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COMMON NAME

Bosc Monitor or Savannah Monitor

LATIN NAME

Varanus exanthematicus

NATIVE TO

West Africa e.g. Togo, Ghana

ADULT SIZE

Between 90cm and 150cm (3 and 5 feet) in length. Lifespan is between 10-15 years.

EGGS OR YOUNG?

Lays between 8-50 eggs, hatching between 120-180 days. Breeding is rare in captivity

APPEARANCE

Basic body colour is yellowish gray to brown with irregular lighter patches.

WHAT DOES IT EAT?

Limit sub adults and adults to one dead mouse a week to avoid obesity. Supplement this with chicken or turkey strips with the occasional addition of crickets, mealworms and locusts. Some like boiled eggs and others will even eat an occasional banana. If the animal appears to be getting too fat then adjust the intake. Provide a weekly dose of vitamin/mineral supplement

EASE OF CARE

Beginner upwards

TEMPERAMENT

Relatively gentle nature but all Boscs will bite if provoked or threatened. The threat display consists of a thrashing tail and a puffed out throat and a loud hiss. With regular handling most will calm down. They can learn to distinguish different people and have even been taught to use a shallow litter box

VIVARIUM SETUP

36x18x18 will be a good start off vivarium, but adults will need a minimum of a 6x2x2. Large lizards need to feel secure, so a shelter must be provided. This can be as simple as a cardboard box, or more decorative like cork bark tube or a ceramic drain pipe. Provide a sturdy water dish. The day time temperature is high 85-90F/29-32C, night time temperatures can be allowed to drop to 10-15F/6-8C. UV light and basking light should be provided.

SUBSTRATE

Wood shavings, chippings or bark or even gravel. It should be easily replaceable, as Boscs are messy when they defecate.