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  1. #1
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Toref/Torefet: Varanus Tristis Orientalis/Freckled Tree Monitor

    My final reptile should be home here tomorrow.

    His/her name is Toref/Torefet (masculine/feminine). Too young to sex, so we will make it permanent when we know for sure.

    It's Hebrew for predator/devourer.

    Well, he/she is a monitor. However, a rare monitor, especially in the states.

    Toref is a 3 month old Varanus Tristis Orientalis, or Freckled Tree Monitor.

    "He" will max out at about 2 feet long with half of that being tail. They are similar in size and temperament to Ackie Monitors, but have a thinner build, are faster, and are great climbers, as opposed to diggers.

    His permanent home will be a 4X2X1.5' boaphile tank that Jeff will be building for me. It will complete the 4X2' tower I have and the reptile area will be full, complete, and awesome, as is the collection.

    I am done. Katie and I agreed that Toref is the last reptile, unless someone passes, and/or we get a bigger house, for the foreseeable future. I am at peace with that.

    The one caveat is that I've never had a monitor. They are a bit of work and are intelligent and shy and you need to earn their trust and keep it. If, for some reason, this is not a good fit, a) the breeder is happy to find another home (they are in high demand) at any point in time, and b) I will pick someone else for the tank Toref is going in.

    I am not too concerned. This species seems unbelievably cool. However, I won't know much about his personality for a bit. At 3 months, his body is the size of my middle finger (length wise) and he's too small to really handle and is a little flighty.

    They grow fast though, and in a few months, after I've got him (literally) eating out of my hand, we can work on gentle handling.

    Pictures below.

    Toref - sideways on some bark



    Toref Chillng with a Sibling:



    ​Some stock photos of Freckled Monitors:





    Last edited by dakski; 01-23-2019 at 10:38 PM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Dianne's Avatar
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    Re: Toref/Torefet: Varanus Tristis Orientalis/Freckled Tree Monitor

    Very cool new acquisition! Iíve always liked the monitors but never got into them due to their size. Interesting to hear about a smaller variety. Iím looking forward to his or her progression thread. Iíve no doubt heíll be eating out of your hand in no time.
    Other Snakes:
    Duncan
    - 1992 0.1 Bci; Hudson 1988 1.0 Colombian rainbow; Yang 2002 1.0 Corn snake; Merlin 2000 1.0 Solomon Island ground boa; Kett 2015 1.0 Diamond Jungle Jaguar carpet python; Dakota 2014 0.0.1 Childrenís python

    Ball pythons:
    Eli 1990 1.0 Normal; Buttercup 2015 1.0 Albino; Artemis 2015 0.1 Dragonfly; Orion 2015 1.0 Banana Pinstripe; Button 2018 1.0 Blue Eyed Lucy; Piper 2018 0.1 Piebald; Belle 2018 0.1 Lemonblast; Sabrina 2017 0.1 Mojave; Selene 2017 0.1 Banana Mojave; Loki 2018 1.0 Pastel Mystic Potion; Cuervo 2018 1.0 Banana Piebald; Claude 2017 1.0 Albino Pastel Spider; Penelope 2016 0.1 Lesser

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  5. #3
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Toref/Torefet: Varanus Tristis Orientalis/Freckled Tree Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Dianne View Post
    Very cool new acquisition! Iíve always liked the monitors but never got into them due to their size. Interesting to hear about a smaller variety. Iím looking forward to his or her progression thread. Iíve no doubt heíll be eating out of your hand in no time.
    Thank you Dianne. I think he's going to rock!

    Some of the medium sized, but relatively docile monitors appeal to me too, like the Yellow, or Quince Monitor. They get about 4FT, but are smaller bodied than other monitors; again, semi-arboreal. However, a 4X2X1.5', all I have room left for, is not adequate for one at all. They are okay with 4FT of length, and even 2FT of floor space, as a minimum, but require 3-4FT of height as well!

    What's cool about these guys, and the Ackies too, is that they are just "mini" Big Monitors, with similar personality, intelligence, etc. However, they are generally a little more docile and can be held in one hand!

    If you are interested in learning more about Freckled Monitors, or Ackies, etc, let me know (feel free to PM me). I've done a lot of research. I can recommend some good books that are relatively inexpensive on Amazon and can share what I've learned. This breeder is local, but I talked his ear off! He really knew his stuff and had answers to all my questions. So, that's a good sign. I was mostly asking Freckled Monitor specific questions, but he breeds Ackies, and other dwarf species.

    Unfortunately, you have to go to Europe, or really Australia, to find breeders of a plethora of dwarf species. They have pygmy monitors that are the size of a leopard gecko, for example.

    This is the best feeding video I could fine on youtube of one of these monitors. I only found a few.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95oChpI08sA

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  7. #4
    Registered User Dianne's Avatar
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    Re: Toref/Torefet: Varanus Tristis Orientalis/Freckled Tree Monitor

    Very cool video. Iím afraid you lost me with the bug eating. I know it is a completely irrational fear considering I keep snakes, but bugs and spiders freak me out. Iíll have to live vicariously through you.

    I have always read that the monitors were very intelligent. I mostly see savannah monitors around here, and years ago the occasional nile monitor. If I ever get over my bug phobia, Iíll have to look into these.
    Other Snakes:
    Duncan
    - 1992 0.1 Bci; Hudson 1988 1.0 Colombian rainbow; Yang 2002 1.0 Corn snake; Merlin 2000 1.0 Solomon Island ground boa; Kett 2015 1.0 Diamond Jungle Jaguar carpet python; Dakota 2014 0.0.1 Childrenís python

    Ball pythons:
    Eli 1990 1.0 Normal; Buttercup 2015 1.0 Albino; Artemis 2015 0.1 Dragonfly; Orion 2015 1.0 Banana Pinstripe; Button 2018 1.0 Blue Eyed Lucy; Piper 2018 0.1 Piebald; Belle 2018 0.1 Lemonblast; Sabrina 2017 0.1 Mojave; Selene 2017 0.1 Banana Mojave; Loki 2018 1.0 Pastel Mystic Potion; Cuervo 2018 1.0 Banana Piebald; Claude 2017 1.0 Albino Pastel Spider; Penelope 2016 0.1 Lesser

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  9. #5
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Toref/Torefet: Varanus Tristis Orientalis/Freckled Tree Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Dianne View Post
    Very cool video. Iím afraid you lost me with the bug eating. I know it is a completely irrational fear considering I keep snakes, but bugs and spiders freak me out. Iíll have to live vicariously through you.

    I have always read that the monitors were very intelligent. I mostly see savannah monitors around here, and years ago the occasional nile monitor. If I ever get over my bug phobia, Iíll have to look into these.
    Unfortunately, the smaller monitors eat bugs as a staple. I will supplement with lean proteins and small rodents.

    For now, cut up pinkie mice, scrambled egg, raw or boiled egg, boiled chicken pieces, etc. are all okay. Ground turkey is good too. However, even as an adult 50-60% of his diet will be insects.

    I have 4 other insect eaters in the house, so it doesn't bother me. I am used to it. However, certain bugs - NOPE.

    No crickets, etc.

    I don't mind Dubia Roaches because they don't breed if they get out, don't smell, don't bite, and really good the lizards. Mealworms and super worms I am okay with as well. The latter he can eat when bigger, but not too many mealworms. Harder to digest.

    Happy to have you live vicariously through me though Dianne.

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  11. #6
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Toref/Torefet: Varanus Tristis Orientalis/Freckled Tree Monitor

    He's here! He's home!

    Toref came home tonight. Katie and went and visited him and his siblings and he was still the one who wanted to interact the most. So, he came home with us.
    He's spent the past two hours thoroughly exploring his cage. It's a temporary tank while he grows out and Jeff at Boaphile builds his 4X2X1.5' tank.

    It's full of branches and flat woods pieces and logs and hides.

    He seems pretty intrigued by it. He seems to like his new digs. However, he keeps wanting to climb the walls. In his old tank, the background was climbable. I think he will figure it out pretty quickly though.

    Below are two videos and some pictures. I'll post more ASAP, but want him to settle in a bit tonight at least, before more pictures and disruption. He watches me like a hawk. Even from across the room, he's eyeing me.

    Video of Toref
    going into his new home: https://streamable.com/qlyyv

    Video of Toref exploring after just entering his new tank: https://streamable.com/kdtyp















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  13. #7
    Registered User Dianne's Avatar
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    Re: Toref/Torefet: Varanus Tristis Orientalis/Freckled Tree Monitor

    He is adorable! And so tiny! I bet he can move like greased lightning.
    Other Snakes:
    Duncan
    - 1992 0.1 Bci; Hudson 1988 1.0 Colombian rainbow; Yang 2002 1.0 Corn snake; Merlin 2000 1.0 Solomon Island ground boa; Kett 2015 1.0 Diamond Jungle Jaguar carpet python; Dakota 2014 0.0.1 Childrenís python

    Ball pythons:
    Eli 1990 1.0 Normal; Buttercup 2015 1.0 Albino; Artemis 2015 0.1 Dragonfly; Orion 2015 1.0 Banana Pinstripe; Button 2018 1.0 Blue Eyed Lucy; Piper 2018 0.1 Piebald; Belle 2018 0.1 Lemonblast; Sabrina 2017 0.1 Mojave; Selene 2017 0.1 Banana Mojave; Loki 2018 1.0 Pastel Mystic Potion; Cuervo 2018 1.0 Banana Piebald; Claude 2017 1.0 Albino Pastel Spider; Penelope 2016 0.1 Lesser

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  15. #8
    BPnet Senior Member artgecko's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new addition! Your setup looks great and he looks nice and healthy. I'll be eager to see how things go with him. I don't know much about monitors but have heard that they are very rewarding to keep.
    Currently keeping:
    1.0 BCA 1.0 BCI
    1.0 CA BCI 1.1 BCLs
    0.1 BRB 1.2 KSBs
    1.0 Carpet 0.5 BPs
    0.2 cresteds 1.2 gargs
    1.0 Leachie 0.0.1 BTS

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  17. #9
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Toref/Torefet: Varanus Tristis Orientalis/Freckled Tree Monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Dianne View Post
    He is adorable! And so tiny! I bet he can move like greased lightning.
    Oh yeah! Fast! You should see how quickly he can navigate branches, etc. to get to food. Also, not really "handleable" at this point. Very squirmy and flighty. They tend to grow out of it with time and handling and interaction.

    Basically, I am supposed to leave him alone for 2-3 weeks to settle in an equate me with food, etc. Then I can start interacting with him in the tank. Hand feeding, letting him smell/climb on me, etc. Start building trust.

    Quote Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
    Congrats on the new addition! Your setup looks great and he looks nice and healthy. I'll be eager to see how things go with him. I don't know much about monitors but have heard that they are very rewarding to keep.
    Thank you! They are supposed to be incredibly rewarding. That's the main reason I got him. Also, incredibly active, great hunters, interactive with their keepers, and diurnal. He's really the only animal I have that I can interact with in their environment during the day other than Frank (blue tongue skink). 2/13 isn't a great ratio. Good thing I am a night owl! Of course, the snakes don't mind coming out to say hello during the day, but the Leopard Geckos in particular, as well as the Rhacodactylus, get a little cranky some times.

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  19. #10
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Toref/Torefet: Varanus Tristis Orientalis/Freckled Tree Monitor

    Toref seems good. He didn't want Dubai yesterday (used to crickets), and ignored scrambled egg microwaved in the bowl (NO fat used in cooking), but he's still getting adjusted and is easily spooked right now. However, he got braver throughout the day.

    Around 2PM, I cut up a mouse fuzzy (Frozen mouse fuzzy - a) easier to cut then defrosted and b) I would never hurt a live animal). I cut about 1/4 of the body, including the heart, into bite size pieces, and defrosted. That was in his bowl for about 2 seconds and he ran down and gobbled down the mouse parts. He should only eat rodent 2X a week or so and insects 5-6 right now. As an adult, and eating every other day, he can eat rodent 1/3 meals easily. Other lean protein, like ground turkey, can be mixed in, or even boiled chicken.

    He must have worn out exploring because I found him worn out in the morning, passed out between his two wood "planks/basking areas." It was so cute.

    I did have a potential issue, however. In devouring the mouse parts, he dragged them through the substrate (having taken them out of his bowl), and ate 3 pieces of alfalfa bedding. I am using it because it is digestible, but that seemed like a lot for a guy his size. He seems fine now, and his metabolism is super fast, especially as a baby, so I probably would have known by now if there is was an issue (12 hours later) and he's fast asleep hanging from his vertical log. However, I am thinking of a) using a bigger bowl, b) putting in on his wood planks, and not on the substrate, and c) potentially switching to Reptile Prime coconut fiber substrate.

    Again, the bedding (link here: https://www.zillarules.com/all-produ...ing-and-litter) is supposed to excellent in dryer tanks (horrible in wet/humid environments) and is digestible. From what I've read, not just Zilla says so. It's supposed to be very safe for all arid species (again moisture is not good as it causes it to expand, lose it's antibacterial and absorbent nature, and smell).

    Anyone have experience with Reptile Prime being ingested by a lizard and being okay? Any thoughts on what might be a better substrate option? Thank you in advance and I'll advise if anything changes for the worst. However, if I don't say anything, assume he's fine.

    Here's a video of Toref eating a piece of mouse Fuzzy: https://streamable.com/7wxep


    Toref this morning before he woke up:


    ​Toref this morning after he woke up:





    A few hours after his meal:




    Bedtime:


    A little after bedtime:


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