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Home > Lizards > Nile Monitor

Nile Monitor

Nile monitor lizards are the largest lizards of Africa, occurring in many parts of the African continent. They are known to be aggressive and ill-tempered. They have stout bodies with powerful jaws and strong legs.

    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Class Reptilia
    Order Squamata
    Suborder Lacertilia
    Family Varanidae
    Genus Varanus
    Subgenus Polydaedalus
    Scientific Name Varanus niloticus

    Other Names African small-grain Lizard, Water Leguaan, River Leguaan
    Length 120 to 220 cm; largest specimen recorded is 244 cm
    Weight Around 15 lbs
    Color Grayish-brown body color with regular yellow spots patterned in distinctive bands along the head, body and tail; ochre-yellow to creamy-yellow throat and undersides
    Distribution Sub-Saharan Africa and Nile river delta
    Habitat Grassland, scrub, mangroves, forests, swamps, lakes and rivers
    Diet Fish, snails, crocodile eggs, frogs, snakes,  small mammals, birds, insects, carrion
    Hibernation Fact Hibernates in burrows or big rock cracks in the colder region of their range
    Predators Crocodiles, leopards, pythons, eagles; predatory fish, herons, snakes, adult members of their own species feed on young
    Breeding Season June – October
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size Up to 60 eggs
    Incubation Period 6 to 9 months
    Reproductive Age 3 to 4 years of age
    Average Lifespan 10 to 20 years in captivity
    IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern

    Nile Monitor Pictures Gallery

    Published on October 14th 2016 by under Lizards. Article was last reviewed on 4th June 2019.

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