Zoo Animals

Emerald monitor

Varanus prasinus

At the Detroit Zoo
The emerald monitor can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the Detroit Zoo. There, visitors can learn about the 80 different species (and approximately 240 individuals) of reptiles at the Zoo, one-fifth of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.

Description
The emerald monitor is bright green with black cross bars down its back. It can be seen with or without light blue flecks and has a light to dark-yellow throat and belly. As an arboreal monitor, its long, linear body and limbs, along with its fully prehensile tail, black rubbery foot pads and sharp needle-like nails, make it well suited for a life in the trees.

Fun Facts

  • The tail of the monitor is prehensile and works like a fifth foot. The reptile sleeps in the branches, holding on with one or two claws and its tail wrapped around a branch.