Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Salvator Water Monitor

Varanus salvator


To 3.21 meters long. Snout to base of tail is up to 1.1 meters. A massive, intimidating lizard, one of the largest in the world. The heaviest individuals can weigh over 50 kilograms. Body is grey to black, often with varying spots and chain patterns of yellow-to-tan that fade with age. Neck is long and head is long and somewhat flattened. Has a notably large forked tongue that it often extends to sense its environment. Tail is higher than it is wide and very strong. Underbelly is somewhat lighter than rest of body.


As their name implies, Water Monitors are almost always found near water, including rivers, lakes, swamps, canals, and beaches. As long as water is available they can be seen in a wide variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, mangrove swamps, islands, and agricultural areas. They are most common in coastal regions and become increasingly rare the further inland you go. They are very good swimmers and are known to swim long distances in the ocean, which can lead to the colonization of new islands. They are also good climbers and are often seen resting in trees at heights up to 10 meters. The Water Monitor has adapted well to urban environments and can often be seen in Bangkok’s parks, canals, and garbage dumps.


spotted in a very dirty water channel in Bangkok.

1 Species ID Suggestions

Salvator Water Monitor
Varanus salvator Water Monitor | Reptiles and Amphibians of Bangkok

Sign in to suggest organism ID


pamsai 9 years ago

thanks EnvUnlimited

pamsai 9 years ago

thanks ZebulonHoover for the ID...

Spotted by

กรุงเทพมหานคร, Thailand

Spotted on Mar 3, 2013
Submitted on Mar 4, 2013

Related Spottings

varanus Goanna (monitor) tracks Southeast Asian Water Monitor Blue Spotted Tree Monitor

Nearby Spottings

Common or Striped Tiger (male) Crambid Moth Oriental Magpie Robin Branded Swift
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team