Common Name : Bosc or Savannah Monitor
Scientific Name    : Varanus exanthematicus

Given the name Bosc Monitor after the French Scientist Louis Bosc they are also known as the Savannah Monitor. They have powerful limbs and sharp claws to help with digging and climbing and are normally a dark orange or green with ovals over their bodies and a powerful stripy tail. They tend to have a stocky build, box-like head, and large scales covering the neck and back for defense.

Adult Size

Adult sizes vary between 2.5ft - 5ft including the tail with most being around the 3ft mark. There is little difference between the male and female in size or colour making it difficult to sex them.

Life Span

They usually live 12-15 years old, but if kept in the correct conditions you should be prepared to have a long lived friend as they can be known to live between 20-30 years!


Found in the hot arid conditions of the Savannah in Africa they are mainly found in burrows on the ground and sometimes in bushes and low trees.


Breeding Bosc's in captivity is very rare. As there is very little to distinguish their gender you will need to be 100% that you are putting a male with a female as 2 males will just fight. After mating the female will lay between 8-50 eggs which should then be incubated at 29C for 169-194 days. After this time they should start hatching.


Bosc Monitors mainly eat a combination of crickets, locusts, mealworm and roaches. They love snails and can also be given shellfish such as oysters and crabs. Remember to be careful with amounts when feeding your Bosc as they can become obese if the correct diet and exercise balance is not met. This can be counteracted by meals that are small but often.


The Bosc Monitor is definantly not a beginners pet. They have a number of defenses which include hiding, running away, acting shy or docile (limp), closing their eyes and playing dead, tail whipping and eventually biting or hissing. Due to their large size it is probably best not to have them for small children, but using the correct techniques you will be able to tame your Bosc. This can be done by offering food and letting the Bosc come to you rather than invading its space.


Bosc monitors tend to be solitary animals so it is best to keep them on their own to keep stress levels to a minimum.


As always the basic minimum rule of 2 times the lizard long and 1 x the lizard wide applies. Ideally for an adult the enclosure should be 6ft long x 3ft wide x 5ft tall. You will need 2ft of soil/sand mix for your substrate so your Bosc can create a burrow and it would also be an idea to have a pool of water aswell so your Bosc can swim when he wants to.


A Bosc Monitor will need a range of temperature in its enclosure to help it self regulate its body temperature. The best way of doing this is to create a gradient temperature of 24C in the cool section upto 29C-32C in the warm section and the basking area at 36-38C. At night the temperature should be around 20C but don't let it drop below 15C. Humidity levels should be at a minimum of 40%, don't get confused and think that this reptile likes desert conditions, in the wild they are more active in the wet season.


To ensure your Bosc is getting the correct levels of D3 which helps all reptiles absorb calcium it is advised they have a UVB bulb for 12 hours of the day W. We recommend the Arcadia 14% dragon light You will need to follow the instructions precisly that come with the lamps as if the light is too close or too far away it can greatly affect the amount of ultra violet radiation your reptile receives and absorbs.


Daily tasks include spot cleaning the enclosure and providing fresh drinking water. F10 disinfectant or Ark kelns is excellant for cleaning your viv but you must make sure to thoroughly clean the enclosure before putting your pet back in.

What will I need?

- An enclosure measuring 36” x 18” x 24” (90cm x 45cm x 60cm) for babies such as the Exo Terra Terrarium increasing to 6ft long, 3ft deep and 5ft high for adults.
- A soil/coco brick and sand mixture for subtrate
- An Exo Terra desert heat mat measuring 26cm x 28cm
- A light holder such as the Exo Terra Glow Lamp
- A 100W  daylight basking spot bulb
- An Arcadia 14% Dragon t5 UVB and UVB starter unit
- At least 2 hides (cool and warm hides)
- A feeding dish and water dish
- A thermostat to regulate temperature (I-stat compacts are recomended)
- A thermometer to check temperature
- A hygrometer to check humidity
- A large water bowl for you monitor to soak in