Blue Tail Monitor (Varanus doreanus) Care Sheet

Blue tail monitors are found on New Guinea and some of the surrounding islands.  These lizards are closely related to the peach throat monitor and the mangrove monitor.  Each of the three species of monitor lizards utilizes different habitats in New Guinea.  Blue tail monitors can usually be found near open forests, riverbanks, and fallen trees.  Sub-adult and juvenile blue tail monitors can be found in trees, while adults are typically found on the ground.  With proper feeding, blue tail monitors grow quickly and adults can reach 4-5 feet in total length.  With proper care blue tails can live 10-15 years in captivity.  Like most monitors, blue tails are nervous captives and may take some time to tame down.  Ideally, the cage should include multiple hiding spots to provide a sense of security. 

Temperature and UV Lighting

Blue tail monitors should be maintained between 85-90 degrees with a basking spot of 95 degrees. At night the temperature can drop to 75 degrees. Hours of daylight should be 12L/12D during a 24 hour period.  Humidity should also be maintained at 70%-90%.  UVB lighting is not a must for monitors, but is recommended.  UVB lighting enables reptiles to metabolize calcium, by creating Vitamin D3. However, because their diet consists of rodents and other live prey, they can usually receive enough D3 and calcium through their diet. The bones of the prey will provide calcium, while the liver will provide Vitamin D3. Also it is very important to change your UVB light every 6-8 months, after this time the light stops producing adequate UVB.  If you’re not sure if your UV light is still producing UVB, bring it in and we’ll be happy to test the light for you.


Baby blue tail monitors can be kept in a 29 gallon vivarium but they grow quickly and will soon need larger housing.  Adult blue tail monitors should be kept in a vivarium that is at least 6’ x 2’ x 4’. 


Our recommendation for bedding is bark or coconut bark, this bedding holds moisture very well and duplicates their natural environment. 


Blue tail monitors are opportunistic hunters and are known to eat almost anything.  Ideal foods are; mice, rats, fish, crawdads, crickets, superworms, nightcrawlers, beef heart, and hard boiled eggs.  A mixed diet of these food items, four to five times per week, is ideal and will ensure proper growth and health.


calcium and vitamin supplement should be put on all food that does not contain bones. When feeding your monitor mice, rats, or fish, no supplement is needed.