Green/Emerald Tree Monitor

Green/Emerald Tree Monitor Varanus prasinus

Type of Animal:

Forests, palm stands, swamps, cocoa plantations, mangroves/mangrove swamps, riparian areas

New Guinea, adjacent island, N Torres Strait Islands

Green to turquoise color w/ dark transverse dorsal banding, slim slender body, long prehensile tail

Insects, frogs, geckos, small mammals, birds, insect larvae, centipedes, spiders, crabs, eggs, fish, worms, shrimp

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture

Solitary or groups of a male w/ 1-10 females. Some groups have 1-3 subordinate males.  

Additional Info:

Young: Hatchling
Group: Colony

Male: 10.5 oz
Female: 10.2 oz
5-6 months 

Life Span:
10-20 years

Body Length:
Male: 3 ft
Female: 2.5 ft
Young: 1 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 6 ft
Female: 5 ft
Young: 2 ft

Main predators are snakes, predatory birds, & placental carnivorous mammals.
These lizards highly arboreal, very rarely coming to the ground.
Uses long claws & prehensile tail to grip branches.
Females can breed up to 3 times a year, each clutch having 2-7 eggs.
Sexually mature at a year old.
Active during the day (diurnal).
Coloration helps in camouflage, which works for catching prey as well as hiding from predators.
Often use chemical cues to search out prey/mates.
Like other monitors, uses forked tongue to sense surroundings.
Due to elusive nature, there’s still a lot more to be learned about these lizards.

Fun Fact(s):
Though sometimes kept as pets, they’re more of a look but don’t touch kind of pet. They prefer not being handled & are very nervous animals.
Females usually lay eggs in arboreal termite nests. Hatchlings eat termites/termite eggs within minutes of hatching.
Unlike many monitors, defend tails rather than lashing w/ them if threatened, possibly due to need for tail when climbing.

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