I am happy to declare that another wildlife appeared in my garden recently. Not sure whether it will take permanent residency or will be visiting the garden regularly to forage.
The intruder is a juvenile Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus), just around 40 cm long from the tip of its snout to the tip of its tail. Given time it can grow to 1.7 metres. Just as well it is not a Malayan Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) that can be nearly twice the length LINK.
The Clouded Monitor enters the garden through a small crack in the common wall with my next door neighbour. It does not come from this neighbour but his back neighbour whose house is on a lower level and was unoccupied for some months (see video above).
As the opening is directly behind the kitchen, my helper Estela Acierto was the first to detect its presence. Most of the time the lizard sits at the entrance with its snout just protruding out (above).
Once in a while it emerges when there is a chance of a meal (above). It feeds on small animals and as shown in the video (screen grab below), it snatched and ate a small terrestrial mollusc.
According to Baker & Lim (2008) the Clouded Monitor is normally seen in the Central Nature Reserve, Bukit Batok Nature Park, Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. The fact that it has invaded my garden that is not near any of the above areas shows that its population is indeed increasing, as claimed by the authors. The lizard is terrestrial and diurnal.
9th October 2016
Baker, N. & K. Lim (eds.). 2008. Wild animals of Singapore: A photographic guide to mammals, reptiles, amphibians and freshwater fishes. Vertebrate Study Group, Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.