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  • Writer's pictureDanni

Fun Fact Friday - The Dwarf Ackie Monitor (Varanus acanthurus)

Updated: Feb 16, 2023


The Dwarf Ackie Monitor, also known as the Dwarf Spiny Tailed Monitor (Varanus acanthurus) is a beautiful animal that originates from the arid areas of Australia. Although the name 'Dwarf Monitor' may lead you to think that these animals are a small species, you would be wrong. They can still reach lengths of around 2ft- they are just smaller in comparison to other monitor lizards.


Noticeable Traits

Dwarf Ackie Monitors are quite a slender bodied animal with a small pointed head shape and a tail that makes up the majority of their length. They have a beautiful spotted pattern going all the way down their body and usually are made up of warm browns, oranges, yellows and whites in colouration.

Housing

These monitor lizards require a minimum of a 48" x 24" x 24" wooden vivarium. They require a high percentage of U.V.B so we recommend the Arcadia T5 12% U.V.B kit, as well as this, they run at relatively high temperatures which we would control and maintain via a dimming thermostat. They are an incredibly agile and active animal. They will make use of the floor space and any climbing opportunities you give them. We do recommend adding branches in for this purpose. The Ackie Monitor also loves basking so giving them the opportunity of some basking branches underneath the bulb is ideal for them. We also give this animal the opportunity to hide away if they wish by adding in a variety of hides, as well as a humid hide to help them when they are in shed.


Feeding

The Dwarf Ackie Monitor is an omnivore and could possibly eat a selection of different foods- however, some may never be interested in anything other than the usual live-foods such as crickets, locusts, roaches and various worms. Some may even have defrosted pinkie mice as a treat every now and again. Another thing that some Ackie monitors enjoy is eggs- quail eggs are usually the ones most people go for due to the size, however others may boil or scramble the eggs. As with all lizards, these animals do require the usual calcium and vitamin d3 powders on any food they eat.

Handling

Monitor lizards are very intelligent animals, the Dwarf Ackie Monitor is probably the calmest of the monitor species- this isn't to say that they can be a little bit of a handful at first. As babies and juveniles they can be quite a skittish species to say the least, but with patience and perseverance they will easily begin to recognise that you are not a threat and can become an incredible animal to handle.


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Danni

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