Desert Monitor


Name: Desert Monitor

Scientific name: Varanus griseus

Synonym: Varanus scincus

Type: Diurnal lizards

Family: Varanidae

Nature Reserves: Irkaya


This is the largest lizard in Qatar and can reach a total length of more than one meter.
It is active during the day and can be found in open rocky areas with vegetation and in sandy areas. This is a solitary lizard and occupies large territories. It is a carnivorous hunter that eats other lizard species including the Dhub. The monitor also eats birds, eggs and carrion. Females lay eggs in deep burrows. This was an abundant species in Qatar but now it is difficult to see

World Distribution:

The species is distributed in North Africa and West and Central Asia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Arabian Peninsula, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and India

Conservation status:

It is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List

Scientific publications:

This is a very well studied species in other countries over its range. We have found 266 international scientific publications about ecology, physiology, behaviour, biogeography and genetics of the species. However, no information about the monitor lizard is available for Qatar

Similar species:

None in Qatar


Daudin, 1803