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Latin name: Varanus albigularis
This unsexed baby hatched on 8/14 /21 and is eating large crickets and dubia roaches dusted with vitamin and calcium powder as well as frozen thawed hopper mice.
General Info: Large and intelligent, these amazing monitor lizards are a big commitment, but for the right experienced herp keeper, they are one of the most rewarding monitor lizard species to care for. Despite their large size, most of them become quite tame and have personable dispositions. They are also known to form lifelong bonds with their owners.
They have been proven to be one of the world’s most intelligent lizard species! Scientific studies have shown them to have the ability to count numbers as high as 6!
Lifestyle and Habitat: Black throat and White throat monitors are widespread throughout Their habitats and can be found in West, Central in South Africa.They are primarily found roaming the savannah and steppes. Interestingly enough, a good portion of the diet is actually young tortoises which they will swallow whole. They also eat a lot of insect prey including beetles, millipedes and cockroaches. Occasionally, they will come across a larger anima’s carcass and scavenge from that as well.
Size and Lifespan: They are the heaviest bodied lizard in Africa and get quite large. Males can reach a snout to tail tip length of 6 feet while females grow closer to 4 feet. Males also weigh more - up to 18lbs while females will grow closer to 11 lbs. Their lifespan in human care is typically 14-20 years.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end. The use of two thermometers is ideal. One should be placed just off-center from the basking area on the floor of the tank and the other one should be placed furthest away from the basking area also on the floor of the tank.
Humidity: On the dry side 30%-50% Misting twice daily is recommended.
Tank size: 50 gallons for babies/juveniles, 6’x4’ minimum tank size for adults. The bigger the better.
Tank type: Large, low rectangle - allow ample for floor space as well as some low branches and large rocks for your monitor to climb up and bask. These guys can be very active and like to wander, especially when young.
Lighting: Both a heat pad and a dimmable heat lamp are recommended for housing this species in glass tanks. Dimmable heat bulb only for a wood or melamine tank. Thermostats are always helpful. Full spectrum UVB lighting required for this species and should be on 12-14 hours per day.
Substrate and furniture: soil or bark substrate 4” deep. For a young monitor provide lots log/rock hiding places. Provide a large, shallow water dish as well.
Handling: Black throat and White throat monitors tolerate handling very well and some even seek out physical contact with their owners. They can be handled several times per week for 30 minutes - an hour depending on room temperature and how comfortable your lIzard is with handling.
Keep in mind that baby white throat monitors might be a little bit skittish at first but tame down very quickly.
When not to handle: When you first bring your monitor lizard home or move it to a new enclosure, wait at least 3 days before handling it to give it a chance to settle in to the new environment.
Diet and feeding: For babies, feed them 3-10 food items every other day depending on the size of the food item. Offer large crickets and small-medium dubia roaches as the bulk of the insect part of their diets. Frozen thawed pinkie, fuzzy, hopper mice or rat pups can also be given 1x per week.
For adults, their insect prey can be feeder roaches 2-3 times per week. Gage the number of insects your lizard will eat based on the number they leave behind. We recommend starting with an offer of 10 feeder insects and then adjusting from there.
Fattier food items like worms can be offered 1x weekly for variety and as a treat!
Whole meat items like mice, rats, rabbits and chickens can be offered 1x per week. We recommend feeding frozen thawed over live for better ease of feeding and reduced risk of injury to your monitor.
Always remove uneaten food items if they have not been consumed after a day.
*All insect food items must be dusted with both vitamin and calcium powder prior to feeding.*
Food size: The feeder item should be able to fit width-wise between your monitor’s eyes.