Asian water monitor
The Asian water monitor is a large species of monitor lizard capable of growing to 3 metres (9.8 ft) in length. They occur throughout much of southern Asia, from India in the west to the Philippines and the Indo-Australian islands in the east.
Scientific name: Varanus salvator salvator
Family Classification: Varanidae
Common names: Asian Water Monitor
IUCN Red List Category: Least Concern (1)
Year Assessed: 2010 (1)
Countries: Bangladesh; Cambodia; China; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia); Myanmar; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Viet Nam (1)
Habitat: This species is semi-aquatic and opportunistic and inhabits a variety of natural habitats, such as primary forests and mangrove swamps. (1)
Description: The Asian water monitor is a large species of monitor lizard; it is capable of growing up to 3 m (9.8 ft) in length. However in captivity they usually reach 2 m (6.5 ft). The have a long, slender, muscular body with a narrow, elongated head, a very long neck and well developed legs with long toes and claws. They have a long powerful tail which is used for swimming.
Maximum adult length: 3 metres (9.8 ft)
Diet and predation: The diet of water monitors comprises of fish, crabs, mollusks, insects, eggs, frogs, snakes, birds,and at times, other lizards also. They will also eat carrion if prey is scarce. Larger adults may also eat monkeys, pigs, small deer, and even young crocodiles and crocodile eggs.
Conservation status: Water monitors are not considered endangered although they are commonly hunted for their meat and skin and have been exterminated over most of mainland India. Up to 1.5 million skins are legally exported each year mainly from Indonesia to be made into fashion goods.
1. IUCN Red List (February, 2011) http://www.iucnredlist.org
Asian Water Monitor Profile