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

Rock monitor

Varanus albigularis


This is the heaviest-bodied lizard in Africa, as adult males average about 6 to 8 kg (13 to 18 lb) and females weigh from 3.2 to 5 kg (7.1 to 11.0 lb).[6][7][8] Large mature males can attain 15 to 17 kg (33 to 37 lb).[9] It is the second longest African lizard after the Nile monitor, Varanus albigularis reaches 2 meters (6 ft 7 in) in length, with its tail and body being of equal size.[10] Mature specimens more typically will measure 0.85 to 1.5 meters (2 ft 9 in to 4 ft 11 in).[7][9] The head and neck are the same length, and are distinct from each other.[11] Their bulbous, convex snouts give an angular, box-like appearance. Their forked tongues are pink or bluish,[11] and their scales are usually a mottled gray-brown with yellowish or white markings


This monitor ranges in these areas: Central Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo/Zaire), Southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola), the African Great Lakes (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania), and the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia).[11] It is found in a variety of dry habitats, including steppes, prairies, and savannahs, but is absent from desert interiors, rainforests, and thick scrub forests

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Jared Hersch
Spotted by
Jared Hersch

Sundays River Valley Local Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Spotted on Sep 9, 2014
Submitted on Sep 17, 2014

Related Spottings

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

Nearby Spottings

African Scops Owl Malachite Sunbird Brimstone Canary Pin Cushion


Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team