Project Description

Black Tree Monitor

Varanus beccarii

Animal Class: Reptiles

Length: 35-47 in

Diet: Carnivorous, consuming insects, smaller lizards and small mammals

Habitat: Humid forests and mangrove swamps, prasinus is one of the prettiest monitors, with color varying from an intense turquoise green to black.

Description: This subspecies is the totally black (melanistic) form. They may reach a total length of 100 cm (39 in.). The degree of black patterning varies with some specimens unmarked and others covered in a black reticulum. This species of monitor is remarkable for its extreme slenderness and long narrow head and neck. Like all monitors, ear openings are evident, eyes have eyelids and round pupils and the jaws have powerful flattened teeth that curve slightly to the rear. The body is fairly massive with powerful legs, each having five clawed toes. Males tend to have larger heads and broader tails than females. The body is covered with various small, non-overlapping scales that form a granular pattern. The tail is usually twice the length of the body.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Our Animals: The Zoo has a breeding group of black tree monitors.