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Can Savannah monitors eat fish?

Savannah monitors are mainly insectivores (= they mosly eat insects), but they can also eat fish on occasion. As a matter of fact, fish is one of the best sources of lean protein you can feed to your Savannah monitor.

Savannah monitor and fish
Savannah Monitor vs Fish

When choosing the best fish for Savannah monitor, it is best to opt for small, whole freshwater fish such as perch, tilapia, catfish (in moderation) and sunfish. You can also offer them salmon fillets occasionally, keeping in mind that salmon has a slighly higher fat content.

Avoid feeding saltwater fish to Savannah monitors because of the high salt content. Limit consumptino of fish that is high in thiaminase (see list below).

Fish that contains thiaminase

  • Alewife
  • Anchovies
  • Olive Barb
  • White Bass
  • Black Quahog
  • Bowfin / Dogfish
  • Bream
  • Buckeye shiner
  • Buffalofish
  • Bull Head
  • Burbot
  • Burbot
  • Butterfish
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Clams
  • Fathead minnow
  • Garfish
  • Goldfish
  • Herring
  • Lamprey
  • Mackerel
  • Menhaden
  • Menhaden
  • Moray eel
  • Mussel
  • Razor belly / Scaled sardine
  • Sauger
  • Scallop 
  • Sculpin
  • Gizzard Shad
  • Spottail Shiner
  • Rainbow Smelt
  • Stoneroller
  • Common White Sucker
  • White bass
  • Whitefish

Things to Comsider

  • Remember that Savannah monitors are mainly insectivores, but as they are opportunistic feeders and can eat fish on occasion. However, it’s important not to rely solely on fish as a food source and to provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of prey items.
  • Do not cook fish before feeding it to your Savannah monitor, as cooking can cause the loss of essential nutrients and alter the texture and taste of the fish. Cooking fish can also make the bones harder and more brittle, which can increase the risk of injury to your Savannah monitor. In the wild, these lizards would consume whole prey, including bones and all, and have the necessary jaw strength and teeth to crush and digest them properly without cooking.
  • Consider other whole prey items in addition to fish fillets. Crayfish, for example, are a good source of calcium and can be a better choice for providing this essential nutrient. Crab, scallops, and shrimp can all be fed to your pet Savannah Monitor, and most types of seafood with shells, such as mussels, clams, and oysters, can also be fed to your Savannah monitor as a source of calcium.

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