Jordans’s largest lizard. Sandy-yellow, brown, or gray body; dark cross-bands; two, dark, horizontal bands on each side of its neck and head; long neck, head, and pointed snout; nostrils closer to its eyes than to its nose-tip; forked tongue used to pick up airborne scents. Adult patterns are less pronounced. The desert monitor is not venomous, but its bite may become septic.
Solitary; mainly crepuscular. Inflates its body, hisses, whips its tail, and bites when threatened. Desert monitors are very intelligent and have hunting skills that rival those of mammals. They can track individual scent trails, and can determine both the trail’s direction and age.
Small lizards, rodents, insects, snails, eggs, and carrion.
North of the Dead Sea and most desert habitats, including Wadi Araba, Wadi Rum, and Azraq.