Varanus macraei BÖHME & JACOBS 2002
Blue-Spotted-Tree Monitor
V. macraei
courtesey of M. Reisinger
Varanus macraei is part of the prasinus-group and therefore a member of the subgenera Euprepiosaurus. The groundcolor is pitch black with scattered blue scales, forming spots and ocelli, which sometimes form bands across the back. From the light blue tip of the snout, the lower jaw is white, along to the neck there is an area of uniformly turquois scales, which form a v-shape like pattern on the neck, built by turquois colored spots and ocelli. Up to 9 cross bands are across the back. The legs are scattered with numerous turquois spots, which form ocelli on the upper limb.On the underside of the legs the coloration is uniformly light turquois. There are 85-103 scale rows around mid body.
A blue scale row stretches from the lower angle of the eye to the upper edge of the ear. The throat is light colored with numerous dark spots, forming a reticulation on the sides.
The tail is prehensile, like the tail of the other members of the prasinus-group, with 22-23 more or less symetrical blue rings on a black ground coloration on top. The underside is on the first third uniformly light blue, the rest is colored like the upper side. It is 1.95 times as long as SVL.
The nostril is round and is situated nearly in the middle between eye and tip of the snout.
V. macraei can grow up to 35 cm (SVL) and up to 100 cm total length.

Distribution, habitat and behavior


The distribution of Varanus macraei is restricted to the island of Batanta, on the northwestern tip of the Vogelkop peninsula of Irian Jaya of Indonesia. There this species lives like its relatives, the other mebers of the prasinus-group, as a tree climber, which is clearly visible by the prehensile tail.

Keeping and breeding

JACOBS (2002) published the first account of captive husbandry for this species. Enclosure requirements are similar to that of V.prasinus but larger as V. macraei reaches a greater size.
DEDLMAR (2006) reported another successful captive breeding for this species including an account on husbandry techniques. A group of 2 males and 4 females were housed together in an enclosure measuring 230 x 120 x 220 cm. No aggressive behaviour was observed. A total of 5 clutches was produced by the two females over a period of about two months after observed mating. The clutch sizes ranged from 2 to 5 eggs. After an incubation period of 206 - 240 days at temperatures of around 28.5 C, seven neonates hatched. They had a total length of 23.9 - 26.4 cm and weighed between 11.9 and 14.3 g. The subsequent raising of the offspring was without difficulty.