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Savannah Monitor

Varanus exanthematicus

  • Family: Varanidae
  • Adult Size: Savannah monitors are moderately sized lizards, with most adults averaging between 2 and 3 feet in length.
  • Range: West Africa, ranging from Mauritania and Senegal east to Chad and Sudan.
  • Habitat: Grass savannah.
  • Captive Lifespan: 8 to 12 Years
  • Dangerous:
  • Care Level: Advanced


The savannah monitor is the most commonly available monitor species. Savannah monitors are known for their placid dispositions and overall tameness.

As captive pets, savannah monitors can be fed wax worms, king mealworms, mice and rats (pinkies or fuzzies).

Juvenile savannah monitors can be kept in large plastic containers or aquariums, but adults will need considerably larger enclosures. Savannah monitors tend to be terrestrial, and do well in large cages with adequate shelter and low logs or branches for occasional climbing.

Savannah monitors require temperatures ranging between 82 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with a warmer basking spot (up to about 95 or 97 degrees Fahrenheit). Nighttime temperatures can be lowered to around 70 or 75 degrees Fahrenheit. A thermal gradient is recommended.

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