Species group: Monitor Lizards
Other common names: Cape Monitor; White Throated Savannah Monitor; Banded Cape Monitor; South African White Throated Monitor; White Throat Monitor
Scientific name: Varanus albigularis albigularis
The White-throated Monitor is a large monitor lizard which is native to southern Africa - from South Africa northwards to Angola, Zambia and Mozambique. The White-throated Monitor is both terrestrial and arboreal, and lives in the savanna, steppe, open bush and woodland regions.
Appearance / health:
The White-throated Monitor is one of the largest monitor lizards, and can reach up to 2 meters in length. Its scales are usually a mottled gray-brown with yellowish or white markings. The forked tongue is pink or bluish.
Behavior / temperament:
Raising White-throated 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, White-throated Monitors are hardy and easy to feed and care for.
The ideal cage for White-throated Monitors is one that is adequate for their size. This may have to be custom-made, preferably with access to direct natural sunlight. The cage should include stable piles of rock, dried roots or driftwood, and old, hollow logs. A water container big enough for the lizard to soak in, and convenient to refresh daily, is recommended. Day temp: 80-90F; night temp: 78-80F; humidity: 50-60%; lighting: 12-14 hours, UV radiation required.
Like other Monitors, the White-throated Monitor is aggressive but can be tamed with regular interaction and handling. Raising tame juveniles is easier than taming adults. When threatened, they bite and lash their tails. Under optimum care and conditions, White-throated Monitors can live up to 15 years.
As with other Monitors, the White-throated Monitor 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.
Although rarely bred in captivity, captive White-throated Monitor reproduction is known to occur given the proper environment. The gravid female digs a deep nesting burrow in slightly moist soil close to water to lay a clutch of as many as 50 white eggs. The eggs hatch in 6-8 months.
favourite large monitor, temperament
outdoors, harness, walk
One of my favourite large monitor species
I've never owned a white-throat monitor but do care for one at work. I've heard that the temperament of this species can be variable, but from my experience he is quite tame and handleable. He will even wear a harness and walk outside the enclosure, although he is more active, predatory (will try and eat anything!) and prone to deciding to run off than my savannah monitor or tegus, so as large lizard goes I think he is a bit more work.
Due to his size he requires a very large enclosure and I think this would prohibit most people considering him a good pet - but if you have the space (or live in a climate where they can live outdoors) then I think this is a very unusual alternative to other large monitors, that is still quite handleable.
Picture attached is of when he was a baby - he's almost 5ft now and very chunky, weighing 20 lbs..
From Athravan Jun 18 2015 3:27AM