Varanus exanthematicus

Savannah Monitor

Varanus exanthematicus (Bosc, 1792)

Basic info

Common names
  • Bosc Monitor
  • Savannah Monitor
Species nameVaranus exanthematicus
Scientific nameVaranus exanthematicus (Bosc, 1792)
Varanus exanthematicus
Max SVL 29.5 inch

Further Reading

Temperatures & Season

Day time temperatures

Background summer30 - 40 °F
Background winter28 - 35 °F
Basking spot55 - 65 °F

Night time temperatures

Background summer23 °F
Background winter23 °F


Winter treatmentcooling
Photoperiod summer13 hours
Photoperiod winter11 hours


Microhabitats are specific small habitats that an organism inhabits within its broader environment. These can vary greatly depending on the species and can give us insights into the preferred living conditions of each reptile. Understanding these microhabitats can be key to providing the correct care for these animals in captivity.

  • Fossorial
  • Rocks, crevices or burrows
    Rocks, crevices or burrows
  • Grassland or savanna
    Grassland or savanna
  • Riparian or wetlands
    Riparian or wetlands

Ferguson Zones

Ferguson Zones are a way to classify the amount of UV light that reptiles are exposed to in their natural habitats. These zones help us understand and replicate their natural light conditions in captivity, promoting the health and wellbeing of the reptiles. Below, we detail the specific Ferguson Zones of the Chinese Water Dragon, along with recommendations for replicating these conditions

The Ferguson Zones in which the Savannah Monitor has been placed has been chosen based upon an assessment of its typical basking behaviour and likely microhabitat in the wild.

Open or partial sun basker
UVI range avarage: 1-2.6, UVI max recorded: 2.9-7.4
'Mid-day' open sun baskers
UVI range avarage: 2.6-3.5, UVI max recorded: 4.5-9.5

Recommended lighting methods in captivity

Sunbeam method

This method uses the 'Max UVI Recorded' value as a guide for the upper limit of the UVB gradient in captivity. This maximum should be the highest level which a Savannah Monitor can obtain at its closest approach to its UVB lamp. The highlighted area in the table below represents this range for the Savannah Monitor.


More in-depth information about Ferguson zones can be found here: https://jzar.org/jzar/article/view/150

Community collected distribution (865 occurrences)


These are the biomes the Savannah Monitor was found in. Click here to learn more about terrestrial ecoregions and biomes.

  • Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas and Shrublands
    Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas and Shrublands

    Click here for more information

  • Fl
    Flooded Grasslands and Savannas

    Click here for more information

More species to explore

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Varanus spenceri (Lucas & Frost, 1903)

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Kimberley Rock Monitor

Varanus glauerti (Mertens, 1957)

Lace Monitor

Varanus varius (Shaw, 1790)

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  1. Baines, F.M., Chattell, J., Dale, J., Garrick, D., Gill, I., Goetz, M., Skelton, T. and Swatman, M. 2016. How much UVB does my reptile need? The UV-Tool, a guide to the selection of UV lighting for reptiles and amphibians in captivity. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research. 4, 1 (Jan. 2016), 42–63. DOI:https://doi.org/10.19227/jzar.v4i1.150.
  2. Varanus exanthematicus (Bosc, 1792) in GBIF Secretariat (2021). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/39omei accessed via GBIF.org
  3. Bosc, L. Lacerta exanthematica.
  4. Blackwell, Publishing & Ltd, & Meiri, Shai. (2008). Evolution and ecology of lizard body sizes. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 17. 724-. 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2008.00414.x.
  5. iNaturalist. Available from https://www.inaturalist.org
This website is created by Jefrim Keijzer | All species