Although there are over 70 different species of monitor lizards, only a few are commonly found in the pet trade. The types available range from small to large and live in different habitats. Below is a list of some of the more common types found as pets. The list is not all-inclusive and other species may be available.
The blue-tailed monitor gets its name from the blue bands on its tail. It can be found in Australia, New Guinea, and various islands. It can spend time on land, in the water, and in trees. This lizard can grow up to four feet in length and can be tamed over time.
The Dumeril’s monitor is found in Asia and the islands of Indonesia. This lizard may spend its time in trees, on the ground, and in the water. It can grow to around five feet long and is a dark brown color with lighter bands on its back. The Dumeril’s monitor can be tamed over time.
The mangrove monitor can be found in Australia, New Guinea, and various islands. It will spend its time on land, in trees, and in the water. This lizard can grow to be four feet long and is a black or brown color with patterns of light spots. With time, the mangrove monitor can become quite tame.
The Nile monitor is a hardy lizard that lives throughout Africa. As an adult in can be over five feet long. It is a black or brown color with rows of yellow spots. The Nile monitor is often available as a pet, but is a difficult lizard to tame.
The ornate monitor is from the forests of Africa. It is a black lizard with rows of yellow spots and a banded tail. It can grow to be over five feet long. Although a very attractive animal, the ornate monitor is often a difficult lizard to tame.
The ridge-tailed monitor can be found in the arid regions of Australia. It is a smaller monitor and only grows up to about two feet in length. This lizard is a brown color with yellow spots and a spiny tail.
The rough-necked monitor is found in Asia and Indonesia and spends most of its time living in trees. It can grow to be over four feet long and is a slender lizard with a semi-prehensile tail. The rough-necked monitor is a timid reptile, but can be tamed over time.
The savanna monitor is a stocky lizard from Africa where it spends most of its time on the ground or in a burrow. It often reaches a length of five feet and is usually a gray or dull yellow color. The savanna is one of the more common monitors available as a pet and can become quite tame.
The Timor monitor can be found in Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. This is an active monitor that spends its time in trees. It is usually a black color with yellow spots. The Timor is a small monitor and may only grow to about twenty inches in length.
(emerald tree monitor pictured)
Tree monitors are slender lizards with prehensile tails. There are several species and they can be green, black, yellow, and blue. They are hardy and attractive reptiles that spend their time in trees. Tree monitors are smaller species and only grow to around three feet long.
The white-throated monitor is another stocky lizard from Africa. It spends its time on the ground or in a burrow. It can grow to be over six feet long and is usually a dark gray color with dark bands on the tail. The white-throated monitor can be tamed, but is often an unruly lizard.