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Whitethroated/blackthroated monitor Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Monitors

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.61    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 03/21/2005

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Years Experience:

Over 20 Years


Whitethroated/blackthroated monitor

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

This pertains to all species of monitor with minor changes by individuals and species..

Sexing and Characteristics:

Heads are different shaped, lower jaw thicker on males, nostril areas raised higher on males, on average males get larger (up to 7ft plus for BTs), females midsections are on average longer and wider(to carry so many eggs), males have tail BULGES not just bulges around the base of it, a full eversion from a male and female are different as males have a heavily flowered hemipene which on average is much larger, and females have a roll shaped hemiclitori.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

DIRT, pure real dirt, not organic (man made from tree bark), not mushroom soil, not potting soil, not sphagnum moss, NOT SAND (they are not desert animals and deserts are not pure sand), not newspaper, not recycled corn cobbs, etc, but dirt.

Lighting and UVB:

24/7 basking lights, I use 45 watt outdoor floodlights from hardware stores on all reptiles, no overpriced profit making useless UV bulbs. High wattage bulbs overheat and dry out the entire cage quickly as well turn small cages into ovens.

Temperatures and Humidity:

Basking temps can vary from 130f to over 175f by individuals (remember these are only surface temps not air temps, read these with an infrared thermometer or temp gun). Depends on the cage size you could have a temp gradient (air temps) of ambients that goes from 86f to 68f, they will use it all.

Heating and Equipment:

I use 45 watt outdoor floodlight bulbs in single or multiple application for all reptiles.

Caging Provided:

Depends on age and size they can use 30 gallon size with modifications at hatching to an over 10ft x6ft x 5ft cage as a single animal, pairs may need twice that, these are large monitors and very active when healthy.



Description of Diet:

Whole animal foods based off of rodents is the only proven diet (anyone who has bred them or breeds monitors knows this, if they say otherwise they are full of it). Based on rodents using whole animal foods means with quail, chicken peeps, roaches, crickets, even rabbits, whole fish, shellfish, etc, etc. This list does not include dog food, cat food, people food, none of that is good for them.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Only supplement calcium and vitamin D3 to insects with a good source like Miner-all I.


I donít like care sheets, they are short cuts as people donít read the entire sheet nor do they research the animal, but look up single categories then think they have done their research. Read this below, I wrote this for my website and its been published elsewhere.

Some Words on this Species:

VARANUS ALBIGULARIS, by Shawn Henderson (avid varanifile and monitor hobbyist)

Varanus (latin-monitor lizard), Albi=white, gularis=throat. The whitethroated monitor is a complex of subspecies, V.a.Albigularis, V.a.Microstictus (true blackthroat), v.a.Angolensis (Angolan whitethroat), V.a.Ionidesi (blackthroat found in the pet industry commonly, named for the famous snakeman ionides). They range as a species from one local area to the next by a few miles in color, pattern, and size as an adult. They are a large species of monitor that at any size is one of the most powerful species, and very imposing captives, they have the best or worst tail whip of any monitor (depends if you are on the receiving end), very very powerful jaws especially adapted to crush giant land snails, turtles, and tortoise. They are semi arboreal yet spend half of their time underground in burrows, or searching the ground for prey. They are well known by African bird watchers as the most prevalent predator on nesting birds, and song birds, they will in fact set an ambush next to a nest of eggs or chicks to await the return of the parents, eat both parents then the eggs or chicks. They are also known for living in large rock piles hence the name "rock or tree leguaan. They are greatly adapted diggers and can burrow like a highly skilled team of miners in hard packed dirt. They are found as far north as southern Egypt and south to the tip of the cape, they range from white to yellowish, to reddish, brown, black, with banded, spotted, or almost solid patterns. They vary from 4ft to over 7ft depending of location in relation to the equator and availability of food, lack of predators. They range from 7lbs to over 35lbs in weight, and can very destructive, as well tear poorly designed cages apart and furniture. They posses a set of sharp teeth in the front as well the majority of their middle and back teeth like other African monitors molarize with age or wear rounded. They have a horribly powerful bite with the ability to crack or crush bone, they have a habit of hanging on without releasing, regardless of attempts to remove them. They are a common predator of snakes, especially venomous cobras and vipers (which they act a bit less confident in approach). They are also known to eat other species of monitor from young niles to the bosc or savannah monitors which is Africas smallest species (when they are found in the same areas). They are known to live in a semi-arid to arid grassland, woodland environments (hence the term savannah monitor, not to be confused with the American pet trade savannah monitor, V exanthematicus).
They are rewarding captives if given alot of room, deep digable dirt substrate in which to tunnel and burrow under, their natural habitat has a high iron content soil with little to no organic material (leaves, tree bark, vegetation, these type substrates hold too much wat
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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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