Varanus kingorum (King's Pygmy Goanna)

The king’s monitor has been called by many enthusiast’s the perfect monitor species for the captive environment. Specimens may possess the intense red colouration and personality of V. a. acanthurus, and a body structure similar to that of V. pilbarensis. This primarily terrestrial goanna reaches a maximum length of 24 cm TL, over 65% of which is tail.

King’s pygmy monitors are exceptional captives and can thrive in a relatively simple enclosure. In true varanid fashion, they do prefer tight hiding places in which they can rest and explore. They feed primarily on small invertebrates and show a particular appreciation for small, soft-bodied, cockroaches. The quick, erratic movements of the cockroach trigger a feeding response that could rival sharks in a feeding frenzy. King’s pygmy monitors will rarely accept a rodent meal and such prey items do not appear necessary for proper health and reproduction. This denizen of Australia’s northern spinifex region has proven to be an extremely hearty and prolific captive. Their similarities to V. a. acanthurus and V. pilbarensis make them a universally captivating varanid for the passionate keeper.

©2009 Canadian Coldblood