Spiny-Tailed Monitor/Ackie’s Dwarf Monitor/Ridge-Tailed Monitor

ANIMAL:
Spiny-Tailed Monitor/Ackie’s Monitor/Ridge-Tailed Monitor Varanus acanthurus

Type of Animal:
Monitor

Habitat:
Rocky areas, rocky ranges, outcrops, scrubland, trees, burrows, lowland areas of shrubs & spinifex grass, stony areas, rock crevices, desert, grassland, shrubland, arid flat areas near rock outcrops, tropical escarpments, boulders, subhumid to arid woodlands

Location(s):
N Western Australia, most of Northern Territory, W Queensland, & islands off E Northern Territory

Appearance:
Color ranges from dark brown to bright yellow to cream to red w/ spots/stripes, spots very visible, dark scales, “Red Ackies” more common in W part of range, “Yellow Ackies” more common in E part of range, Reds bigger than yellows w/ longer tails, streamlined body

Food/Diet:
Insects, insect larvae, grubs, spiders, snails, eggs, smaller lizards (including smaller members of own species & smaller monitor species), shrimp, small mammals, small snakes

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & herpetoculture

Lifestyle:
Solitary or small harems of a male w/ 3 females

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young: Hatchling
Group: Colony
 
Weight:
Male: 11-12 oz
Female: 10-11 oz
 
Gestation:
17 weeks 

Life Span:
15-20 years

Body Length:
Male: 2.3 ft
Female: 2 ft
Young: 1 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 2.76-5.29 ft
Female: 2.4-4.6 ft
Young: 1.2-2.3 ft

Main predators are larger monitors, snakes, raptors, cats, & foxes.
 
Like many monitors, it’s an ambush predator.
 
Females can produce up to 6 clutches a year (each w/ 4-18 eggs). Eggs usually white oval shaped.
 
They’re rather curious lizards.
 
Active during the day (diurnal).
 
Gravid (pregnant) females have voracious appetites.
 
Uses camouflage to hide from predators & catch prey.
 
Sexually mature at a year old.
 
Breed from August-November.
 
Hatchlings & juveniles sometimes show mounting behavior as way to exert dominance.
 
Fights between males can be vicious & sometimes deadly.
 
They’re built for burrowing & digging.

Fun Fact(s):
One of most common monitor lizard species kept as pets due to small size.
 
70% of water requirement comes from food.
 
When threatened, they’ll retreat into tight spaces (i.e. rock crevices) & puff bodies to wedge themselves between rocks. If this doesn’t work, they can whip tails & bite.
Spiny-Tailed Monitor, Ridge-Tailed Monitor, Ackie’s Dwarf Monitor, stock photo

2 thoughts on “Spiny-Tailed Monitor/Ackie’s Dwarf Monitor/Ridge-Tailed Monitor

  1. Willis

    I’ve been browsing on-line more than three hours nowadays, but I never discovered any fascinating article like yours.
    It is beautiful value enough for me. In my opinion,
    if all web owners and bloggers made just right content material as you did,
    the net can be a lot more useful than ever before.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *