You are not alone if you’ve never encountered the earless monitor lizard. They are sporadic, and very little is known! It is a burrowing lizard that appears to spend a lot of time in the water. And its life history is unknown due to its extreme infrequency.

Earless monitor lizards are one-of-a-kind creatures that are occasionally kept as pets. However, because of their obscurity, there is a lot of misinformation floating around about earless monitor lizard care requirements.

Earless Monitor Lizard as the pet
Taxonomy Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Lanthanotidae
Common name: Borneo Earless Monitor

This article will inform you everything you need to know about caring for an earless monitor lizard- what they are and how they prefer! You’ll want to pay close attention to this!

(Know about caring for various species of pet snakes here)

Table of Contents

A Quick Look for Earless Monitor Lizards

Distinctive FeatureLack of evidence related to ear parts
HabitatLowlands near streams
ColorBrown, Orange
LifestyleSemiaquatic, Predator, Burrowing, Burrowing
PreyCrustaceans, fish, tiny frogs, worms, eggs
ThreatHabitat destruction and deforestation

Habitat of Earless Monitor Lizard

The Earless Monitor Lizard (Lanthanotus borneensis) is endemic to Borneo, where it dwells in lowland rainforest rocky streams and natural environments. Sarawak, East Malaysia, West-North Kalimantan, and Indonesia are some places well-known to these species.

It is commonly identified in lowlands near river valleys and marshes at elevations less than 300 m (1,000 ft). The flow path of streams determines this lizard’s abundant location. The primary habitat includes rainforests, water in burrows, agricultural land, seasoned fruit tree gardens, palm oil plantations, and paddy fields.

Its natural habitat is tropical, with air and water temperatures ranging from 22 to 29 degrees Celsius (72 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit), though captives are said to prefer 24-28 degrees Celsius (75-82 degrees Fahrenheit).

Earless Monitor Lizards’ Physical Appearance

Earless Monitor lizards resembling dragons

Earless monitor lizards grow to about half a meter in length. These brown lizards with many chunky and bumpy scales grab and hold dirt particles, making them difficult to identify in their natural habitat. Lanthanotus gets its common name from the absence of an external ear opening.

Even though the ear formations are fully developed beneath the skin, it does not appear to respond well to auditory stimuli. Its facial features have reduced eyes and nostrils, and it most likely relies on its tongue for chemosensory reception.

These creatures move through dirt and water with snakelike twisting gestures of their trunk and tail, using their blunt head to toss aside dirt.

Their skin’s keeled scales are shed infrequently, perhaps only once a year. There have been reports of skin shedding in one piece (similar to snakes) and smaller chunks.

The sexes are similar, but males have more prominent head and tail bases than females. The gender differences are visible as early as three years of age.

The behavior of Earless Monitor Lizard

Mostly solitary Earless monitor lizards will congregate in groups in regions with limited water supplies.

The Earless Monitor Lizard interacts by making soft squeaky vocalizations by swinging its throat (as frogs do) and flicking its forked tongue out (as snakes do). For the Earless Monitor Lizard, low-frequency sounds from the surface are more crucial than sounds carried in the air.

These creatures are aggressively territorial and choose large areas with an assured food supply and a strong probability of mating. A terrific way of living for Monitor earless lizards includes basking in the sun and hunting for prey. A perfect example of nocturnal animals!

Foods and diets of Earless Monitor Lizard

Young Borneo earless monitor eating a worm

They usually eat earthworms, crustaceans, and fish. They will consume fish, earthworms, squid, shrimp, tadpoles, and yolk from green sea turtle eggs, parts of the pig and chicken liver, baby mice, and mussels in confinement, but will not eat bird eggs or frog legs. Picky eaters!

Adults in captivity typically eat once or twice per week, but they can survive long without eating.

Earless Monitor Lizards’ Lifespan

There isn’t a lot of data available about the life expectancy of this semi-aquatic lizard species. Herpetology enthusiasts are still trying to find more about these species because they are still new and yet to be unraveled.

According to what we know, the average earless monitor lizard’s lifespan is between seven and a half and ten years. Some specimens were said to be over ten years old, but the veracity of those claims is still being debated.

It is impossible to predict how long an earless monitor lizard will survive. The best thing you can do is to offer the best care possible while also enjoying your time with this one-of-a-kind pet.

Always remember that you need to keep track of your earless monitor lizard’s living conditions, and diet increases his chances of survival.

Reproduction and Breeding in Borneo Earless Monitors

Hatchlings of earless monitor lizard

Because earless monitor lizards are hard to locate and monitor outdoors, little is known about their reproductive habits. In recent years, these lizards have been researched in captivity. A handful of details from successful breeding have been documented.

Earless monitor lizards take more than six months to hatch after fertilization. This period includes a gestation phase of roughly 130 days, as confirmed in 2015 by German naturalist and reptile expert Manfred Reisinger. Reisinger observed the mating behavior of an earless monitor pair in captivity. The female earless monitor lizard laid her eggs 131 days after the initial recorded mating session.

Captive breeding occurs among collectors who may have fraudulently obtained captured specimens smuggled as illegal pet trade worldwide.

As a result, little is known or released about the progress of juvenile earless monitor lizards. The same goes with their maturity age or other life cycle aspects.

Housing An Earless Monitor Lizard

Earless Monitors are exotic lifeforms that are simple to care for as long as their daily needs of housing, coziness, water, light, and nourishment are met. Here are some tips to help you house an Earless Monitor Lizard:

  • The Earless Monitor lizard requires food that is both balanced and nutrient-dense.
  • As for the housing needs, purchase a large and tall cage, which the size of your Monitor Lizard will determine as an adult. Always choose the largest cage available.
  • Including strong branches, cliffs, racks, ramps, and other decorations to enable your Earless Monitor Lizard to climb, explore, and unwind. Thus, it is essential to include a place for your Earless Monitor Lizard to hide and feel safe.
  • Monitor Lizards who enjoy swimming will necessitate a warm, paddling pool with ramps for straightforward entry and exit. You can use long UVB fluorescent bulbs with a wide coverage area.
  • Please include a substrate on the cage’s bottom. An appropriate substrate is a fusion of clean dirt and sand.

Health Issues for pet Earless Monitor Lizards

Earless Monitor lizard basking on the sun for UV

Most of the associated health problems that could affect your earless monitor lizard are related to its eating plan. Nutritional deficiencies are pervasive in all captive reptiles.

Calcium is the most severe offender, so much so that UV light exposure is required for these lizards to synthesize calcium properly.

They may develop metabolic bone diseases if they do not have sufficient calcium in their diet resulting in abnormal bone development, skeletal brittleness, and an increased likelihood of fractures.

Aside from dietary issues, health issues caused by an unsanitary environment are fatal for these lizards.

These lizards, like most reptiles, are susceptible to bacterial infections, respiratory tract infections, and parasites. Tidy the habitat regularly to keep bacteria and parasites at bay.

Threats and Conservation of Earless Monitors

Illegal wildlife trade is the most ongoing threat for Earless Monitor lizard done for trap pet trading and skin’s commercial trade.

Another dangerous threat to this species is habitat loss, as oil palm plantations rapidly supplant significant patches of Borneo jungles, affecting residing places and food items.

As earless monitor lizards are environmentally sensitive, a not clean habitat is enough to take their life.

The illegal wildlife trade has endangered the existence of earless monitor lizards and their closest relative, beaded lizards. The ones you see in the United States are probably not from legal international trade.

Its scarce information might be why IUCN red list has not listed earless monitor lizards under any conservation status.

Earless Monitor Lizards Fun Facts

Rare black earless monitor lizard
  • The lizard can slow its metabolism to the point where it appears comatose or nearly dead and can survive for extended durations without food, water, or fresh air.
  • On the occasion of floods and other water current-enhancing disasters, earless lizards can wrap their prehensile tail around stones, roots, and other underwater objects to keep them from being swept.
  • Earless monitor lizards can swallow prey while submerged underwater. They appear to be able to do so by draining water from their nostrils in the same way that turtles do.
  • The Earless Monitor prefers certain people over others; they also enjoy being stroked.

Earless monitor lizards are fascinating reptiles with distinct appearances. They are also very friendly and enjoyable to own! If you get one of these beauties, avoid agitating your lizard and return them to its enclosure if they show aggression.

However, since these babies are not legal pets, you might have difficulty getting your hands on one from an exotic animal dealer. The illegal trade of monitor species has been affecting the existence of a lizard native to Borneo.

Frequently Asked Questions about Earless Monitors

Are Earless Monitor Lizards Found In Numerous Geographical Locations?

Because the earless monitor lizard has an endemic range, it is not common in all geographical locations.

Are Earless Monitor Lizards Poisonous?

Researchers have discovered venom in the bites of earless monitor lizards. The venom secreted by mandibular glands is indeed poisonous. However, this venom is less impactful than other lizard species’ venom.

Who Do Earless Monitor Lizards Live With?

Although they have been observed living alone, the lizards occasionally live in groups.

How Do Earless Monitor Lizards Communicate?

They emit a soft, squeaking sound, sometimes like frogs, other times like snakes.

How Many Varieties Of Earless Monitor Lizards Exist?

There are only one known species of earless monitor lizard to date.

(Last Updated on November 6, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Shradha Bhatta holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Social Work along with a Post-graduate degree in Project Management from Georgian College in Canada. Shradha enjoys writing on various topics and takes pleasure in discovering new ideas. Her life’s mission is to make the world a better place for all beings.