உடும்பு (Varanus bengalensis)

உடும்பு    (Varanus bengalensis)

Large Bengal Monitor Lizard

Bengal monitor

(Please refer : It is coming under the 1972 Wildlife protection act Schedule I part II Serial No 10. so it an offence to hunt in India)

The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted for protection of plants and animal species. Before 1972, India only had five designated national parks. Among other reforms, the Act established schedules of protected plant and animal species; hunting or harvesting these species was largely outlawed.
The Act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants; and for matters connected therewith or ancillary or incidental thereto. It extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act. It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection. Schedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection - offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties. Species listed in Schedule III and Schedule IV are also protected, but the penalties are much lower. Schedule V includes the animals which may be hunted. The plants in Schedule VI are prohibited from cultivation and planting. The hunting to the Enforcement authorities have the power to compound offences under this Schedule (i.e. they impose fines on the offenders). Up to April 2010 there have been 16 convictions under this act relating to the death of tigers

உடும்பு    Varanus bengalensis    (Large Bengal Monitor Lizard) என்ற இவ்வுயிரினமானது 1972 வன உயிரின (பாதுகாப்பு) சட்டம்,  அட்டவணை I Part II, வரிசை எண் 10 -/ல் காணப்படுகிறது. எனவே இவற்றை வேட்டையாடுவது மற்றும் வேட்டையாட முயற்சி செய்தல் போன்றவை தண்டனைக்குரிய குற்றமாகும்            

உடும்புகள் (Monitor lizard) பொதுவாகப் பெரிய ஊர்வன உயிரினங்களாகும், எனினும் 20 சென்டிமீட்டரளவில் நீளம் கொண்டுள்ள இனங்களும் உண்டு. இவை நீண்ட கழுத்து, வலுமிக்க வால் மற்றும் நகங்கள் மேலும் நன்கு வளர்ந்த அவயவங்கள் என்பனவற்றைக் கொண்டுள்ளன. பெரும்பாலான இனங்கள் நிலப்பரப்பில் வசிப்பவை, ஆனால் மரங்களில் வாழ்வனவும் மற்றும் நீர்-நிலவாழ்வனவும் உள்ளன. கிட்டத்தட்ட அனைத்து உடும்பு இனங்களும் புலால் உண்பனவாகும், எனினும் வரானசு பிட்டாட்டவா (Varanus bitatawa) , வரானசு மபிடாங் (Varanus mabitang) மற்றும் வரானசு ஒலிவாசியசு (Varanus olivaceus ) ஆகியவை பழம் சாப்பிடுவதாக அறியப்பட்டுள்ளது.  இவை முட்டையிடல் மூலம் இனப்பெருக்கம் செய்யும் உயிரினங்கள் ஆகும். 7 முதல் 37 வரையான முட்டைகள் இட்டு மண்ணுக்குள் அல்லது மரப் பொந்துக்குள் மறைத்துக் காக்கின்றன. உயிரியல் வகைப்பாட்டில் உடும்பின் பேரினப்பெயர் வரானசு (Varanus) ஆகும்.

வரானசின் பல்வேறு இனங்கள் உலகின் பெரும்பான்மையான பகுதிகளில் உள்ளன; ஆப்பிரிக்கா, இந்தியா, இலங்கை, சீனா, இந்தோனேசியா, பிலிப்பைன்சு, நியூ கினியா, ஆஸ்திரேலியா,சிங்கப்பூர் மற்றும் இந்தியப் பெருங்கடல் தீவுகள், தென் சீனக் கடல் போன்ற பகுதிகளில் இவற்றைக் காணலாம்.

திணை:     விலங்கு
தொகுதி:     முதுகுநாணி
வகுப்பு:     ஊர்வன
வரிசை:     Squamata
துணைவரிசை:     Scleroglossa
உள்வரிசை:     Anguimorpha
பெருங்குடும்பம்:     Varanoidea
குடும்பம்:     Varanidae
பேரினம்:     Varanus


The Bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis) or common Indian monitor, is a monitor lizard found widely distributed over the Indian Subcontinent, as well as parts of Southeast Asia and West Asia. This large lizard is mainly terrestrial, and its length can range from about 61 to 175 cm from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail. Young monitors may be more arboreal, but adults mainly hunt on the ground, preying mainly on arthropods, but also taking small terrestrial vertebrates, ground birds, eggs and fish. Although large monitors have few predators apart from humans who hunt them for meat, younger individuals are hunted by many predators.
The Bengal monitor has been said to reach nearly 175 cm with a snout-to-vent length (SVL) of 75 cm and a tail of 100 cm. Males are generally larger than females. Heavy individuals may weigh nearly 7.2 kg and obese captives even more and the males grow to greater weight. The populations of India and Sri Lanka differ in the scalation from those of Myanmar, and these were once considered two species, but now considered two subspecies. The nominate subspecies is found west of Myanmar, while nebulosus is found to the east. The subspecies nebulosus is diagnosed by the presence of a series of enlarged scales in the supraocular region. The number of ventral scales varies, decreasing from 108 in the west to 75 in the east (Java).

Young monitor lizards are more colourful than adults. Young have a series of dark crossbars on the neck, throat and back. The belly is white, banded with dark crossbars and are spotted with grey or yellow (particularly in the eastern part of the range). On the dorsal surface of young monitors, there are a series of yellow spots with dark transverse bars connecting them. As they mature, the ground colour becomes light brown or grey, and dark spots give them a speckled appearance. Hatchlings of nebulosus tend to have a series of backward-pointing, V-shaped bands on their necks.
Bengal monitors have external nostril openings (nares) that is slit-like and oriented near horizontal, and positions between the eye and the tip of the snout. The nares can be closed at will, especially to keep away debris or water. The scales of the skin are rougher in patches and on the sides, they have minute pits, especially well distributed in males. These scales with micropores have glandular structures in the underlying dermal tissue and produce a secretion which may be a pheromone-like substance. Like other varanids, Bengal monitors have a forked tongue that is protruded in the manner of snakes. The function is mainly sensory, and is not very involved in the transport of food down the throat. Bengal monitors have fat deposits in the tail and body that serve them in conditions when prey are not easily available.

The lungs have spongy tissue unlike the sacs of other saurians. This allows for greater rates of gas exchange and allows a faster metabolic rate and higher activity levels. Like all varanids, they have subpleurodont teeth, meaning the teeth are fused to the inside of the jaw bones. The teeth are placed one behind another, and there are replacement teeth behind and between each functional tooth (polyphyodont). The maxillary and dentary teeth are laterally compressed, sometimes with a slightly serrate cutting edge, while the premaxillary teeth are conical. There are 78 premaxillary teeth, 10 maxillary and 13 dentary teeth. Replacement teeth move forward and about four replacements happens each year for a tooth. Their mandibular glands produce secretions at the base of the teeth, and although some varanids have been shown to have a venom, no toxicity has been reported in the Bengal monitor.

Distribution and habitat

The species ranges from Iran to Java, among the most widely distributed of varanid lizards. It is found in river valleys in eastern Iran, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Burma. The subspecies Varanus bengalensis nebulosus, the clouded monitor, occurs in southern Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and the Sunda Islands. They have not been confirmed on Sumatra, and have been found to be absent from the Andaman Islands.

The species is distributed mainly in the lower elevations, and is found both in dry semiarid desert habitats to moist forest. They are often found in agricultural areas, and are mainly found below 1500m altitude.

Ecology and behaviour

Bengal monitors are usually solitary and usually found on the ground, although the young are often seen on trees. V. b. nebulosus has a greater propensity for tree climbing. The two sympatric species Bengal and Yellow Monitor partially separated their habitat as Bengal Monitor prefers Forest over agricultural areas. Bengal monitors shelter in burrows they dig or crevices in rocks and buildings, whilst clouded monitors prefer tree hollows. Both races will make use of abandoned termite mounds. Bengal monitors, like other varanids, show true sleep at night and are diurnal, becoming active around 6 AM and bask in the morning sun. During winter, in the colder parts of their distribution range, they may take shelter and go through a period of reduced metabolic activity. They are not territorial, and may change their range seasonally in response to food availability.

They are usually shy and avoid humans. They have keen eyesight and can detect human movement nearly 250 m away. When caught, a few individuals may bite, but rarely do so.

Although, they are also found on agricultural land, they prefers forest with large trees. Generally, high ground cover with large trees are favorable areas.

Captives have been known to live for nearly 22 years. Predators of adults include pythons, mammalian predators and birds. A number of ectoparasites and endoparasites are recorded.
Females may be able to retain sperm, and females held in confinement have been able to lay fertile eggs. Varanus niloticus has been demonstrated to be capable of parthenogenesis. The main breeding season is June to September. Males, however, begin to show combat behaviour in April. Females dig a nest hole in level ground or a vertical bank and lay the eggs inside, filling it up and using their snouts to compact the soil. The females often dig false nests nearby and shovel soil around the area. They sometimes make use of a termite mound to nest. A single clutch of about 20 eggs are laid. The eggs hatch in 168 to nearly as long as 254 days. About 40 to 80% of the eggs may hatch.


They are capable of rapid movement on the ground. Small individuals may climb trees to escape, but larger ones prefer to escape on the ground. They can climb well. On the ground, they sometimes stand on the hind legs to get a better view or when males fight other males. They can also swim well and can stay submerged for at least 17 minutes. They can use both trees and bushes for shelter.


Bengal monitor tend to active whole day with different activities including feeding. Large adults may ascend vertical tree trunks, where they sometimes stalk and capture roosting bats. Their normal prey consists of beetles, grubs, orthopterans, scorpions, snails, ants and other invertebrates. Vertebrate prey is comparatively rare, and includes frogs, fish, lizards, snakes and rodents. Bengal monitors are also scavengers. They sometimes feed on dead animals. In areas where livestock are common, they often visit dung, where they forage for beetles and other insects.
he lizard is known as bis-cobra in western India, Goyra in Rajasthan, guishaap or goshaap in West Bengal and Bangladesh, goh in Punjab and Bihar, as ghorpad in Maharashtra and as Thalagoya in Sri Lanka. Folk mythology across the region includes the idea that these harmless lizards are venomous, and in Rajasthan, the locals believe that the lizards become venomous only during the rainy season. Monitor lizards are hunted, and their body fat, extracted by boiling, is used in a wide range of folk remedies.

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