Care instructions for the thorn-tailed monitor lizard Varanus acanthurus

Pasningsvejledning for Tornhalevaran Varanus acanthurus

Scientific name: Varanus acanthurus

Danish name: Tornhalevaran

Lifespan: 10 years

Distribution: Australia

Legislation:

Toxicity: Not toxic

Appearance
This species can reach a total length of 60 cm, of which the tail makes up approximately half and is densely studded with strong scales that look like thorns. The male will be larger than the female. They both have a dark brown body with yellow or reddish spots.

Biology
In the wild, the Thorntail monitor lives in dry desert areas, with rocky cliffs. They will often hide between the rocks and turn their tail towards the exit of a hole or crevice in the rock for protection. If something pulls on it, it can inflate itself so that it cannot come out of its hiding place.

Keep in terrarium
For a couple, the terrarium must be at least L: 140, D: 60 and H: 80 cm. The animals will use the heights even if you choose to acquire a higher terrarium. The sides must be lined with cork boards or something else so that the varan can climb up the walls. The bottom layer must consist of coarse sand mixed with moist unfertilized sphagnum so that they can dig holes. Bark tubes are good hiding places for them and can be attached to the side.

Lighting is very important for this product, use 3 fluorescent tubes in the length of the terrarium. There must be a heating area at one end where a lot of UV light and heat is emitted. The UV bulb must be 40 or 60 watts and must hang 15-20 cm above a flat stone on which they can lie. The temperature should be 30 degrees during the day and at night the temperature should drop to room temperature. The length of the day should be 12-13 hours.

Feed
Monitor lizards mainly eat insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches and the like. All feed must be shaken in vitamin and mineral powder. You can occasionally give a little boiled chicken or turkey, hard-boiled chopped egg with shell. Dry food for cats can be used 10 days apart. The cat food must first be soaked in water. Clean water must always be available.

Signs of illness
Varans are hardy and rarely get sick, they can get some scratches but this heals quickly.

Other things
This species is a very good terrarium animal, it is active all day and is not shy. It is possible to keep them together in small groups consisting of 1 male and 2-3 females. But this requires a larger terrarium. They will eat everything you offer them, so be careful with overfeeding. Therefore, eggs and meat should be used very often.

Breeding
When the animals are around 1½-2 years old, they will be sexually mature. If you want success with breeding, you have to separate them and give them a winter rest. This lasts approximately 2 months with a day length of 6-7 hours. When the light hours are raised again, the pair are put together and mating will take place in normal lizard fashion. After 6 weeks, the female will lay her eggs in a shallow hole. Females are notorious for wanting to eat their own eggs, and you can confuse when she places the eggs with this. After the eggs are properly laid, both the male and the female can eat the eggs.

The female will lay 3-5 litters of 10-14 eggs over a season.

Hatching of eggs
This is not a ram lizard to hatch eggs on. A layering of perlite and vermiculite and water in a ratio of 1:1 will be appropriate. The eggs must be incubated for 100-140 days at a temperature of 28-30 degrees

Babysitting
The kids look like a perfect copy of the adults. After a week, the young will start eating and must have passport-sized insects such as dust crickets and small worms. You can have the cubs walking together, but there must not be a shortage of food, otherwise they will bite each other's toes and tails. They must be showered twice a day as they must be slightly more humid than the adults. Those who show signs of dominance must be removed from the other cubs. The young must be fed every day and given plenty of vitamins and calcium.

Care instructions for the thorn-tailed monitor lizard Varanus acanthurus
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