Monday, December 5, 2011

White-Throated Monitor

Varanus albigularis albigularis
The White-Throated Monitor is a subspecies of Rock Monitor that lives in both open and wooded habitats in southern Africa. They have very muscular limbs, long bodies, and powerful tails. Their tails are so strong, in fact, that when the Monitors are threatened they will use them to lash out at attackers. They also puff up their bodies and hiss.

The subspecies is typically found on the ground, but they are able to climb trees as well. They head up to hunt and to avoid the animals that prey on them (like Honey Badgers). White-Throated Monitors are incredibly voracious eaters, especially during the wet season that falls between January and March. They will pretty much eat anything that they can easily capture, from small insects, to birds, to snakes. One really interesting fact is that the Monitors are very conscious of their caloric intake. They will try and eat animals that can give them the most benefit with the least amount of catching effort.

White-Throated Monitors are kept in captivity, but they are classified as threatened under CITES Appendix II. Habitat loss is the biggest threat, but they are also hunted for skin, meat, and for their use in local, traditional healing practices.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Southern Africa
Size : Length 6.6ft (2m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Sauropsida -- Order : Squamata
Family : Varanidae -- Genus : Varanus -- Species : V. albigularis -- Subspcies : V. a. albigularis

3 comments:

  1. will you post your sources, please?

    ReplyDelete
  2. For the most part, sources are linked to within the text. I typically grab the classification information from Wikispecies (http://species.wikimedia.org) and conservation status from the IUCN Red List.

    ReplyDelete

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