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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Clouded Monitor
   
   

Fig 1
 


Fig 2
 

Fig 3


Fig 4


Fig 5


Fig 6
 

Family : VARANIDAE
Species : Varanus nebulosus
Size (snout to vent) : 60 cm
Size (total length) : 1.5 metres

This is a medium-sized monitor which can reach 1.5 metres in total length, but specimens of this size are uncommon. Similar in appearance to the Malayan Water Monitor Varanus salvator, it is distinguished by the position of the nostrils which lie mid-way between the eye and snout.  

Its colouration comprises yellow spots on a brown-grey base. This mainly terrestrial species can be found in habitats as diverse as scrubland and rainforest, but is generally encountered as it digs amongst leaf litter searching for beetles and other insects. It may also be spotted clinging high up on tree trunks or exploring tree holes: its sharp claws make it an excellent climber.

This species occurs in Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Java and Sumatra.


Fig 1 : A juvenile emerges from a hole in a coconut tree into the early morning sun, on Pulau Ubin, Singapore.

Fig 2 : Adult climbing high into the trees at Kampong Trail, Singapore.

Fig 3 : Close-up of the head of a specimen from Singapore's central forests.

Fig 4: : Juvenile at Langkawi, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 5 : Close-up of juvenile at Macritchie, Singapore.

Fig 6 : Adults have fearsome claws: seen at Bukit Timah, Singapore.


References : H1, H2