Monitor lizard battles python

posted in: Interspecific, Reptiles, Videography | 2

How-Sung Lee’s video of a Malayan Monitor Lizard (Varanus salvator) battling a Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus) was documented at Pandan River on 12th September 2018.

This huge Malayan Monitor Lizard had its powerful jaws clamped onto the 3-4 metres long python. Its sharp teeth had bitten into the python, causing limited injury. The python was still fighting back furiously, striking at the lizard’s body. Because of the thick leathery covering, the python obviously failed to inflict any harm to the lizard. The python also tried to coil around the lizard and strangle it. But this was not possible as the python was being thrashed around.

At times the lizard released its grip on the python’s body, possibly to inflict further damage to other parts. At one point the lizard had its jaws clamped just behind the python’s head. This would give the python an opportunity to further attempt to coil round the lizard, a usual strategy of killing its prey. Unfortunately, the continued thrashing of the lizard made this impossible.

The battle lasted more than 20 minutes with the lizard dragging the python into the thick vegetation along the river bank, disappearing from sight. It would appear that the python was fighting a losing battle.

How-Sung Lee
13th September 2019

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behaviour through photography and videography to a wider audience.


2 Responses

  1. When strangulation attempts fail, could the snake possibly try to bite the lizard in self-defense instead? I am aware pythons are not venomous, but could the python’s teeth penetrate the lizard’s skin and at least cause some damage?

  2. The lizard’s skin is thick and tough.


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