Monitor lizards, in my opinion, make for some of the very best reptilian captives. Highly intelligent, active, inquisitive, and beautifully colored these lizards can be a joy to keep. However, they do require large cages, frequent cage and water cleanings, and lots of food. If you are looking for a pet I advise you to look elsewhere, perhaps leopard geckos or bearded dragons would suit your needs better. But, if you are looking for an interesting captive that you can sit back and watch for hours then please read the rest of this FAQ and do as much research on the species your are interested in before purchasing it. I also highly recommend that you visit The Monitor Forum as it is an invaluable learning tool. Before asking questions on the forum please SEARCH THE ARCHIVES as a lot of information has already been discussed and you may not get an answer because of this. Then if you still are unclear or have specific questions go ahead and ask them. Don't take anything personally and look at the information through objective eyes.

The purpose of this document is to provide up to date information on the captive care of monitor lizards as well as try to answer. A lot of this older information about monitor lizards is very inaccurate. Many books are outdated and new techniques in husbandry have surfaced. A lot of information is misleading and potentially dangerous to your lizard. This document will not contain data on wild monitors. I have not studied wild monitors and thus feel unqualified to comment on them. I am very concerned with proper husbandry techniques and am continualy learning to give my captives the best life possible. I hope this will be a living document and will be updated/amended to provide the most accurate and up to date information available. However this is not an answer sheet. Your monitor, your set-up, and your habits are not similar to mine. This is a rough guide that is designed to point you in the right direction. Your answers can be found in your monitors, you just need to listen to what they tell you.

I would like to thank Adam Britton, the Author ofThe Crocodilian FAQ for both inspiring this FAQ and allowing me to borrow a similar format.

Graphic Design courtesy of Andy Sohoza.

Thanks to Roman Diaz for helping create the new forum.

I would also like to thank everybody on the monitor forum for their support and invaluable information.

Good Luck.