Common Indian Monitor

Biological classification

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family: Varanidae

Appearance:

Adult specimens of the Indian monitor are mostly gray or greenish-gray, with noticeable transverse dark spots along the whole body from chin to tail. 

The weight of adults is from 3 to 7.5 kg, the total length is from 140 to 175 cm. Males are usually much larger than females.

Distribution and mode of life

The species is commonly spread from the islands of Ceylon, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Burma to Indochina, the Malay Peninsula and the Philippines in the east and across Indonesia to the Lesser Sunda Islands in the south.

Live in evergreen mixed and deciduous forests, shrubbery, without avoiding gardens and plantations, often near human dwellings. The Indian monitor is also often could be seen in absolutely dry terrain, but it willingly enters the water and remains in it for a long time.

Diet

The diet of Indian monitor consists of worms, insects, spiders, crabs, amphibians, small reptiles, birds and small mammals. Sometimes devastates nests of birds, crocodiles and large snakes, there are cases of cannibalism of eggs and youth. Can also consume carrion and food waste. The diet of young individuals is almost entirely composed of insects of various species.

Breeding

In the northern part of distribution area the breeding season for Indian monitor occurs during the period of high humidity. Under favorable conditions, the female can lay up to three laying eggs a year.

During the mating period a males arranged ritual fights. For oviposition, a female digs a hole about 30 centimeters deep where commonly lays from 20 to 30 eggs. The duration of incubation depends on external factors and in average is 140-170 days. Indian monitor reaches sexual maturity at the age of 1-2 years.

Environmental protection status

The species is in the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (LC least concern), listed on the CITES 

The Indian monitor is exhibited in the Ecological Module at the Island of Animals in Kyiv Zoo. The diet is close to natural.

Common Indian Monitor