kids encyclopedia robot

Mitchell's water monitor facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Mitchell's water monitor
Varanus mitchelli.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification

Mitchell's water monitor (Varanus mitchelli) is a semiaquatic species of monitor lizard in the family Varanidae. The species is native to Australia.


The specific name, mitchelli, as well as the common name, Mitchell's water monitor, are in honor of Australian herpetologist Francis John Mitchell (1929–1970) of the South Australian Museum.


Varanus mitchelli reaches a total length of up to 70 cm (28 in). It is generally dark in colour and has many small yellow spots or dark-centered ocelli.

Geographic range

Mitchell's water monitor is found in the north part of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.


The preferred habitats of V. mitchelli are swamps, lagoons, inland rivers, and other bodies of water. It often is found on trees close to the water. It prefers to shelter in tree hollows and under bark. In the wild, V. mitchelli will make for water if it is disturbed.


Varanus mitchelli is oviparous.

In captivity

In captivity, Mitchell's water monitor is reported to be very nervous and shy. It is extremely uncommon in captivity.


Mitchell's water monitor preys on smaller animals of both terrestrial and aquatic origin. Its prey includes: smaller lizards, small mammals, nestling birds, reptile eggs and terrestrial invertebrates (orthopterans, arachnids, beetles etc.). Aquatic prey include: fish, crabs and frogs.

  • Ávalos, J. de & Martínez Carrión, P. (1997). "Warane". Reptilia (Münster) 2 (5): 16–21. (in German).
  • Bennet, D.F. (2003). "Australische Warane". Reptilia (Münster) 8 (5): 18–25. (in German).
  • Bennet, D.F. (2003). "Australian Monitors". Reptilia (Great Britain) (30): 12–19.
  • Bonetti (2002). 100 Sauri. Milan: Mondadori. 192 pp. (in Italian).
  • Bustard, H.R. (1970). Australian Lizards. Sydney: Collins. 162 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. (2000). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Sixth Edition. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Publishing. 808 pp.
  • De Lisle, H.F. (1996). Natural History of Monitor Lizards. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing.
  • Eidenmüller, B. (2007). "Small monitors in the terrarium". Reptilia (GB) (50): 12–19.
  • Mertens, R. (1958). "Bemerkungen über die Warane Australiens". Senckenberg. Biol. 39: 229–264. (Varanus mitchelli, new species, p. 256). (in German).
  • Storr, G.M. (1980). "The monitor lizards (genus Varanus Merrem, 1820) of Western Australia". Records of the Western Australian Museum 8 (2): 237–293.
  • Swanson, S. (1976). Lizards of Australia. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. 80 pp.
  • Wilson, Steve; Swan, Gerry (2013). A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia, Fourth Edition. Sydney: New Holland Publishers. 522 pp. ISBN: 978-1921517280.
kids search engine
Mitchell's water monitor Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.