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  • Writer's pictureDanni

Fun Fact Friday - The Emerald Tree Monitor (Varanus prasinus)

Updated: Sep 25, 2023


The Emerald Tree Monitor (also known as the Green Tree Monitor) is a beautiful species of lizard that is endemic to the tropical forests and swamps in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and surrounding islands. They are known for their striking colouration and slender appearance.


Noticeable Traits

The Emerald Tree Monitor has an average life span of around 10-15 years and can reach lengths of up to 39" including tail with the males generally being larger. They have the classic monitor look with their long slender bodies and limbs, they are a stunning species generally green/ turquoise in colouration with darker, transverse dorsal bands.


This species of lizard is an arboreal species that uses its claws and tail (which is pretty much double the length of their actual body) as a way to grip onto the branches whilst it is climbing high up in the tree tops.


Housing

With this being an arboreal species we do want to ensure that we are accommodating with some height for them - the minimum size enclosure we would recommend for this animal is a 4ft x 3ft x 2ft enclosure. This ensures that the animal has plenty of space to move around in and climb. We want to fill out the vivarium with plenty of plants and branches for optimum climbing opportunities and enrichment as this diurnal species can be quite active during the day.


We aim for a cool end temp of around 84f to allow for basking spots of up to 100f - this species of lizard also requires a humid environment (70-80%) to thrive. To achieve this we would want to spray the enclosure a minimum of twice a day- once in the morning and once in an evening, or a rain/fogger system could be used to help to achieve this.


Feeding

Emerald Tree Monitors mainly have a diet of insects- crickets, locusts or Dubai are a great staple diet food with things like wax worms, meal worms and Morio worms are great treat foods along with other types of live foods. This species can also eat the odd pinkie mouse from time to time but they cannot digest fur so we never want to go any larger than a pinkie mouse and this would be considered a rare treat.


We want to ensure that any and all live food is gut loaded before feeding so that we are giving our animals the best nutrients that we possibly can. In addition to this we want to make sure that their food is dusted with calcium and vitamin d3 supplements as this is key for their growth and health.


Handling

This species of lizard unfortunately would not be suitable for beginner keepers as they can be quite a skittish species. They are a very sociable animal however, they generally are not overly fond on being handled and would need a little bit more time and patience than other reptiles such as a Bearded Dragon or Leopard Gecko.


If you are interested in this species and have any more questions please do not hesitate to get in contact!


From,

Danni

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