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Reptile import-export and breeding since 1993

BION Events Yellow-headed water monitor (Varanus cumingi)

Yellow-headed water monitor (Varanus cumingi)

The yellow-headed water monitor (Varanus cumingi), or Cuming's water monitor, is one of the smallest members of the Varanus salvator group, and one of the most bright-colored and attractive. It inhabits the mangroves and tropical rainforests of the Philippines (endemic species to the Philippines islands), but can also be found in modified habitats of low-to-mid elevations. The population density is quite low.

Adult lizards usually attain a length of about 150 cm. The basic coloration of adults is dark with yellow bands, mostly a yellow head.

 Like other monitors, the yellow-headed water monitor (Varanus cumingi) is a diurnal predaceous species. It prefers to prey on fish, but small-scale rodents, lizards, amphibians, arthropods, etc., could be eaten as well. Generally, we have fragmentary information about the biology of these interesting monitors.

The captive breeding of the yellow-headed water monitor (Varanus cumingi) was successful several times but still remains a significant event.

In 2013, we received a pair of yellow-headed water monitors as juveniles. The first breeding in BION took place in 2015.

Keeping conditions:

The enclosure size is 150x100x100cm.

Substrate: bark pieces, leaf litter, and wood scrap (from deciduous trees). The layer thickness is about 8 cm, providing a possibility of scrabbling.

Decoration: a large water container of about 25-30 cm deep with filter is necessarily provided for drinking and swimming. The water temperature is 23 to 26 º C.

Illumination: a full spectrum lamp. The daytime length from April till July is usually 14 hours, and from August till March it is 7 hours.

Temperature and heating: a full spectrum lamp OSRAM 300 W provides 50º C at the basking spot. UV lighting is important for young animals, so we use a UV lamp along with a full spectrum lamp. The temperature at the enclosure is 27-28º C at night and 28-32º C during the daytime.

Humidity: 60-80%.

Diet: adult animals receive rats, mice, fish, pieces of chicken hearts and quail eggs . We feed them twice a week.

Mineral supplements: not required.

Hibernation: a gradual temperature and the day length decrease starts in October. Two weeks of wintering pass with the 24º C temperature and 7 hour day lighting. After the cold period, we gradually return heating and lighting to its summer level. The warm period begins in April.

 

Veterinary:

Till this moment, the only problem with traumatized female took place in our lab during the mating season. The surgery helped to cure the animal.

 

Useful sources:

1.. Koch, André, Gaulke, Maren & Böhme, Wolfgang, 2010, Unravelling the underestimated diversity of Philippine water monitor lizards (Squamata: Varanus salvator complex), with the description of two new species and a new subspecies, Zootaxa 2446, pp. 1-54: 14-16 

2..http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Varanus&species=cumingi

3.. http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/169897/0