All the information listed here is based on my own experience, please carry out your own research before attempting to replicate anything on this site.
Sometimes, being patient when looking for an animal really pays off. For several months now, I've been trying to source a species which has been on my so-called 'wish list' for a long time. Not content with one, I wanted a pair, and an unrelated one at that, so that down the line I could attempt some in-house captive breeding of my own.
My quest for these desirable creatures took me 8 hours of train travel and even a jaunt across Warrington on foot, in the dark, carrying a rather large polystyrene box. However, such struggles in life are definitely worth enduring, as I aquired a fantastic pair of Varanus tristis orientalis, the Australian Freckled Monitor, from fellow reptile keeper and monitor lizard enthusiast Andy Clugston. Andy was also kind enough to show me his reptile collection and enclosures, which are truly inspiring, and include several fantastic Blue Tree Monitors (Varanus macraei). It's not often I get the chance to look around other people's exotic pet collections and enclosures, so it was fantastic to see the work Andrew is doing, and the standard of care he provides.
Freckled Monitors (Varanus tristis orientalis) are a small aboreal species, native to Northern and Eastern Australia, and reach an adult length of up to 60cm. Luckily for me, Andy was looking to make space for other types of lizard, and just happened to have the unrelated pair I was after. At the moment, the female is still barely half the size of the male, being from a recent clutch which Andy has bred himself, so is being housed in a large ExoTerra vivarium to grow-on. The male however, is already 40-50cm long, and makes full use of his enclosure, which is decorated with lots of branches, cork, and a stacked plywood tower to provide a diverse temperature gradient (commonly known as a Rete's stack).
Both lizards are doing fantastically well, with their primary diet being Dubia cockroaches (Blaptica dubia), accompanied by the occasional side dish of mealworms, locusts, or pinkies. These new lizards also provide me with the opportunity to trial Arcadia's new 'mini' 80W mercury vapour bulb, alongside Nekton-MSA calcium/vitamin D3 supplement, and a weekly dose of zoo-grade liquid vitamin D3 which these lizards seem to be thriving on.
Elsewhere in the reptile room, 3 out of the 4 Honduran wood turtle (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima incisa) eggs that I discovered have proven fertile, with one due to hatch in the next few weeks. I have a couple of different designs for housing the hatchlings, which will feature in an impending update.
I hope you enjoy the photos, if you have any questions, pop me an email at the address below: