Varanus pilbarensis (Pilbara Rock Monitor)

The natural beauty and mind blowing colour of the pilbara rock monitor is second to none. It is arguably the one of the rarest and most sought after monitors in captivity today. Native to Australia, it inhabits the Pilbara region of Western Australia. As its name suggests, the Pilbara rock monitor prefers to live in rocky outcrops where it finds comfort within the many tight crevices and the maze of escape routes. Like the Kimberley rock monitor, V. pilbarensis is suited for many terrains and is not just limited to the rocks.

The Pilbara rock monitor is a slightly smaller, more robust version of the Kimberley rock monitor. They can reach an adult length of 45 cm, two thirds of which is tail. Although the Pilbara rock monitor is relatively rare in collections, they are surprisingly easy to work with. They are extremely hardy and curious monitors, always roaming about their enclosure, rarely frightened by the presence of an amazed hobbyist. In the wild, Pilbara rock monitors eat insects and small lizards. In captivity they thrive on a diet of insects and rodents and benefit from generous amounts of calcium and vitamins. As a monitor enthusiast, I have had the opportunity to work with many different species, but none compare to the Pilbara rock monitor. They are the perfect, multidimensional varanid species. From their relatively basic care and their overall personality, to their striking red colouration and contrasting banded tail, the Pilbara rock monitor is a varanid lovers dream come to life. If I could only work with one monitor species, this one would be it.

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