Emerald monitor

At the Detroit Zoo
The emerald monitor can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the park. There, visitors can learn about the 70 different species (and approximately 180 individuals) of reptiles at the Detroit Zoo, one-fifth of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.


The emerald monitor is bright green with black cross bars down its back. It can be seen with or without light blue flecks and has a light to dark-yellow throat and belly. As an arboreal monitor, its long, linear body and limbs, along with its fully prehensile tail, black rubbery foot pads and sharp needle-like nails, make it well suited for a life in the trees.


Scientific name: Varanus prasinus
Continent: Australia
Habitat: Rain and palm forests, mangrove swamps and cocoa plantations
Size: 24 to 36 inches
Weight: 10.5 ounces
Diet: Insects, birds and small mammals
Reproduction: Clutch of five eggs which hatch 160 to 190 days later
: 15 to 20 years
Conservation Status: Not assessed



The tail of the monitor is prehensile and works like a fifth foot. The reptile sleeps in the branches, holding on with one or two claws and its tail wrapped around a branch.