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White-Throated Monitor

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Native to the southern African continent, the White-throated Monitor (Varanus albigularis albigularis) is actually a subspecies of the Rock Monitor.

Where does the White-throated Monitor live?

White-Throated Monitors exhibit the characteristics of both an arboreal lizard and a terrestrial lizard. Their environment includes woodland areas, savannas, steppes and open brush areas that are not near a water source. The species' range extends as far north in Africa as Mozambique, Angola, and Zambia. As for individuals, the White-Throated Monitor has an abnormally large home range for the size of their body. Females have a home range of about 2.5 square miles, while males have a home range of about 7 square miles (and there is overlap between sexes).

What do White-Throated Monitors look like?

The White-throated Monitor are usually found to have a gray-brown coloration with off-white or yellow marks. As their name suggests, they do have an ivory-white colored throat. This monitor species can grow to reach lengths of 2 meters. In the wild, males weigh an average of 17.7 lbs, while females can weigh around 14 lbs. White Throat Monitors tend to gain a lot of weight when kept in captivity. Their bodies are very muscular, with short but strong limbs. They have long, sharp claws on their front legs which enable them to dig and climb very well. Their heads are elongated and they have a rounded snout. They have a forked tongue like all other members of the Varanidae family which is used in a sensory manner, as well as for drinking. The White-throat Monitors tail is long, about the same as the length of their head and body combined, and very strong. They use it as a weapon during fights, as a rudder when swimming, and as a multi-use prehensile 'limb' when on land.

Where does their name come from?

The genus name Varanus comes from the Arabic word 'waral', which means 'monitor' in English. Albigularis is actually a compound word made from two separate Latin words. 'Albus' translates to "white", while 'gula' translates to "throat". Hence the name, White-Throated Monitor.

White-Throated Monitor Pictures

White-Throated Monitor Thumbnail  

White-Throated Monitor Scientific Classification

- Kingdom: Animalia
 - Phylum: Chordata
  - Class: Sauropsida
   - Order: Squamata
    - Suborder: Scleroglossa
     - Family: Varanidae
      - Genus: Varanus
       - Species: Varanus albigularis
        - Subspecies: Varanus albigularis albigularis

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