This monitor is probably the most common in terrarium lovers, probably because it is easy to maintain it in captivity. However, it reproduction in indoor terrariums is still rare. The main difficulty in the maintenance of this animal is the food supply. Indeed, even though it will eat everything that will be provided, it can easily become too fat and even obese. In the wild, these monitors are eating more than 80% of invertebrates. Yet, for simplicity most reptile keepers give them rodents and chicks, so think about it!
This species is probably the most beautiful of all dwarf monitors. They have a slender body and an elongated head with two black bands from the eyes to the neck. Thanks to this morphology, this animal is very fast and an incredible insect hunter.
Varanus indicus « Salomon Island »
Usually, mangrove monitors are black with a few yellow speckles. Individuals from the Salomon Islands are completely the opposite! They have a lot of yellow spots over a discrete black ground color, being vaguely similar to the colors of the Varanus melinus. This is a tropical species that need a humid terrarium with many possibilities to climb and a water pond.
Hornii is a subspecies of Varanus panoptes living in New-Guinea. Thus, it can be exported to Europe unlike the other Australian subspecies. This species can be easily bred in captivity, in similar conditions than Varanus acanthurus… However, this animal needs a much bigger terrariums. Its character can be very different among individuals, so be careful with the tail of aggressive ones. Finally, this species has the particularity to be bipedal using its tail to balance.
The roughneck monitor is a discrete species from Indonesian forests. This monitor is shy and calm in captivity, but can be capricious for its food supply. Similarly to Varanus exanthematicus (see above), it is better to feed it with invertebrates.
The common water monitor, Varanus salvator is the biggest lizard that can be kept in captivity. Close cousin of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), this monitor that can reach 2m50 is occurring all around South-eastern Asia.
In terrariums, if you can call the setup needed for that big animal a terrarium, the water monitor is very smart and can become very familiar.
Similarly to the green tree python (Morelia viridis), more and more water monitors are imported with their locality denomination. Makassar is situated in the South-western part of the Sulawesi island in Indonesia. This morph is very special. Indeed, its color is pale yellow-orange with bands and speckles that remain visible even in adults. They have a red pupil crossed by a black band, giving them this so special look.
This morph of water monitor is certainly likewise rare in captivity than in the wild. Indeed, this subspecies occurs in a very small territory and the catching spots for the few individuals arriving on the international marker are known only by local hunters. Even the scientists do not know their exact origin. Furthermore, these individuals that are rich in yellow pigments seem to be part of a morph rather than a subspecies. It could be considered as a xanthic morph for the excess of the yellow color.
Varanus tristis orientalis
The black-headed monitor has the biggest distribution in Australia. It can be found almost all over the territory, except for the South and in Tasmania. It is terrestrial and lives in deserts, but its large distribution makes it very adaptable. The black-headed dwarf monitor is feeding on insects and young rodents. It is oviparous and females lay 4 to 12 eggs in the sand once per year and the incubation lasts from 110 to 118 days. Between the two subspecies, Varanus tristis orientalis is the smallest. Its maximal size is 60cm, the tail measuring almost 2/3 of the total length.