Clouded Monitors!

Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus), observed digging and foraging for food in the soil. Image was taken in Hindhede Nature Park.

Often mistaken for its much larger cousin, the Komodo Monitor (the reactions are truly hilarious sometimes), the Clouded Monitor is one of the three monitor species that can be found here in Singapore. All three are native species.

It’s quite the versatile lizard – being observed in both forest and altered habitats like our parks and gardens all over Singapore. Their secret? Be opportunistic! It eats pretty much whatever it can find, wherever it finds it. Clouded Monitors use their shovel-like snout and sharp claws to dig around soil to look for small animals like insects, worms and reptiles.

These guys don’t just hang around on the forest floor, though! They are known to be partially arboreal, which means that they spend quite some time hanging out up in the trees as well! They have been observed resting in tree holes and stealing bird eggs from nests for a quick an easy snack on occasion.

Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus) basking in the morning sun. Image was taken in Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Most of the time though, you’ll probably only see them when they do stuff like this! They’re not very shy creatures, and don’t seem to care much about humans until they get too close. This guy here is basking in the morning sun, warming up its body for the day. They are diurnal creatures, which means they are active during the day and sleep at night.

Despite how common they are, not much is understood about their life cycle or territorial behaviors. They are usually observed alone, though, so it can be said that they are typically solitary creatures.

the goodest boi. Image was taken in Wild Africa, Singapore Zoo.
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