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Care Sheet for Monitors

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.77    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 09/15/2004

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 Care Sheet Submitted By:

Bayou Beasts

Years Experience:

Over 20 Years



Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:


Sexing and Characteristics:

Adults are easy to sex as females obtain lengths of 3.5-4 feet max and males get MUCH larger at 4.5-5+ feet with a much heavier build. Sexing can also be done by looking at the tail base for hemipenial bulges Males will appear to be bulged out at the base, whereas the females will appear to be indented or flat at the base. It is easy to see the bulge or lack there of from the top or side while the monitor is relaxed. From the underside of the body the male will appear to have the following () () where the female will appear ) ( .

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

Many substrates will work, Cypress mulch is ok for the first year or so until the animal begins to put on weight. Cypress will hold humidity very well but lacks the ability to hold a borrow. Once the adult weight begins to be reached the use of regular old soil from your back yard will be the best(if you do not spray pesticides and none of you neighbors do) Soil will hold the humidity and also hold a borrow as well. This species loves to dig and rip the enclosure apart so with soil you will find a mud baked monitor everytime. This just means they are happy. Provide a water bowl/tub large enough for the animal to submerge itself when it feels the need. This is as easy as using a rubbermaid tub that can be purchased fairly inexpensively at most department stores.

Lighting and UVB:

There is no reason to spend the money on those pet shop bulbs, that is money best used to buy more mice/rats(you will need them) GE 50 watt spots will give you a nice Basking spot temp and also heat you enclosure very well.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Temps need to be discussed in two parts, first the basking temp(temps on the surface of the basking site) these temps with the above mentioned bulbs will reach the optimal ranges with a height of 6-10 inches. The ideal basking temps should be between 150-165.
Now part two just as important is the ambient temp(the overall temp thoughout the enclosure)ambient temps should range from 95-100 on the hot side down to 75-80 on the cool side. This will give you monitor the choice to find the temps where he/she is most comfortable. We can provide our captive animals with very little of what they should have or need but we can give them choices to make themselves alittle more at ease.
Humidity is also important Keep the humidity up around 60-65% this will allow for ease when sheding and keep the skin well hydrated.

Heating and Equipment:

We heat our enclosure 24 hours a day using the heat lamps over the basking area. Small ceramic light fixture, wire and bulbs will be all that is needed to light and heat your enclosure. Set you light fixtures with the bulbs in them side by side and let a little room in between for easy changeing of the bad bulbs. Use as many as it take to cover the STV length of your monitor.

Caging Provided:

We provided an enclosure for our male that is 8.5x4x6 with two basking sites, and a big watering area. Basicly we turned a walkin closet into an enclosure. The floor and 1 foot up each wall we laid outdoor pond liner and filled the enclosure with cypress mulch which at this time is getting ready to be changed to soil as we are in the process of switching everyone over. With a large sterilite container for the watering area. The water area is above ground on a 4x4 base so it canít be tipped over and the monitor can use it as a hide spot as it is on the cool end of his enclosure.



Description of Diet:

Juv. diet should consist of insects, and rodents. Insects, and rodents should be provided daily. They will feed til they are full and if the basking area and ambient temps are proper they will burn the food off almost before youe eyes.

Sub adult-adult shouls be fed a diet of mainly rodents sized to the monitors needs. Insects will be out and chicken will be in along with the occassional cooked egg for a treat and some ground turkey will not hurt either. Eggs and Ground turkey (in my opinion) should only be given in moderation

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

The only supplement we have in use Miner-All and I swear by it.


Spot clean the enclosure daily and change the water as needed(at least daily).

Some Words on this Species:

This is one of my favorite species to work with they are not apt to bite but will tail whip if nervous. They are extremely intelegent and love to explore, they never seem satisfied as they keep moving things around and constantly looking for new thing to explore. One of the easiest monitors to work with in my opinion.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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