Savannah monitor lizard facts

It's time to talk about the Savannah monitors lizards facts...

Savannah Monitor Lizard

The savannah monitor lizards originated in Africa. They are the most docile monitor lizards among all monitor species.

With a high metabolic rate, they can see from a long distance and have a great sense of smell which allows them to easily catch their preys.

Here are some interesting facts about the savannah monitor lizards:

Other names: Varanus exanthematicus, Bosc’s monitor, Nile lizard

Lifespan: they can live up to 15 years

Weight: they can weigh up to 15 pounds

Size: the monitor lizard can grow up to 4 feet long

What does the monitor lizards look like?

The monitor lizards are medium size and they have short and powerful limbs and toes that are used for digging. 

They have long necks and very strong jaws that can crush even a human’s skin. The monitor lizards have very hard and large scales and a sturdy body and their color depend on their surroundings.

Like almost all monitor lizards, the savannah monitor has a tapered head and visible ear openings. They have eyelids and round pupils.

The color of their bodies is in the contrast of yellow to grey with yellow marks on their head and dark yellow or black spots. Their limbs are yellow, green, or brown and the unique thing about the savannah monitors is that they have blue and fork shape tongue.

What does the monitor lizard eat?

Into the wild, these monitors are known to feed on arthropods and mollusks and their young ones are fed with insects such as scorpions.

Like other monitor lizards, you can feed your pet with insects such as cockroaches, worms, crickets, and mice. They are carnivores in nature so you can add more protein to their diet but also make sure to plan a balanced meal for them since too much protein can also lead to other problems. 

The monitor lizards are also prone to obesity, so it is important to prevent them from overfeeding. It is recommended to feed the young monitor a few times in a week and the adult one can eat less.

They should also be dusted with vitamins and minerals specifically calcium once a week. Just make sure to avoid vitamin D for your monitor lizards since that can be toxic for them.

What is the behavior of the savannah monitor lizard?

The savannah monitor lizards are not that active compared to other larger lizards. They spend most of their time in the grassland basking in the sun and love to dig and burrow through the soil and sands of Africa where they can find their food such as scorpions, snails, smaller lizards, rodents, and various insect.

The savannah monitors are not easy to handle if you decide to get one as a pet you need to know that they have sharp teeth and claws that can hurt you and they can really become aggressive.

So it is important that when you want to have a monitor as a pet you get a young one and make sure that you can handle it without getting hurt.

Some facts about the savannah monitor lizard behavior:

  • The savannah monitor is active during the day and sleeping in the night
  • They love to dig and burrow to hunt their preys
  • They are very territorial and aggressive they can intimidate other animals
  • Their bite can really cause severe damage they love munching of their preys
  • They make a hiss and use their strong tail to protect themselves from threats

Reproduction of savannah lizards

The male and female savannah lizards identify each other by their sense of smell. The lizards release pheromones to mark their territories since monitor lizards are very territorial and aggressive. 

Monitor lizards can have two mates and after a month the female monitor lizard can lay up to 50 eggs that are put into a hole to keep them warm and comfortable. The incubation of the female's eggs can take up to 6 months to hatch.

How to prepare a savannah lizard shelter at home?

This kind of monitor lizard can grow very large you might need a 55-gallon tank and make sure that the topmost is protected by a strong screen or bars.

If you planning to build a cage so you monitor lizards won't escape, avoid putting tall trunks or branches inside the tank since the lizards love to climb them to escape.

The monitor lizards chew and bite with their sharp claws, so they can easily destroy anything, that's the reason too many decorations inside their tanks are not recommended.

They also need UV lighting and you can turn it on for 12 hours to get to the right temperature and light.

The wild savannah monitors live in dry and warm areas, so they love to have that feeling inside their tanks. A warm temperature within the range of 100 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.

You can also put them at a place where they can dig and burrow. Spraying some water from time to time would let them feel that they are at home since humidity is necessary to make them feel comfortable.

The monitor lizards should be provided with fresh drinking water daily, you can also add in a small pond or pool of water where they can soak themselves for hours.

What is the substrate that should be used in their tanks?

Use a substrate that is more natural, cannot harm them and can be mixed with their food. You can find natural substrates in pet shops 

Is not recommended to use paper, newspapers, and towels since they can be messy and dangerous if your monitor lizard ingests them.

What are the most common health problems of the savannah monitor?

  • Gout – this happens when they are fed too much protein it is important to create a schedule and watch out what they eat to avoid protein overload.
  • Obesity – Savannah lizards are really not recommended to be fed 3 times a day since they are prone to obesity.
  • Intestinal infections – the monitor lizards are prone to this kind of infection since they love to chew, bite, and eat anything.
  • Parasitic infections  – parasites or mites that can suck your monitor lizards blood and the symptoms are lack of activity.
  • Respiratory infection – you would know if you lizards are suffering from respiratory infection since you can hear a wheezing sound and mucus coming out from its mouth.
  • Starvation  – parasitism, cold temperatures, under-feeding

Choosing a savannah lizard as a pet

It is important to buy your monitor lizards from reputable breeders online or through a pet store since getting in from the wild is too risky and you cannot tell if those lizards are sick or if they are carrying disease that can possibly harm you and your family.

It is important that before purchasing a monitor lizard you have all the resources ready at home since they are not that easy to handle.

Make sure that you already prepared a large tank or cage for them to stay. Check if the monitor lizard has healthy skins and eyes and make sure that there is no mucus coming out from them. Also, check if the scales have no cracks or deformities.

I hope these savannah lizard facts can help you to have a healthy pet lizard.

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