Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Asian Water Monitor

The Asian water monitor (Varanas salvator) has six subspecies. The nominate subspecies (V. s. salvator) is found only in Sri Lanka, where we saw it in Polonnaruwa. I've seen one other of the subspecies (V. s. komaini), the black water monitor, in Bangkok, Thailand. 
Water monitor emerging from a stream. 

This, and the previous photos, were taken by Judy. I've not been able to find my photos of this water monitor. 
Adult males will be between 5 and 6.5 feet long, but one in Sri Lanka got as large as 10.5 feet long. An adult male will commonly weigh about 43 pounds, but they can get as heavy as 110 pounds. They are the worlds second heaviest lizard, after the Komodo dragon. 
This photo, and those below, are screen shots from a video I took, which is at the bottom of the post. 

While eating at a restaurant near a small stream or canal near Polonnaruwa, this huge monitor came up out of the stream and lumbered around nearby. It went back in the stream then came up again later. It is one of the neatest things I've ever seen. My feeling was, forget the food, I want to watch the monitor. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, but how could you forget the food at that place? It was the best of our trip! I'd go back in a heartbeat--for the FOOD.