This detailed, comprehensive guide on blue tree monitor care will teach you about their housing, health, diet, behavior, and more!
The Blue Tree monitor is an arboreal lizard found on Batanta Island in Indonesia. They are sometimes referred to as the Blue Spotted tree monitor.
This vibrant lizard is not a good choice for beginners due to their specific care requirements.
Blue Tree Monitor Availability
Pricing is difficult for these guys as it varies dependant on country of purchase, age and sex of the lizard. The biggest effect on price is the vibrancy of the spots. The brighter the blue, the more expensive the lizard. Prices range from £300-£1000 in the UK, with similar variances in the US.
Blue monitors are not to be bought on a whim. They can easily live ten years or more in captivity.
The Blue tree monitor has a long, slender body, strong legs and large claws. Their head is smooth and elongated, with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. Their tail is 2/3 of the entire length of their body!
Size: these monitors are the largest of their species group V. prasinus. Adults will grow between 3 and 4 feet long.
Color: their vibrant coloration is what sets them apart from other monitor subspecies. Their body is either dark grey or black, but their body is covered in sky blue eye spots. These spots run right down their body, from snout to tail.
Blue Tree Monitor Morphs
There are no morphs of this species, however, breeders will try to breed lines with brighter spots or a bigger number of spots. This creates the illusion of a more colorful animal.
Blue Tree Monitor Housing Requirements
Housing for blue tree monitor care have some specific requirements in order to mimic their natural habitat.
You will need plenty of space to house a Blue tree monitor. With an expected adult size of 3 feet or more, their enclosure needs to be custom built. You can start hatchlings or juveniles in smaller vivariums, but you will need to upgrade as they grow. An adult monitor will need an enclosure at least 6ft long, 3ft wide and 3ft tall.
Heating and Lighting
You have a few options here. Smaller vivariums will be fine with a mercury vapor bulb which emits both heat and UVB light. For larger setups, you may feel that separate heat and lighting bulbs work better.
The ambient temperature of the enclosure should be 80-100°F/22-37°C, with the basking area being around 104°F/40°C. Heat pads are not suitable, as tree monitors absorb heat from above rather than the surface they are sitting on.
Tree monitors require a humidity of at least 80%. This can be provided in several ways. Misting with a spray bottle twice per day will maintain a high humidity, as will provide a water basin for your monitor to bathe in.
The substrate should be one that holds moisture such as cypress much or a rich soil. This will help to maintain the humidity and allow you to grow live plants in your setup. You may want to place a sheet of pond liner below your substrate to prevent mold or bacteria rotting the enclosure material.
Plants and Decorations
Vines will do well to cover the sides of the enclosure and prevent your monitor from hitting the sides and causing injury. You can also use other tropical plants to create a hide for your monitor when they want privacy.
Lots of branches of various sizes should also be added to create lots of connected perches throughout the enclosure.
The drinking water in the enclosure should be replaced daily and the bowl and water basin should be cleaned weekly to prevent bacteria. You should also rake through the substrate to remove any waste.
Blue Tree Monitors
Youngsters and juveniles are very nervous, so they should be handled very careful and introduced to human interaction slowly. You should never forced interaction on a lizard if they do not want it.
Blue Tree Monitor Health
Stress and poor enclosure conditions are the most common causes of illness. By maintaining good conditions and feeding a varied diet, your monitor shouldn’t suffer any significant ill health.
Common Health Issues: parasitic infections are common if you are feeding live food or if you take soil from outside for your substrate. You should do a fecal sample every 6months to check for parasites.
Low humidity can cause dehydration, stress and kidney damage. This can be prevented by remembering to mist daily and to provide water for bathing.
Healthy Signs: a health tree monitor will explore around the enclosure using the branches and will be eager to feed. As your monitor grows more confident, they will begin to seek attention from you.
Blue Tree Monitor Food & Diet
The bulk of your monitors diet should be leafy greens such as kale or spinach, along with bell peppers, apple, grapes or banana. Supplement their diet with protein rich foods such as locusts, crickets and mealworms. These foods should be dusted with calcium powder.
Behavior & Temperament
They are generally skittish as youngsters, but this tends to pass as they age.
Tree monitors are better kept as a single or part of a pair. You should never keep males together as they are territorial and can give extremely nasty bites.
Provided they have been handled appropriately, you monitor should be comfortable with human interaction and should get enrichment from spending time with you and visitors to your home.
Although they may not be as characterful as some other monitors, Blue spotted monitors are truly beautiful and will provide you with years of enjoyment and companionship.
Be prepared to upgrade their enclosure and do your research. Monitors grow quickly; within a year you will have a pet the size of a small toddler!