Argus Monitor Lizard – Ultimate Guide To Ownership

An argus monitor lizard needs to live in the right-sized enclosure, eat a healthy diet, and get enough calcium in order to live a long life. Finding a monitor lizard for sale online is simple enough, but getting hold of the right information to help you look after it is a challenge.

How must you look after your monitor lizard?

In this article, we have put together a complete guide that will walk you through the best monitor lizard care. Take a look.

Key Takeaway:

An argus monitor lizard will live for 15 to 20 years in captivity. To look after yours, feed it insects, fish, and rodents every 2 to 3 days. Keep it in an 8x4x4″ enclosure with 2 feet of substrate for digging. Keep the temperature in the enclosure between 80 and 90°F.

Not sure how to look after a monitor lizard or an earless monitor lizard?

Then you’ll find a great guide to keeping these reptiles happy and healthy coming up next in this article.

argus monitor lizard

Argus Monitor

You’ve just seen an Argus monitor for sale online. You want to give this reptile a home, but you’re not sure how to.

Keeping an argus monitor as a pet or preparing it for captive breeding is not always easy. Not many people have these reptiles as pets and it is tricky to find reliable information about them.

Take a look at the following argus monitor lizard guide below that will provide you with the best tips about looking after this reptile.


Monitor lizards have long lifespans and being aware of that will help you prepare to give these pet reptiles long-term care.

The average lifespan of the argus monitor lizard in captivity is 15 to 20 years.

During the course of its life, you must take the lizard to a vet that specializes in exotic animals at least once a year for a checkup. The vet will ensure the lizard’s health is ok and take fecal samples to check for the presence of parasites.

Taking out an insurance plan for your reptile is a good idea, as the price for individual visits for such an animal is expensive.

Food and Feeding Schedule

Giving your monitor lizard the correct diet is essential to its health and well-being. Here is a list of foods that these reptiles consume.

  • Insects and invertebrates like crickets and super worms
  • Fish
  • Rodents including mice and rats
  • Crabs
  • Small birds like day-old quail and chicks
  • Dwarf monitors

Monitor lizards are opportunistic hunters, so they will eat road kill in the wild.

Monitor lizards are unique pets and you do not need to feed them every day. They may look for food every time you approach their enclosure, but you must only feed them every 2 or 3 days.

Monitor lizards that you have for the purpose of captive breeding must eat every day. They will continue to grow and breed as long as you feed them regularly and keep them warm enough.

Monitor lizards become quite excited when it comes to dinner time. Keep yourself safe by wearing thick gloves when giving them their food.

Enclosure Size

Monitor lizards must live in the right size enclosure. Here are the dimensions for the best enclosure.

  • 8 feet long
  • 4 feet wide
  • 4 feet high
  • 2 feet of substrate material for your pet to bury into

These are just the minimum requirements. The bigger the enclosure the better, if you have room for a larger enclosure, get one.

Monitor lizards are ground-dwelling reptiles, so they need lots of room for crawling.

This species loves to dig large burrows in the ground with its long sharp claws. That’s why it needs at least 2 feet of substrate material to dig into in captivity.

Make their substrate material out of a mixture of clean dirt, soil, and commercial reptile substrate.

An enclosure with three solid walls and a mesh wall for ventilation will ensure your reptile stays healthy and safe in its new habitat. Since monitor lizards are avid diggers, your enclosure must be very secure or your pet will escape.

Put hollow logs inside the enclosure to help mimic the nature environment of your pet. Hollow logs are best as they are not too heavy for monitor lizards to move about and dig around.

Light rocks, decorative stones, and sheets of wood also make good additions to the enclosure. These make the environment feel more like the lizard’s natural habitat and they also provide hiding places for it.


Key Takeaway:

For your monitor lizard to stay healthy and avoid metabolic bone disease, its body temperature must stay within optimal range. The temperatures in their enclosures must be between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Monitor lizards in captivity must have access to a basking spot as they like to bask every morning and throughout the day to keep themselves warm. To ensure your basking spot gives your reptiles the environment they need, change your UVB bulbs once every 6 months.

The basking spot must be between 115 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ensure one end of the enclosure is warmer than the other. Put hiding places in both the cool and the warm end of the enclosure so your reptile can dig and hide wherever it feels comfortable.

Keep thermometers on the sides of the enclosure to ensure the temperatures are always optimal.

a man holding a argus monitor lizard

Looking After Earless Monitor Lizards

Earless monitor lizards (Lanthanotus borneensis) are semi-aquatic reptiles related to monitor lizards. These lizards are native to Southeast Asia, specifically the island of Borneo.

Do you have an earless monitor lizard as a pet?

Then coming up next, we’re going to discuss how to look after these animals so they can live healthy, happy lives.


How long the earless monitor lives is currently unknown. Even still, there are several cases where these animals have thrived for over a decade in captivity.

Taking your pet to the vet regularly (at least once a year) and checking on it continually will ensure it lives a long life.

Food and Feeding Schedule

Your semi-aquatic reptile will be happy when you give it the right food to eat. Here is a list of food that is best for earless monitor lizards.

  • Invertebrates such as earthworms and mealworms
  • Crustaceans like squid and shrimp
  • Fish
  • Amphibians such as tadpoles
  • The yolk from the eggs of a green sea turtle
  • Baby mice
  • Mussels
  • Pig and chicken liver

You must give your monitor lizard in captivity calcium supplements to ensure its bones stay strong and healthy. But do not give it too much calcium as this can lead to kidney stones and heart and liver problems for your reptile.

Earless monitor lizards are not your run-of-the-mill pets and do not need feeding every day. You must feed them once or twice a week.

Sometimes, your monitor lizard will go for even longer periods than just a few days without eating, but this is normal.

Enclosure Size

The earless monitor lizard is a large reptile that needs lots of space to move about in its enclosure. Here are the minimum size requirements for its enclosure.

  • 6 feet long
  • 2 feet wide
  • 4 feet high

Earless monitor lizards are nocturnal animals that love to spend time in and around water. They also spend a lot of time in burrows.

Your earless monitor lizard might stay underwater for hours on end, only coming to the surface of the water periodically to breathe. This is normal behavior.


Earless monitor lizards originate from warm climates and need these balmy temperatures to survive. The temperatures inside your earless monitor lizard’s enclosure must be between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

FAQs About The Monitor Lizard

We love reptiles and we think that monitor lizards are some of the best monitors in the world.

Are you ready to find out more about it?

Then check out the answers below to some of the most asked questions about this species.

What Type of Lizard Is the Monitor Lizard?

The monitor lizard is a reptile of the Varanus genus.

The title monitor lizard is often used to refer to the yellow-spotted monitor (Varanus panoptes). But it is also often used to refer to the 80 species of lizards in the Varanus genus.

Among these 80 species are some very popular monitor lizards such as Komodo dragons, savannah monitors, and various water monitors.

How Big Are Hatchling Monitor Lizards?

Monitor lizard hatchlings measure between 10 and 12 inches long.

You will be able to tell the difference between a hatchling and an adult, not just by its size but by its skin. The skin of a hatchling monitor lizard has brighter colors and more patterns than an adult.

Their background colors are off-white to yellow or yellow-green when they hatch. Some hatchlings have dark reddish-brown dorsal markings.

Do Monitor Lizards Like Handling?

No, in general, monitor lizards do not like it when their owners handle them. These are show animals and are best left alone.

These are solitary animals and do not need human companionship. They do not live with other monitor lizards in the wild and only come together to mate.

You must take caution when you go to feed your monitor lizard as they have claws and could unintentionally harm you when attempting to grab food. Monitor lizards learn quickly and will speedily run to the entrance of an enclosure when it is meal time.

FAQs About the Earless Monitor Lizard

There is so much we can learn about the earless monitor lizard (Lanthanotus borneensis).

Where did it get its name and where do these reptiles live?

Let’s find out.

Do Earless Monitor Lizards Have Ears?

Earless monitor lizards are capable of hearing but this rare species does not have an ear opening or visible external ears. But don’t worry, this lizard is not deaf and is very much aware of its surroundings!

Where Do Earless Monitor Lizards Live?

In the wild, earless monitor lizards (Lanthanotus borneensis) are native to the island of Borneo in Asia. You will find them from Sarawak in east Malaysia to western and northern Kalimantan in Indonesia.

Their natural habitat consists of agricultural lands such as palm oil plantations and rice paddies. Their most common habitats are lowlands, rainforests, and rocky streams.

What Does the Earless Monitor Lizard Look Like?

The earless monitor lizard has short limbs, small eyes, semi-transparent eyelids, and scales all over its body. The upper half of its body is orangey-brown.

As its name suggests, it doesn’t have visible ear openings.

How Can You Tell Male and Female Earless Monitors Apart?

Male and female earless monitors are very similar. From 3 years old and up, it becomes easier for you to tell the two apart.

The head of the male is normally broader than the female’s. The base of the male’s tail is also usually broader than the female’s.

Fun Facts About the Monitor Lizard

A monitor lizard is a less popular reptile pet than the snake and the tortoise but there is so much to learn about them. Check out the following facts to find out just why we love them.

  • Monitor lizards begin hatching after 170 to 200 days of incubating. A week before the hatchling reptiles emerge, the eggs will dimple or dent inwards.
  • The yellow-spotted monitor lizard is not on the conservation list for endangered species. But, the Panay monitor lizard is an endangered species because humans often hunt this reptile.
  • The monitor lizard will consume a variety of different insects and invertebrates as part of its diet. These include super worms, earthworms, mealworms, crickets, cockroaches, and any other insects and invertebrates.
  • Monitor lizards are very intelligent animals. They can spot a weakness in their enclosure and work their way out of it in no time! They run faster than humans and are very hard to catch once they work themselves free.

Fun Facts About Earless Monitor Lizards

a man holding a argus monitor lizard 1

Do you love reptiles as much as we do? Are you ready to find out even more interesting facts about some of the best monitors in the world?

Then check out the following gobsmacking facts about earless monitor lizards.

  • Earless monitor lizards have prehensile tails like chameleons. This species can use its tail to hold onto objects. It might use its tail to stabilize itself underwater and stop itself from being swept away by currents of water in its natural habitat.
  • The earless monitor lizard is the only species in the Lanthanoidae family that is not currently extinct. That makes these lizards really and truly unique.
  • The earless monitor lizard is part of the Lanthanotus genus. The name of the genus when translated means “hidden ear”. This is because this species, although it can hear, does not have an ear opening or a visible external ear.
  • The earless monitor lizard can lose its tail. But once it does, its tail does not regenerate as is the case with other animals.
  • The earless monitor lizard oscillates its throat like frogs do and it flicks its forked tongue like snakes do. These are some of the quirky traits we are so fond of with this species.
  • The earless monitor lizard is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) endangered species list. It is illegal to collect the species from the wild. Loss of habitat greatly affects this lizard population as forests on the island of Borneo are constantly being replaced with plantations.
  • Mating between a male and female earless monitor lizard takes place in the water.

The Best Care For Your Monitor Lizard

Although it’s not tricky to find monitor lizard pets for sale online, what is hard is finding tips on how to look after these exotic pets. Thankfully though, this article has gone through everything you need to take care of these interesting reptiles.

To look after a monitor lizard you must feed it insects, invertebrates, rodents, and calcium supplements. Keep it in a 6x2x4 foot enclosure with sufficient ventilation.

Maintain the environment between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Did you find this article interesting?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best articles about monitoring lizards and how to best take care of these exotic pets. For more information about how to look after your pet turtle, snake, or tortoise, check out our website.

Thanks for reading!

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