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Varanus acanthurus

Yellow ackies (Varanus acanthurus brachyurus) are native to a large area of northwestern Australia and inhabit a variety of arid/semi-arid habitats. They can be kept communally if brought up together from juveniles. They are excellent burrowers and if provided with an acceptable medium will construct extensive tunnels. They spend a good deal of the day basking, my basking spot is around 120 - 130 degrees F and the cool end of the cage is around 75 - 80.

In the wild they eat mostly insects, and also other lizards as they get older. Many monitors will also opportunistically feed on carrion, I would not be surprised if ackies would as well. My ackies are fed crickets daily, 2x a week the crickets are dusted with Miner-all and Herptivite. Occassionally (usually when I'm out of crickets) they get the San Diego Zoo's turkey diet or thawed pinkies. I try to stick mostly to crickets and pinkies, the turkey gives them loose smelly stools. They have a small area of the cage (on the cool side) that they use as a toilet, making it easy to scoop out their waste.

I bought my trio from Weis Reptiles as juveniles. They are supposed to be the Western Giant strain. One of them surely is giant, nice and fat and 22.5 inches total length. The other two are much smaller, they are less chunky and only 14 inches total length. I know I have at least one male and one female as they have produced one fertile egg. Sadly I screwed up the incubation (or the egg was weak) and even though it had a fully formed lizard inside it never hatched. For more on ackie breeding click here.

yellow ackie hatchlings

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