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Lizards & Crocodilians


Lizards & Crocodilians of Singapore

The Malayan water monitor (Varanus salvator), which can reach a length of 3 metres, is the most prevalent monitor lizard among the three found in Singapore. The other two species, the rarest of which is the Dumeril's monitor (Varanus dumerilii) and the cloudy monitor lizard (Varanus nebulous), can reach lengths of 1 to 1.5 metres. Most monitor lizards are carnivorous, although some also eat carrion. Forests, mangrove swamps, and even artificial canals all contain it.

Significant Ecological Functions

  • reduction of the number of prey Insects, crabs, snakes, fish, and other creatures are just a few of the many different types of food that monitor lizards eat. By controlling the number of their prey, they also provide food for larger predators (eg. crocodiles).

  • Maintain the habitat: They are crucial scavengers in the recycling and breakdown of biomass.

Most Common Types of Lizards

The three most prevalent types of lizards in Singapore are:​​

  • Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus)

  • Malayan Water Monitor (Varanus salvator)

  • Dumeril's Monitor (Varanus dumerili)


Monitor Lizards can grow to a length of over 1.5m - 2m, and have powerful and long muscular tails, which can be used as a form of defence when threatened. Monitor lizards are mostly carnivorous and scavenge on carrion. They can be found in mangrove, forests and even our man-made canals. 

Do monitor lizards have poison?
Contrary to popular opinion, most lizards do have venomous glands. The monitor uses its venom to kill its little preys (symptoms include fast swelling, a reduction in blood pressure, and the inhibition of blood clotting), but it only affects people in relatively moderate ways.


Do they pose a threat?
They prefer to avoid people since they are inherently bashful. They are generally timid and won't attack unless provoked.

Get in touch!

128 Tuas South Ave 3, #06-03

JTC Space @ Tuas Biomedical Park, Singapore 637370

Tel: (+65) 8810 3699


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