Timor Monitor

By Snaketracks / December 16, 2019
Timor Monitor
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Timor Monitor Facts

The Timor monitor is a species of small monitor lizards. It is native to West and East Timor Islands where it gets its name from. If you’re thinking of getting a pet lizard, the relatively small-sized Timor monitor is a great option for you. Read on to find more about this interesting creature.

Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Varanus Timorensis
  • Family: Varanidae
  • Alternate Names:  Spotted Tree Monitor, Kisar Island Timor Monitor
  • Size: The average adult grows up to 14.5 inches long (from head to tail)
  • Weight: The average adult weighs between 130 to 150 grams.
  • Diet: It feeds on a variety of invertebrates and also lizards such as geckos. Pet Timor monitors can feed on crickets and mealworms.

Interesting facts about Timor Monitors

  • Like all monitor lizards, the Timor monitor can be aggressive by nature. It’s not a pet for the inexperienced handler.
  • Timor monitors are very agile. To small rats and crickets, they are lightning fast predators.
  • Some classify Timor monitors as a dwarf species among monitor lizards.
  • Timor monitors have strong limbs and very long, muscular tails that do not detach.
  • They have keen eyesight and hearing.
  • Timor monitor lizards are used to traveling long distances especially when hunting and chasing prey.
  • The Timor monitor lizards are sun-loving creatures. Don’t be surprised to find them on the ground or perked up on a tree branch outdoors basking in the sun.
  • Timor monitors can be territorial. In captivity, it’s not good to house 2 males together.

What does the Timor monitor look like?

Timor Monitor in the wild
Timor Monitor in the wild

The Timor monitor lizard is a moderately sized reptile. The species can grow anywhere from 14 to 20 inches long from head to tail. These dark greenish to gray (or nearly black) spotted tree monitors are gorgeous to look at with their yellow and bluish spots lined all over their bodies.

Timor monitors have pointed snouts and sharp teeth. Their prehensile tails make up 2/3 of its overall length. Sharp claws allow them to climb with ease and work up a good defense against predators.

Where can the Timor monitor be found?

Timor monitor lizards are native to the islands of Timor. With travel and migration, you can find them around the Northern parts of Australia, parts of Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. They are most commonly spotted in areas that are abundant with trees.

What kind of habitat do the Timor monitors live in?

Timor monitors can handle warm or even hot temperatures. Humidity levels of 70% are most agreeable to their bodies. They stay in warm and moist areas. Being climbers, they prefer living where trees abound. These arboreal species love hiding in trees and hollows of tree barks.

What does the Timor monitor eat?

Timor Monitor Being Held
Timor Monitor being held

In the wild, they hunt invertebrates and other lizards. In captivity, pet owners can feed them with roaches, mice, crickets, hornworms, or mealworms.

How long does the Timor monitor live?

In the wild, Timor monitor lizards live up to 10 years on average. In captivity, they can live between 15 to 20 years if you properly care for them.

How many eggs does the Timor monitor lay?

The typical clutch size is 11 eggs for each captive-bred female. Females start breeding in December until March. Eggs take 3 to 4 months before they hatch 5-inch baby Timor Monitors. These grow fast.

What predators does the Timor monitor have?

In the wild, predators like snakes, wild cats, and even humans hunt Timor Monitors. Hunting for trade or collection is a big cause of decline in their population.

Is it legal to have the Timor Monitor as a pet?

As far as conservation is concerned, Timor monitors are still at low risk of extinction. Prices average at $150 and you may need a license depending on what country or state you live in.

Inquire from a registered, ethical breeder. If you do decide to get a Timor monitor reptile for a pet, consider going for juveniles or babies as they are easier to tame and bond with.

Final Words

If you’re looking for a reptile to care for, the Timor monitor lizard is a great choice for those who have experienced caring for reptiles in the past. It’s probably not the best pet lizard to get for your child unless you’ll be supervising religiously in the care and handling of this gorgeous creature.

Highly intelligent, these flighty lizards will form a bond with you after a good amount of time. Exercise patience and gentleness and you’ll earn their trust in no time.

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