Shipping Info: When selecting the shipping option for this animal, be aware that we ship Tuesdays for Wednesday arrival. Factors such as holidays and weather conditions may delay our ability to ship the animal on the expected date.
Latin name: Varanus acanthurus acanthurus
We have several babies available who are all about 1 month old. They each are about 9” in length. At this age, they are too young for their sex to be able to be determined.
They are currently on a diet of large crickets dusted with vitamin and calcium powder as well as the occasional king mealworm and f/t pink mouse.
Other names: Ackie, Spiny-tailed monitor
General Info: Ackies are a small and colorful member of the monitor lizard family. They are a highly sought after monitor lizard because of their manageable size, tameness and personable dispositions. A unique trait of theirs is that they can wield their tough, spiny tail like a club when they feel threatened.
Lifestyle and Habitat: Having a large natural range in Australia, ackie monitors are Native to the Northern Territory, north Western Australia and northwest parts of Queensland. While they are adapted to many environments, they are primarily found in dry desert areas with lots of rocky outcrops as well as dry scrubland.
Size and Lifespan: Ackies can grow 24-30 inches from nose to tail tip. Males grow a little larger than females. Their lifespan in human care is typically 14-20 years.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 120 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 once daily is recommended to simulate desert dew.
Tank size: 30 gallons for babies/juveniles, 125+ gallon 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. Provide lots log/rock hiding places. Provide a small water dish as well. Being a desert species, ackies get most of the water they need from their food but will still drink standing water occasionally.
Handling: Ackie monitors tolerate handling very well. Though they can be skittish when young, they tend to tame down quickly. 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.
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 baby ackie monitors, feed them 3-10 food items every day depending on the size of the food item. Offer medium crickets and small dubia roaches as the bulk of the insect part of their diets. Frozen thawed pinkie mice or mealworms/earthworms/waxworms can also be given 1x per week.
For adults and juvenile, their insect prey can be large crickets and medium feeder roaches 4-5 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!
Meat items like small mice and chicken and turkey meat can be offered 1x per week.
Always remove uneaten food items if they have not been consumed after a day.
*All 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.