Varanus prasinus

Range: New Guinea, near islands and Cape York Peninsula in Queensland

Habitat: a variety of different lowland environments throughout its range, including tropical evergreen forests, palm swamps and cocoa plantations

Conservation status: Least concern

Emerald Tree Monitor Lizard

  • • 30 to 39 inches long, slender body, long claws
    • Brightly colored, active, superb climber with prehensile tail
    • Scales on its feet and long claws also aid in climbing
    • Arboreal, diurnal, excellent hunter, well camouflaged
    • Oviparous; sexual maturity at about 2 years; up to three clutches of five eggs laid a year, usually in arboreal termite nests, which provide insulation and protection from predators; eggs hatch between 160-190 days, and the young eat the termites and larvae within minutes after hatching
    • Diet; katydids, cockroaches, beetles, centipedes, spiders, crabs, birds, and small rodents
    • Only omnivorous species, will eat berries and fruit
    • Some humans consider these lizards a delicacy; some use their leather; some sell (and buy) them in the pet trade

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