ANIMAL: Green/Emerald Tree Monitor Varanus prasinus Type of Animal: Monitor Habitat: Forests, palm stands, swamps, cocoa plantations, mangroves/mangrove swamps, riparian areas Location(s): New Guinea, adjacent island, N Torres Strait Islands Appearance: Green to turquoise color w/ dark transverse dorsal banding, slim slender body, long prehensile tail Food/Diet: Insects, frogs, geckos, small mammals, birds, insect larvae, centipedes, spiders, crabs, eggs, fish, worms, shrimp Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in zoos, aquariums, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture Lifestyle: Solitary or groups of a male w/ 1-10 females. Some groups have 1-3 subordinate males. Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Hatchling Group: Colony Weight: Male: 10.5 oz Female: 10.2 oz Gestation: 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.