Timor Monitor (Spotted Tree Monitor)

The Timor Monitor or Spotted Tree Monitor, Varanus timorensis, is a species of small lizard native to Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia. More specifically they are found on the islands of Timor, Savu and Rote in Indonesia. They are found in Samoa in southern New Guinea, and in North territory, Queensland, West Australia.

The Timor Monitor is generally a dark green or almost black in color, with bright gold-yellow spotting all along its back and a lighter straw-yellow coloring on its underside. They have a pointed nose, excellent eyesight, sharp teeth, and a long tail. They also have long, sharp claws well suited for climbing. The species grows to a length of 20-28 inches.

Their diet consists of insects, scorpions, small rodents, and other reptiles, such as geckos and small snakes. Breeding takes place from December to March, and clutches of up to 11 eggs are laid and incubated for three to four months, depending on the average temperature.

Photo by LA Dawson