Cape Banded White Throat Monitor

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   The white-throated monitor (Varanus albigularis albigularis) is a lizard found in southern Africa. They are usually gray-brown with yellowish or white markings, and can reach up to 2 meters (6.6') in length. They are found in Southern Africa, northwards to Angola, Zambia, and Mozambique.


   Varanus albigularis albigularis are generalists, feeding opportunistically on a broad variety of prey in the wild. Tortoises make up a significant part of their diet, and are swallowed whole due to the hard shell. Otherwise, they consume very little vertebrate prey, eating primarily invertebrates, especially millipedes, beetles, molluscs and orthopterans. Millipedes for example form nearly a quarter of their diet; the monitors are apparently resistant to its poisonous secretions. Although not averse to occasionally scavenging the corpses of vertebrate prey, even those as large as vervet monkeys, such prey seems usually too fast to catch for these monitors. This contrasts with what is often a diet of mostly vertebrates in captivity, such as rodents or poultry.

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