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Mertens’ Water Monitor

Varanus mertensi

Class: Reptilia
Lifespan: Up to 30 years   
Diet: Carnivore    
Weight: Up to 380g           
Height: Up to 110cm                         
Reproduction: Egg-laying
Status: Not listed

Mertens’ water monitors are carnivorous, preferring fish, frogs and small mammals but will also eat insects, lizard and carrion (roadkill). These monitors have a very good sense of smell and often dig up prey when foraging for food.

As a semi-aquatic lizard species, Mertens’ water monitors can remain underwater for several minutes with the help of a special nostril valve that shuts tightly when submerged.

The introduced can toad is a major threat to the Mertens’ water monitor as they compete for food. Monitors can also be poisoned by toxins if a toad is ingested.