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.
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).
Best Fish for Savannah Monitor
|✅ Safe Fish (Species reported not to contain thiaminase)||❌Unsafe Fish (Species reported to contain thiaminase)|
|Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis)||Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus)|
|Bass (largemouth) (Huro salmoides)||Anchovies (Anchoa hepsetus)|
|Bass (rock) (Ambloplites r. rupestris)||Anchovies (Engraulis mordax)|
|Bass (smallmouth) (Micropterus d. dolomieu)||Bass (white) (Lepibema chrysops)|
|Black backs (pseudopleuronectes americanus)||Black quahog (Artica islandica)|
|Bluegill (Lepomis m. macrochirus)||Bowfin (dogfish) (Amia calva)|
|Chub (bloater) (Coregonus hoyi)||Bream (Abramis brama)|
|Cod (Gadus morrhua)||Buckeye shiner (Notropus atherionoides)|
|Crappie (Pomoxis nigro-maculatus)||Buffalofish (Ictiobus cyprinellus)|
|Croaker (Micropogon undulatus)||Bull Head (Ameirurus m. melas)|
|Cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus)||Burbot (Lota lota maculosa)|
|Cusk (Brosme brosme)||Burbot (Lota lota)|
|Cutlassfish (silver eel) (Trichiurus lepturus)||Butterfish (Poronotus triacanthus)|
|Dogfish (squalus acanthias)||Carp (Cyprinus carpio)|
|Eel (anguilla rostrata)||Catfish (channel) (Ictalurus laccustris punctatus)|
|Gar (northern longnose) (Lepisosteus osseus oxyurus)||Clams (chowder, steamer, cherrystone)|
|Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus)||Fathead minnow (Primephales p. promelas)|
|Halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)||Garfish (garpike)|
|Hake (Urophycis spp.)||Goldfish (Carassius auratus)|
|Herring (Leucichthys artedi areturus)||Herring (Baltic) (Clupea harengus var. membranus)|
|King whiting (ground whiting) (Menticirrhus americanus)||Herring (Clupea harengus)|
|Lemon sole (Psuedopleuronectes americanus dignabilis)||Lamprey (adult) (Petromyzon marintus)|
|Lizard Fish (Synodus foetens)||Mackerel (Scomber japonicas) (Pacific)|
|Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)||Menhaden (Brecoortia tyrannus)|
|Mullet (Mugil spp.)||Menhaden (large scale) (Brecoortia patronus)|
|Perch (yellow) (Perca flavescens)||Moray eel (Gymnothorax ocellatus)|
|Pike (northern) (Esox lucius)||Mussel (bigtoe) (Pluerobema cordatum)|
|Pike (wall-eyed) (stizostedion vitreum)||Razor belly (scaled sardine) (Harengula pensacolae)|
|Plaice (Canadian) (Hippoglossoides platessoides)||Sauger (Stizostedion c. canadense)|
|Pollock (Pollachitus virens)||Scallop (Placopecten grandis)|
|Porgy (scup) (Stenotomus aculeatus)||Sculpin (Myooxocephalus quadricornis thompsonii)|
|Porgy (scup) (Stenotomus chrysops)||Shad (gizzard) (Dorosoma cepedianum)|
|Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)||Shiner (spottail) (Notropis hudsonius)|
|Redfish (Sebastes marinus)||Smelt (freshwater) (Rainbow)(Osmerus mordax)|
|Salmon (Salmo salar)||Stoneroller (central) (Campostoma anomalum pullum)|
|Salmon (Coho) (Oncorhynchus kisutch)||Sucker (common white) (Catostomus c. commersonii)|
|Seabass (centropristis striatas)||White bass (Lepimbema chrysops)|
|Sea catfish (galeichthys felis)||Whitefish (Prosopium cylindraceum quadriaterale)|
|Sea robin (Prionotus spp.)||Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis)|
|Smelt (pond) (Hypomesus olidus)|
|Spot (Leiostomus xanthurus)|
|Squid (Loligo brevis)|
|Tautog (blackfish) (Tautoga onitis)|
|Trout (brown) (Salmo trutta fario)|
|Trout (lake) (Christiconer n. namaycush)|
|Trout (rainbow) (Salmo gairdnerii irideus)|
|White trout (Cynoscion nothus)|
|White trout (Cynoscion avenarius)|
|Whiting (Merluccius bilinearis)|
Things to Consider
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.
PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.