When you hear the words monitor lizards it’s a fair bet to assume you’ll picture a giant Komodo dragon dragging down a deer or an Australian Lace monitor running across the sand or up a tree. There is however another world filled with miniature versions of these very same reptiles and that is the world of the micro monitors. Two of the species specially come up in reptile keeping and those are the Timor monitor (Varanus timorensis) from the Timor Islands and the Ridge-tailed Monitor (Varanus acanthurus) from Northwest Australia. These miniature monitor lizards do almost everything their giant cousins do including swimming, digging and climbing except on a much smaller scale.
The original micro lizard the Ackie monitor
The Ridge-tailed Monitors also known as the Ackie monitor is a small sized reptile that rarely reaches over 26 inches in length. They get their name from the heavy ridged scales covering their tails that can be used to defend their body as they hide in crevices or burrows much like the Uromastyx Lizards of North Africa. They live in arid areas of Northwestern Australia where they rely heavily on a diet of insects and other small geckos and lizards. Their gentle nature and small size makes them a sought after reptile pet and in captivity they are found in the yellow, red and hybrid color choices.
The other micro lizard the Timor monitor
The Timor monitor is found on four Islands in Indonesia including East and West Timor as well as Savu. They have a body that is very close in size and shape to that of the Ridge-tailed Monitor except for their smooth prehensile tails. At a maximum adult size of 24 inches these slender monitor lizards have strong sharp claws used for climbing trees and defense but will rarely offer to bite or bolt when housed in captivity. They also live on a diet of insects, geckos and other small lizards and are suited to a more tropical setting that includes water, leaf litter and trees.
Have you been trying to find a monitor lizard for sale?
After a strong period of captive production in the late 90’s the ridge-tailed monitors almost all but disappeared form the captive reptile pet trade and since they originate from Australia there has been no imported animals in over forty years. The bulk of the Ackie monitors available today are captive born babies that come from a few very dedicated breeders that have kept the species available to the US market. Inversely the Timor Monitor has gone from regular importation of wild caught adults to a more readily available stream of captive born farm raised babies that are solid and strong animals. At xyzReptiles we have a dedicated section of monitor lizards for sale that features the Ackie monitor as well as a range of other lizards like captive born baby Water Monitors.
Its spring time and baby lizards and snakes of all types are beginning to show up in captive collections and at wholesalers across the country. As one of the staples of the pet reptile market, baby Savannah Monitor Lizards have been farm bred and imported from Africa for years. As a responsible pet owner it is imperative to learn as much as you can about your next pet before making that commitment and luckily there is a ton of information about the savannah monitor available to date. This article will focus on natural history, diet, caging and genetic mutations of one of the most readily recognized reptile pets around.
Where do Savannah monitors come from?
Savannah Monitors (Varanus exanthematicus) are also known as the Bosc’s monitor as a reference to the scientist who first described them in 1792 Louis Bosc. They are a medium sized lizard that rarely exceeds four feet in length and has a stocky body type with large beaded scales. They are found in a variety of earth tone colors that vary regionally and tend to match their surroundings in order to aid in camouflage. They are found in central Africa from Senegal to Sudan but the bulk of the babies that are imported into the United States originate in Ghana which also happens to be the port of importation for most of the baby Ball Pythons we see every summer. They are found in the wild in burrows and small shrubs and bushes and are not as large or as defensive as their close cousins the White Throat Monitors or the Black Throat Monitors.
What is the right setup for the Savannah Monitor Lizard?
Baby Savannah Monitors are a very hardy pet and can adapt to most living situations but having the correct setup and diet can make a big difference in your pet’s long term health and happiness. The first thing to consider is the adult size of the lizard, which can exceed four feet in length and weigh ten to fifteen pounds. Many keepers tend to keep savannahs loose in the house when they reach adulthood and this has to do with this animal’s docile nature and ability to coexist with other household pets such as cats and dogs. As the animal is growing it is best to keep it in a large terrarium with a flat terrain that includes hiding spots and low sturdy branches for climbing and basking. Heat lamps and UVB lighting is an absolute must to ensure proper digestion and bone density. The most common mistake keepers make is feeding their pets a high rodent diet, which tends to clog their digestive system and give them a bloated and overweight appearance. In the wild the Savannah Monitor has an almost exclusive insect based diet that includes grass hoppers, millipedes and scorpions.
Finding the Savannah monitor for sale
There is a large number of baby Savannah monitors for sale every spring and although the baby season is rather short there seems to be enough supply to meet the demand every year. There are very few people breeding these lizards and that seems to be completely financial based and when you do find actual captive bred and born Savannahs they tend to demand a price in the hundreds of dollars. Color mutations such as the Axanthic, Hypomelanistic, Melanistic and both T- and T+ Albinos have been collected and imported into the United States but captive born babies are still not available on the market. When choosing a baby Savannah Monitor for sale it is important to establish that the babies are feeding and acclimated at the time of purchase and if they are older imports it is wise to get them dewormed. At xyzReptiles we have a small number of fresh baby Savannah Monitors for sale that are fed an insect based diet and are growing nicely before being shipped out.