Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Savannah monitor

Synonym(s): Varanus exanthematicus, Bosc monitor

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Kirsty Dewhurst

Introduction

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Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia. 
  • Phylum: Chordata. 
  • Class: Reptilia. 
  • Order: Squamata. 
  • Family: Varanidae. 
  • Genus: Varanus.  
  • Species: Exanthematicus

Distribution and habitat

  • Native to Africa. 
  • Often found basking in the sun, in grasslands/savannahs. 
  • Can also be found in forests, woodlands and desert areas. 
  • Found mainly on ground-level, making shelter in burrows, bushes and low trees. 

Species status

  • Least concern. 

Life span

  • In captivity, around 5-12 years.

Diet

  • Carnivorous. 
  • Prey on insects, small mammals and toads in the wild Lizard nutrition

Breeding

  • Occurs during the wet season Lizard reproduction.
  • A litter contains around 20-50 eggs. 
  • The incubation period is between 5-6 months. 

As pets

  • Popular as pets, due to their docile temperament.  
  • Usually tolerate handling well, but can inflict a painful bite.

Predatory behavior

  • Highly adapted predators:  
    • Strong jaws designed to crush bone. 
    • Blunt teeth used to crack open shells. 
    • Forked-tongue to taste pheromones in the air.

Biological Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Animal Spot (2018) Savannah Monitor. Website: www.animalspot.net. Last accessed 12th February 2018. 
  • The Spruce (2017) Savannah Monitors. Website: www.thespruce.com. Last accessed 12th February 2018. 
  • Cincinnati Zoo (2012) Savannah Monitor. Website: http://cincinnatizoo.org. Last accessed 25th July 2018.
  • Pollock C (2011) Basic Information Sheet. Website: https://lafeber.com. Last accessed 26th July 2018.
  • Bennett D & Sweet S S (2010) Varanus exanthematicus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Website: http://dx.doi.org. Last accessed on 26th July 2018.
  • Weber N (2009) Savannah and White-throated Monitor Lizards Pet Care. In: Unusual Pet Care Volume 3. 3rd edn. Zoological Education Network Ltd, USA. pp 84-87.
  • LLL Reptile (2006) Savannah Monitor. Website: www.lllreptile.com. Last accessed 12th February 2018.
  • Diemer D (2000) Varanus exanthematicus. Website: http://animaldiversity.org. Last accessed 26th July 2018.

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