Argus Monitor

Argus Monitor

Varanus panoptes

See them at the Zoo

Quick Facts

Body Length: 4 to 5 feet
Distribution: Southern New Guinea
Habitat: Grasslands
Wild Diet: Fish, crabs, small birds, small mammals, insects, and even other monitors
Zoo Diet:
Small mice, hardboiled eggs, Natural Balance Carnivore Diet, and adult crickets.

Eating anything they can overpower, Argus monitors are versatile predators.  Living in a variety of habitats, these large lizards spend most of their time on the ground.  Their avid diggers and create large burrows to spend the hotter portions of the day in.  If necessary, an Argus monitor will just take over an existing burrow.  However, Argus monitors are just as comfortable in trees and spend time in or near water.

Description

The argus monitor is a large, lean, and heavily built monitor. They are brown with spots across their back, though their color usually varies among different individuals and their specific location. They have a forked tongue and very sharp teeth.

Status in the Wild

The population of Argus monitors in Australia was significantly reduced as a result of the introduction of the cane toad, a highly poisonous, deadly toad that Argus monitors attempt to eat.

Conservation Programs

Not listed in the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).


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