animal it can subdue.


beautiful monitors, magnificent beasts, advanced owners


room, pet monitor lizard, enclosure, captivity, hardy enclosure


appropriate water container

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