Varanus albigularis (DAUDIN 1802)
White-Throated Monitor
subspecies: V. a. albigularis (DAUDIN 1802)
V. a. angolensis SCHMIDT 1933
V. a. microstictus BOETTGER 1893
V. albigularis albigularis
courtesy of R. Stein

albigularisWith its subspecies Varanus albigularis is a member of the subgenera Polydaedalus. It can reach a total length of more than 200 cm. However, as average a total length of 150 cm can be assumed (AUERBACH 1985). The coloration of the back is grayish brown to dark, which is interrupted with more brightly to yellowish ocelli forming crossrows. The blotches sometimes can have a dark edge. The scales are small and smooth, they are slightly spinous on the nape of the neck. 137 - 167 scale rows are around midbody.
The massive head is shorter and broader than the one from V. exanthematicus. The nostril is longish and is situated very close to the eye. The tail is about 1-1.2 times the SVL. Adult males can reach a weight up to 15 to 16 kg.

Distribution, habitat and behavior


The distribution of V. albigularis with his subspecies extends on the southern and eastern Africa.
The type species is distributed in Namibia and South Africa, and stretches up into Zimbabwe and up to Mosambique to the east (MERTENS 1942).
V. a. angolensis has to be found in the Kongo to the northwest down to Angola in the south (MERTENS 1942).
The distribution of V. a. microstictus extends on the eastern Africa of the southern Sudan and Ethiopia down to Zimbabwe and Mosambique in the south (BRANCH 1988).

Keeping and breeding
The captive husbandry of this species is already published several times (VISSER 1981, BAYLESS & REYNOLDS 1992, BAYLESS 1994). But keeping and breeding is only reported on Varanus a. albigularis.
Because specimen can grow up to more than a meter, the enclosure should be fairly big. As substrate we would recommend sand. Some large rock, a arge trunk, and some pieces of cork bark will complete the furnishing. You can built some rockformations on the back to enlarge the place for the monitors, but this should be heavy built, because these lizards always want to dig. The rocks and the trunk should also be fixed, so that the animals could not dislocate them during digging. Also a dish with fresh water sould be offered.
As food nearly everything will be taken. We offer several types of insects, such as locusts and cockroaches, or mammals, such as mice and small rats. Do not offer too much food, because these animals will take always too much, and they do not have enough space for roaming around. If they grow too fat, a breeding will not happen.
Up to 65 eggs can be layed per clutch. The young animals hatched after 116-180 days at incubation temperatures between 27 and 31°C. The coloration of the youngsters is very intensive. They start feeding after several days, and the first food items should be crickets, cockroaches and locusts. After some weeks, they also willtake baby mice.