Mertens' Water Monitor

Mertens' Water Monitor

Check out Australia Zoo’s Mertens’ Water Monitor!

Don’t miss our awesome lizards right here at Australia Zoo. You can spot the magnificent Mertens’ water monitor all day long. They are frequently observed sun baking and exploring their home, so keep your camera ready!

 

Mertens Water Monitor zoomed in to show detail of neck and head.

 

These water-loving monitors are found throughout northern Australia, frequenting water ways such as rivers, creeks, billabongs and lagoons.

 

These impressive reptiles are perfectly designed for aquatic hunting! They are able to close their nostrils under water and with their long powerful tail, they propel themselves forward in search of fish, frogs and crabs! On land, they can also prey upon small mammals, birds, eggs and even insects.

 

Mertens Water Monitor laying on a rock facing the camera.

 

Their neutral, earthy colouration is perfect for camouflaging from prey and predators alike. When feeling threatened, they will slide into the water to seek refuge under logs and rocks. They can hold their breath underwater for an impressive 30 minutes. Crikey!

 

Mertens Water Monitor laying on a big rock with tongue out.

 

The Mertens’ water monitor is well adapted to the harsh northern Australian environment. However, they are unfortunately threatened by the introduction of species such as the toxic cane toad. One bite of a toad by a monitor will spell death for the lizard.  Sadly, this beautiful reptile is considered an endangered species.

  • Class of animal icon
    Class

    Reptilia

  • Genus of animal icon
    Genus

    Varanus

  • Species of animal icon
    Species

    mertensi

  • height of animal icon
    Length

    1 metre

  • weight of animal icon
    Weight

    380 grams

  • diet of animal icon
    Diet

    Carnivore

  • gestation of animal icon
    Incubation

    3 - 6 months

  • threatened species status of animal icon
    Status

    Endangered