Asian Water Monitors a.k.a Varanus salvator
Intro to Water Monitors
Asian Water Monitors are FAMOUS in the modern age of reptile keeping. They are very active monitor lizards that will utilize every inch on an enclosure especially water features. This large lizard can be found in the coastal northeast of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, mainland Southeast Asia and souther China to Indonesian islands. The demand for these modern dinosaurs are high due their intelligence and capability of be a socialized pet. With proper care and enrichment they can make very rewarding pets.
Water Monitor Care
As stated before, Asian Water Monitors get LARGE. Males can grow over 8 feet, where usually females get about half that size. Their Australian cousins (Mertens Water Monitors) get about 3-4 feet usually. A 3 ft reptile enclosure is sufficient for a pet Water Monitor. They grow quick! Yearlings should be moved for a 4 ft reptile enclosure and into adulthood they can move in an 12ft+ enclosure minimum. Monitors that grow this large are usually best kept in a proper outdoor enclosure as adults (if your weather is sufficient). You may decorate their enclosures with foliage, branches, and logs as they are great climbers. And of course as their name "Water Monitor" states, they are great swimmers. So a sufficient water source where they may enjoy a soak is a necessity.
When we consider care requirements for Water Monitors, we must pay attention to their high temperature basking temperatures in relation to their 60-70% humidity requirement. The temperature of the basking spot should range between 125-140º F. Ambient temps can be around 84º F with a slight night time drop. Water Monitors with proper husbandry can be seen exploring their cage regularly and spending a good amount of time basking. If your pet Water Monitor is basking for the majority of their day, they may not have sufficient ambient temps. If your pet Water Monitor is not basking, the enclosure may be too hot. Temperatures are extremely important for your monitor lizard to metabolize their food.
Young Water Monitors will be highly insectivorous. Gut loading your insects and dusting them with calcium and vitamin supplements will ensure proper growth for your pet. And as they grow you can offer them other proteins like rodents, fish, and poultry. Slow and steady wins the race, and variety is key. Enrichment and patience is important as a monitor grows to avoid obesity and other health issues. They eat a lot but temperatures need to be ideal for proper digestion, an experienced eye will need to develop to manage the body condition of your growing monitor. This is why Monitor lizards are recommended for intermediate to advanced keepers.
Water Monitors For Sale in the Pet Trade
Asian Water Monitors are fairly common these days as Imports and Captive Bred animals. We usually try to only sell Captive Bred Water Monitors because they seldom crash and make way better pets. With giant lizards that can be tamed like these, it's very believable why they are so loved. As time goes on, you will see Black Dragons, Albino Water Monitors, Axanthic Water Monitors, Sulfur Water Monitors, and MORE morphs available to the public. However, if you are not ready for a LARGE and LONG TERM pet lizard, this animal may not be for you.