blue spotted tree monitor

drunkenwhaleer  asked:

if u r not overwhelmed by the show me series can u show me some rlly cool not very known lizards!! extra points if its a predatory one!! or even rlly known snakes r good too!

OK so this is a really cool one. Meet the blue-spotted tree monitor, Varanus macraei!

This gorgeous creature has the most restricted range of any monitor in the world. Found only on the island of Bantata, it’s a relatively unknown species. It was only defined in 2001 and not a lot of work has been done on it since. This species does not yet have a well-established captive breeding population, and like so many other Indonesian species is at risk of habitat destruction. This is compounded by its tiny range; Bantata is only about 173 square miles! 

What we do know is that it is a lithe hunter and is extremely deft at climbing; its tail is prehensile to help it maneuver up and down trees. This tail is extremely long, almost double the length of the body.

This gorgeous little predator hits about three feet in length, making it fairly large for a tree monitor. It is the largest in its group of closely related species by only a little bit, but far and away it’s the most beautiful!

Image sources: 1, 2, 3