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Home » Black-throated Monitor Care – Information, Enclosure, Diet & Health

Black-throated Monitor Care – Information, Enclosure, Diet & Health

The Black Throated Monitor (Varanus albigularis microstictus) is a subspecies of monitor lizard belonging to the Varanidae family.

Native to Tanzania, these reptiles are known for their impressive size, reaching lengths longer than most humans are tall.

Despite their menacing appearance, Black Throated Monitors are relatively docile and can make fantastic pets for experienced reptile enthusiasts.

Black Throated Monitor (Varanus albigularis microstictus)
Black Throated Monitor (Varanus albigularis microstictus)

Black Throated Monitor Care Sheet

Common NameBlack Throated Monitor
Scientific NameVaranus albigularis microstictus
Lifespan20+ years
Size as Adult6.5 to 7 feet
WeightUp to 60 lbs (adult males)
DietCarnivorous
Enclosure Size Requirements6 feet (length) x 4 feet (width) x 4 feet (height)
Enclosure Temperature Requirements82-86°F
Humidity RequirementsVaries, generally 60-80%

Husbandry – Enclosure Requirements

Providing a suitable enclosure is crucial for the well-being of your Black Throated Monitor.

These lizards require a large and strong enclosure due to their size and activity level. A permanent enclosure made of wood or plexiglass is often preferred.

The minimum enclosure size for an adult Black Throated Monitor should be 6 feet in length, 4 feet in width, and 4 feet in height. This allows them to stretch out and move around comfortably.

Lighting is essential for maintaining a proper day-night cycle. Provide UVB lighting to ensure adequate calcium absorption and promote overall health.

Temperature gradients within the enclosure are crucial. Maintain a basking spot temperature of around 100-120°F and a cooler side around 80-85°F.

It’s important to monitor the temperatures closely to create a suitable thermoregulation range for your Black Throated Monitor.

Maintaining the appropriate humidity level is vital for the health of your lizard. Black Throated Monitors require humidity levels that range between 60% and 80%.

Regular misting and providing a large water dish for soaking will help maintain the required humidity. Using a hygrometer can help you monitor and adjust the humidity levels as needed.

Dietary Needs and Feeding Schedule

As carnivorous reptiles, Black Throated Monitors have specific dietary needs. Their diet primarily consists of a variety of live prey, including rodents, insects, and small birds.

It’s important to provide a balanced diet by offering a variety of food items to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients. You can also include occasional treats such as eggs or fish to add dietary variety.

Feed your Black Throated Monitor appropriately sized prey items. The size of the prey should be about the same width as the monitor’s head.

This helps prevent any choking hazards. Juvenile monitors should be fed smaller prey more frequently, while adult monitors can be fed larger meals on a less frequent basis.

Establish a feeding schedule that aligns with their natural feeding habits. Offer food every 2-3 days for juveniles and 4-7 days for adults. It’s important to monitor their body condition and adjust the feeding frequency accordingly to prevent overfeeding or obesity.

Provide fresh, clean water at all times in a shallow dish large enough for your monitor to soak in. Regularly clean and refill the water dish to ensure optimal hydration.


Things to Consider

Taming and Handling:

When it comes to taming and handling Black Throated Monitors, it’s important to approach the process with patience and care.

These lizards are known for their skittish nature and can exhibit defensive behaviors when they feel threatened. As a result, taming and building trust with a Black Throated Monitor may require more time and effort compared to other monitor lizard species.

It’s recommended to start by allowing the monitor to acclimate to its new environment and establish a sense of security.

Gradually introduce your presence by spending time near the enclosure without making sudden movements or loud noises. Over time, you can begin to offer food from your hand to encourage positive associations.

While some Black Throated Monitors can become relatively tolerant of handling, it’s important to remember that they are still wild animals at heart.

Excessive handling or rough treatment can lead to stress and potential injury for both you and the lizard. It’s crucial to respect their boundaries and handle them with experienced hands to ensure their well-being.

Costs and Maintenance:

Owning a Black Throated Monitor comes with significant financial responsibilities. These lizards have specific care requirements that need to be met to ensure their health and well-being.

The initial cost of acquiring a pet and a suitable enclosure, which should provide ample space for their active nature, can be substantial – ranging from several hundred to a couple thousand dollars in the US.

Additionally, the enclosure needs to be equipped with appropriate heating, lighting, and furnishings to mimic their natural habitat.

Black Throated Monitors are carnivorous and require a varied diet consisting of whole prey items such as rodents, insects, and small vertebrates. Providing a nutritionally balanced diet can be costly, especially for larger adults that require larger food portions.

Regular veterinary check-ups and potential medical expenses should also be factored into the overall cost of ownership. Monitoring their health, addressing any potential health issues, and providing necessary medications or treatments are essential to their well-being.

Maintenance of the enclosure is another aspect to consider. Black Throated Monitors are known to defecate frequently, and their enclosures need to be regularly cleaned to maintain hygiene and prevent the buildup of bacteria or parasites. This includes regular substrate replacement, cleaning of furnishings, and maintaining appropriate humidity levels.

Black Throated, White Throated, and Peach Throated Monitors

When comparing Black Throated Monitors to White Throated Monitors (Varanus albigularis albigularis) and Peach Throated Monitors (Varanus jobiensis) as potential pets, there are notable differences to consider.

Black Throated Monitors and White Throated Monitors share similar care requirements, including the need for spacious enclosures, specific temperature and humidity ranges, and a carnivorous diet.

However, Black Throated Monitors tend to have a slightly larger adult size, reaching lengths of up to 6-7 feet, compared to White Throated Monitors.

Peach Throated Monitors, on the other hand, have different care needs. They are generally smaller in size and have a preference for rainforest environments, requiring higher humidity levels. Their diet may also include a wider variety of invertebrates compared to Black Throated Monitors.

In terms of temperament, Black Throated Monitors can be more skittish and defensive compared to White Throated Monitors and Peach Throated Monitors. This can impact their handling and taming process, requiring more time and patience to build trust and establish a bond.

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