Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN
Common name: Asian water monitor, Malayan water monitor
Scientific name: Varanus salvator
Diet: fish, frogs, rodents, birds, crabs, and snakes
Length: 1.5 m- 2 m (Adult; Males are larger than females)
Weight: 19.5 kg (Adult)
The Asian water monitor, also known as the Malayan water monitor, is another large lizard native to South and Southeast Asia.
These common lizards can be found in Sri Lanka, coastal northeast India, Indochina, the Malay Peninsula, and various islands of Indonesia.
Tourists who visit Singapore (Botanic Garden in particular) will often shout, “Look! There’s a Komodo dragon!” Due to its resemblance and size(that can grow up to a maximum of 3 meters), these Asian or Malayan monitor lizards can come across as their not-so-friendly cousins.
While they too are venomous, it has a relatively mild effect on humans. As long as they are not provoked, they do not bite. I took the above picture just a few meters away.
- “Varanus Salvator (Common Water Monitor)”. Iucnredlist.Org, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/178214/0.
- Koch, A. (2007). “Morphological Studies on the Systematics of South East Asian Water Monitors (Varanus Salvator Complex): Nominotypic Populations and Taxonomic Overview”. Mertensiella. 16: 109–180.
- Robert George Sprackland (1992). Giant lizards. Neptune, NJ: T.F.H. Publications. ISBN 0-86622-634-6.