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Home » White Throat vs Black Throat Monitor Lizard: Battle of the Giants

White Throat vs Black Throat Monitor Lizard: Battle of the Giants

If you’re looking for a pet that is not only fascinating but also a bit intimidating, you may want to consider getting a monitor lizard.

These reptiles are known for their intelligence and large size, making them a popular choice for reptile enthusiasts.

Among the different types of monitor lizards, the white-throated and black-throated monitors are two of the most striking species.

They both possess unique physical features and personality traits that make them a worthy contender for your pet collection.

So, let’s dive into the differences between these two giants and determine which one is the best fit for you.

Left: White-Throated Monitor Lizard, Right: Black-Throated Monitor Lizard
White-Throated Monitor Lizard vs Black-Throated Monitor Lizard

Differences Between Black-throated and White-throated Monitor Lizards

The black-throated monitor (Varanus albigularis microstictus) and the white-throated monitor (Varanus albigularis albigularis) are two subspecies of monitors found in Africa.

Here is some information about their natural habitat and characteristics:

Black-throated MonitorWhite-throated Monitor
The Black-throated Monitor is the largest subspecies of the rock monitor (Varanus albigularis).The White-throated Monitor is another subspecies of the rock monitor (Varanus albigularis).
Usually dark gray-brown with yellowish or white markings.Typically gray-brown with yellowish or white markings.
Can reach lengths of up to 7 feet (2.1 meters) and weigh over 60 pounds (27 kilograms).Can grow up to 2 meters (6.6 feet), making them one of the largest monitor lizards in Africa.
The Black-throated Monitor is native to southern Africa (Angola, Zambia, and Mozambique).The White-throated Monitor’s natural range includes southern Africa (Angola, Zambia, and Mozambique).
Prefer rocky habitats, found in savannahs, woodlands, and semi-desert regions.Inhabit a variety of habitats, including grasslands, scrublands, and forests.
Primarily terrestrial but capable climbers.Primarily terrestrial but can climb trees to some extent.


The first thing that catches one’s attention when looking at monitor lizards is their impressive size.

White-throated monitors can grow up to 2 meters (6.6 ft) in length, making them one of the largest monitor lizards in Africa. They have a grey-brown color with yellowish or white markings, which can vary depending on the subspecies.

In contrast, the black-throated monitor lizard is much larger than its white-throated counterpart. It can reach up to 7 feet in length and weigh over 60 pounds, making them one of the heaviest lizards in Africa.

They have a dark, blackish-brown color with white or yellow spots that give them a unique appearance.


Both white-throated and black-throated monitor lizards are known for their intelligence and inquisitive nature. They are highly active and require a lot of space to move around.

However, black-throated monitors have a more aggressive and territorial personality than white-throated monitors.

They have been observed to defend their territory fiercely in the wild, while white-throated monitors are generally more docile.

It’s important to note that monitor lizards require a lot of attention and care, so they may not be suitable for everyone.


Monitor lizards are carnivorous and require a diet that is high in protein. In the wild, they feed on insects, small mammals, birds, and reptiles. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of rodents, chicks, and other meat-based foods.

It’s important to note that they have a high metabolism and require a lot of food to maintain their health.

It’s recommended that you research their specific dietary needs and provide them with a well-balanced diet to ensure their health and longevity.


When it comes to pricing, Black-throated monitor lizards are generally more expensive than White-throated monitors.

This is due to their larger size and the amount of work it takes to breed them. Breeding two 60-pound lizards requires a lot of effort, and it’s just as much work as breeding dogs.

As a result, Black-throated monitors can cost just as much as a purebred dog. White-throated monitors, on the other hand, are more affordable but still require a significant investment of time and money.

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