Argus Monitor

Argus Monitor Lizard at Wingham Wildlife Park

Argus Monitor Natural History

Size

Male Argus monitors reach an average length of 5 ft (1.5 meters) and weigh 10-20 kg (22 – 44 lbs) while females are much smaller.

Habitat and Distribution

They are native to the island of New Guinea, northern Australia and some islands of the Torres Straights. These monitors are often found in savannah grasslands and riparian and woodland habitats.

Age

In captivity they can reach 15-20 years of age.

Diet

Small reptiles, small mammals, birds, eggs, fish, crabs and insects.

Groups and Breeding

They are not a communal species and live independently except for mating season.

Roughly 30 days after mating the female will dig a nest and lay up to 12 eggs which she will then bury. Eggs take 6-7 months to hatch.

Threats

These reptiles have experienced a dramatic decline in population in some of their range due to the introduction of poisonous cane toads by humans, which Argus monitors eat.

Interesting facts

This species ‘tripods’ using its hind legs and tail, allowing them to get a higher vantage point of the surrounding landscape for prey or predators and to appear larger when threatened.

The Argus Monitor During Your Day Out in Kent

Our Argus monitor can be seen in the reptile house which is also home to grays monitors and Nile monitors plus a large number of other reptiles and invertebrates.