Conservation Education and Science
Animal Facts & Photos  
Black Tree Monitor
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Varanus beccarii
ORDER: Squamata
FAMILY: Varanidae
RANGE: Aru Islands (off of the coast of New Guinea)
HABITAT: Mangrove Forests, inland forests, and palm plantations
DIET: Predominately invertebrates
ENEMIES: Snakes, lizards, introduced foxes, and humans
Status: Threatened due to small range and deforestation

The Black Tree Monitor is highly adapted to life in the trees. It has long, curved claws, a streamlined body, and a long prehensile tail. This species can obtain a maximum length of 3 feet, with the tail making up over half of the total length. Its black coloration allows it to blend in with its surroundings and warm up quickly, reducing the amount of time spent basking.

Relatively nothing is known about the ecology of this animal in the wild. In captivity, females typically deposit 2-6 eggs throughout the year. Small, boldly-marked hatchlings emerge 250 days later. This pattern will soon fade to the uniformly black coloration of the adult. They reach sexual maturity within a couple of years.