Empagusia
Varanus dumerilii (SCHLEGEL 1839)
Dumeril’s Monitor
  Varanus dumerilii is a member of the subgenera Empagusia. The major color of adult animals is a dark coffee-brown with occasional indistinct brighter crossways bars. Conical scales are situated on the nape of the neck. 81 - 102 scale rows are around midbody. The nostril is like a slit, and it is situated closer to the eye than to the tip of the snout. It can be blocked under water with a skinny flap. The tail is strongly squeezed together at the side and it has a low double keel on the upper side. The length is 1.3-1.6 times as long as SVL.
Young animals show a completely other coloration than adult monitors. The major color is a dark varnish black which is interrupted by several yellow crossways bars on the back. The head is shiningly orange red, sometimes yellow. However, this youth coloration disappears again after a short time (4-8 weeks).
The subspecies V. d. heteropholis (BOULENGER 1892) was put back into the type species (SPRACKLAND 1993b) again, because the differences in scale features were not big enough.

Distribution, habitat and behavior

dumerilii

V. dumerilii is distributed from Thailand over mainland Malaysia to Sumatra, Borneo and smaller offshore islands. It is a tree climber and lives there in the mangrove regions. If the animals are disturbed, they often look for shelter in hollow trees but burrows on the ground are also taken as shelter (MERTENS 1942d, BRANDENBURG 1983, SPRACKLAND 1993b, BENNETT 1995a).
Because V. dumerilii lives in the mangroves, this species is specialized in feeding on crabs (KREBS 1979). Young animals feed mainly on insects (e.g. crickets and cockroaches).


Keeping and breeding
dumeriliiHAUSCHILD (1998, 2001) reports on several breeding successes of animals from various distribution areas. The incubation temperature was 30°C. After 190 days the young animals hatched and had a total length between 120 and 130 mm. The weight was between 20 and 22 g.
RADFORD & PAYNE (1989) and BENNETT (1995) report, that V. dumerilii can lay up to 25 eggs per clutch. The youngsters hatched after 200 to 230 days at incubation temperatures between 26.5 and 30°C. The SVL was about 80 mm and the total length was about 180 mm, the body mass was 10-20 g.
As food we offer the young animals mainly insects (crickets, house crickets, cockroaches, larvae of the black beetle, and grasshoppers).
   
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