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Black Rough Neck Monitor. The
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The rough-necked monitor is one of the most fascinating varanids. It is also among the most poorly studied of the Asian species. This ancient-looking creature, very aptly described by Georg Horn as reminiscent of "a black knight from the Middle Ages", is very rarely seen in the wild, but whether this is on account of its rarity or because it is very secretive is not certain. The rough-necked monitor inhabits southern Thailand and Myanmar (Burma), Peninsular Malaysia, the islands of the Riau Archipelago, Borneo, Sumatra and Bangka. There are no definite reports of this species from Kampuchea, Laos or Vietnam, but traders claim to have received animals from central and northern Thailand and suggest that they may occur in neighbouring countries (Wong, pers. comm.).
Distribution — Rough-neck monitors are native to Indonesia.
Habitat — This is a highly arboreal species that frequents rainforest habitats.
Size — Adults grow to a length of 1.2-1.5 m (4-5 feet) 2/3 of which is tail.
Temperament — Rough-neck monitors are shy but relatively easy to handle. Unlike most other monitors found in the pet trade, they are very reluctant to bite or even whip their tails.
Longevity — This species lives about 10-15 years in captivity. However, the life expectancy may increase as husbandry improves and captive breeding becomes more common.
Common Name: Monitor - Black Roughneck
Other Common Names: Flute Monitor, Harlequin Monitor
Scientific Name: Varanus rudicollis (Full Taxonomy)
Origin or Range: Asia
Relative Size: Larger Than Average
(as compared to other lizards)
Average Lifespan: 20 year(s)
(as compared to other lizards)
Category: Reptiles » Lizards
The Roughneck monitor inhabits the rainforest of southern Thailand and Myanmar (Burma), Peninsular Malaysia, the islands of the Riau Archipelago, Borneo, Sumatra and Bangka. In the wild, the Roughneck Monitor is shy, but during the rainy season their activity level increases, making them more visible.
There is no visible difference between the male and female Roughneck Monitors, which makes sexing them very difficult. Hatchling Roughnecks have bands of yellow and orange. These bands disappear with age. Adult Roughnecks will be darker in color with recognizable pointed scales on the backs of their necks. Adults from Thailand and Malaysia are often almost completely black, but adults from Borneo and Sumatra may be brighter in color.
Thank you for visiting The Dragon's Lair. This web site is dedicated to the captive husbandry of varanids. The information offered here was gathered through personal experience, much reading and talking with other keepers. Use it as one of the many tools you'll need to properly research the needs of these reptiles in captivity.
We have many other species documented in
similar fashion which are listed on our home page, in the 8. Links - Species Specificsection.