Monitor lizards (or leguaans, although in South Africa we commonly use the Afrikaans name, “likkewaan”) are fascinating but neglected animals, possibly because only an enthusiast would find them attractive. The two species in southern Africa are the Nile Monitor or Water Leguaan (Varanus niloticus – Africa’s largest lizard) and the Rock Monitor or Tree Leguaan (Varanus albigularis). (In places like Zimbabwe there are occasional sightings of Election Monitors – these are not strictly lizards and their impact on their environment is so negligible they might as well be extinct.) The Nile monitor may possibly reach 2m, 60% of which would be tail, but this would be exceptional. Rock monitors are slightly shorter and bulkier, with tails slightly longer than the body. Nile Monitor have muscular bodies, strong legs, and powerful jaws. Their teeth are sharp and pointed in juvenile animals and become blunt and peg-like in adults. They also possess sharp claws  used for climbing, digging, defense, or tearing at their prey. Like all monitors, they have forked tongues. The Nile monitor has quite striking, but variable, skin patterns, as they are greyish-brown above with greenish-yellow barring on the tail and large, greenish-yellow rosette-like spots on their backs with a blackish tiny spot in the middle. Their throats and undersides are an ochre-yellow to a creamy-yellow, often with faint barring.