Ackie Monitors: 12 Amazing Things You Should Know

Ackie monitors are interesting lizards which many people find intriguing especially when considering them as a pet. They are not a common choice and are somewhat an unusual choice when it comes to choosing a lizard as a pet.

Let's look at 12 amazing things you should know about Ackie monitors.

1. How Smart Are Ackie Monitors?

The spiny-tailed monitor, popularly known as the ackie monitor, is one of the smallest monitors native to Australia. Ackie monitors are a favorite for many pet owners due to their friendly nature. Also, they have active personalities, and you will not be bored if you decide to keep one as a pet.

So, how smart are ackie monitors? Ackie monitors are intelligent animals. Ackie monitors have a strong memory and can remember their owner and past interactions. Therefore, you need to watch how you treat your ackie monitor since it will not trust you if you mistreat it. Considering their level of intelligence, you can also train your ackie monitor to interact with human beings and abstain from bad behaviors such as biting or refusing to go back to its cage.

Ackie monitors are intelligent and social lizards; therefore, they make great pets if you are willing to take good care of them. If you think about getting an ackie monitor as a pet, there are two types to choose from, the yellow ackie and the red ackie. Read on to find out more about ackie monitors and how to take good care of them.

2. Can Ackie Monitors Swim?

Ackie monitors are native to Australia and are known to survive in harsh living conditions. Australia is largely a semi-arid land, and there are few water bodies in it, and you are right to be concerned about your ackie monitor's swimming abilities.

Ackie monitors can swim, but they prefer to stay dry. Ackie monitors spend most of their time roaming the dry land in the wild. An ackie monitor will only swim if necessary; for instance, hunting food or crossing a small water body.

In captivity, some people like to bath their ackie monitors. Some ackie monitors will react differently to getting a bath; some will stay calm while others will struggle to get out of the tub. If your ackie monitor struggles to get out of the tub, you should avoid bathing it since it doesn't feel comfortable. Forcing it can cause your ackie monitor to have stress if you keep doing something it does not enjoy.

You should install a misting system or use a spray bottle to keep your ackie monitor cool and hydrated. You should not leave your ackie monitor unattended when bathing it. Place a towel on the edge of the tub if the ackie monitor wants to leave. It can use the towel to climb out of the tub.

3. Can Ackies Live Alone?

Many household pets will live alone as they accept their owner as their new companion. However, some pets prefer to live in pairs or in groups to avoid loneliness and stress. When you are at the pet store buying an ackie monitor, you might wonder if it will be okay on its own or you have to buy more than one ackie monitor.

Ackie monitors have no problem living alone. Some ackie monitors live in small groups in the wild but with a clear hierarchy, from the dominant ackie to the weakest. Males ackie monitors usually live alone and will seek female ackie monitors to breed. Therefore, you can keep one ackie monitor in your home since they do not need a companion.

If you decide to keep more than one ackie monitor, you should choose one female and one male. Sometimes, female ackie monitors will fight to control a bigger portion of the enclosure. Therefore, you should ensure you have a big enclosure to house several ackie monitors, or you can keep them in separate cages.

You should observe their behavior and ensure they are getting along well. If one ackie monitor is dominant, it can be difficult for the weaker ackie monitor to get enough food and water, leading to malnutrition.

4. How Fast Do Ackie Monitors Grow?

Watching your pet grow from a small hatchling to a mature adult is always fun and fulfilling. Most pets will grow up fast, and there are some determining factors that can help your pet reach its full length.

Ackie monitors grow fast and will reach 24 to 28 inches within two years. The hatchlings of an ackie monitor are usually between 4 to 5 inches long. Ackie monitors will then maintain the same size throughout their lifespan. The growth rate is also affected by their sex. Male ackie monitors are bigger than their female counterparts.

If you want your ackie monitor to grow to its full length, you need to take care of it properly. Therefore, you should give your ackie monitor a balanced diet. Give your young ackie monitor cockroaches, crickets, mealworms, mice, eggs, and shrimp.

Also, ensure your ackie monitor's enclosure has proper heating and lighting. Genetics also plays a role in the growth of your ackie monitor. If its parents were small monitors, it is unlikely for your pet to grow past its parents' length.

5. Do Ackie Monitors Brumate?

Animals that live in areas with harsh living conditions have adopted different ways to survive. Brumation is one method some reptiles use to survive during cold seasons. A reptile going through brumation will be sluggish, inactive, and eat and drink less.

Ackie monitors do not brumate because they come from semi-arid areas where there are no cold seasons. The main reason why some reptiles brumate is to conserve energy. Since ackie monitors do not experience cold winter seasons, they remain active all year. However, ackie monitors can show some signs of brumation if their enclosure's temperature is too low. During this period, your ackie monitor will become inactive and will spend most of its time hiding.

Therefore, you should always check and adjust the temperature inside your ackie monitor's cage to avoid it becoming inactive. Keep the temperature and lighting consistent. If you live in an area with cold winter seasons, do not let your ackie monitor out of its enclosure without adjusting the temperature inside the house. If your ackie monitor remains inactive even after adjusting the temperature, take it to a vet for diagnosis.

6. Do Ackie Monitors Hibernate?

Hibernation is an adaptive process that some animals use to survive the winter. During the winter, food becomes scarce, and the conditions become difficult for grazing or hunting. While other animals move to areas with warm weather, animals that hibernate will sleep through the winter.

Ackie monitors cannot hibernate. Only mammals can hibernate. During hibernation, an animal will sleep for a long time and not wake up to drink or eat. The animals will spend most of their time eating to gain weight before the winter starts.

During hibernation, the animal will lose some of the pre-hibernation weight by using the stored fats for energy. Ackie monitors do not need hibernation because they live in semi-arid areas with plenty of food and heat.

Ackie monitors will become slightly inactive if they are exposed to cold temperatures. Some reptiles usually go through brumation during the winter. Unlike hibernation, where the animals do not eat or drink, during brumation, the animal will become active a few times, moving around to find food and water. Ackie monitors are active animals; therefore, if you see your pet is inactive, increase the enclosure's temperature.

7. Do Ackie Monitors Climb?

Climbing is one skill that most lizards have specialized in, especially the small and medium-sized lizards. You can see them climbing on walls and trees with ease. When preparing the tank for your ackie monitor, you might wonder if it is necessary to keep tree branches and rocks inside the tank.

Ackie monitors are excellent climbers. Ackie monitors can easily climb to the top of rocks and trees near their habitats. Ackie monitors usually climb rocks and trees to hunt insects and small animals and get away from predators. You should keep some tree branches, hides, and rocks inside your ackie monitor's enclosure for climbing. The ackie monitor can use the items for exercise and basking.

8. Do Ackie Monitors Have Venom?

Ackie monitors are friendly lizards and are easy to tame. However, they can bite you if they get uncomfortable; for instance, if you handle them too early before they trust you. But, are their bites venomous?

Ackie monitors have venom. Ackie monitors have glands in their mouth that produce an agent that causes blood clotting, low blood pressure, and muscle paralysis. The venom knocks out small prey such as mice temporarily.

Ackie monitors do not have a delivery system to inject the venom, and the venom is introduced to an animal system through the wound caused by the bite. You need not worry about your safety because an ackie monitor's venom is not fatal to human beings.

However, the bite is very painful because an ackie monitor has very sharp teeth. The venom also causes discomfort and swelling around the wound in human beings. Therefore, if bitten by an ackie monitor, you should clean and protect the wound immediately to avoid getting a bacterial infection.

To prevent being bitten by your pet, read it's body language. If they show discomfort or fear, let them go, do not forcefully handle them. If you have children, tell them to avoid disturbing or provoking your ackie monitor.

9. Do Ackie Monitors Smell?

Most of the household pets share the same space with their owners. Some opt to keep their ackie monitor's tank in spaces where they spend a significant amount of time with their family or guests. Therefore, do ackie monitors smell?

The good news is that ackie monitors do not smell. You can keep their enclosure in rooms with a lot of human traffic, and no one will complain about any foul smell. However, your ackie monitor might start to smell if you do not practice good hygiene. Ackie monitors poop and pee in their tank; therefore, you have to clean it regularly. If you leave the poop and pee in the tank for a long time, the tank will start to smell, and so will your ackie monitor.

You can also use a substrate that absorbs smells inside your ackie monitor's tank. Sand is the best substrate because it is easy to clean and does not absorb water; hence, it cannot become soggy unless you have poured too much water into the tank. You should also regularly replace the substrate inside your ackie monitor's tank. If possible, feed your ackie monitor outside its cage. Rotting pieces of meat or insects can make the tank smell bad.

10. Do Ackie Monitors Eat Vegetables?

Vegetables have important nutrients and minerals that help keep animals and human beings healthy. Since ackie monitors are carnivorous animals, you might be wondering if your pet might eat vegetables if you try feeding it.

It is very rare for ackie monitors to eat vegetables because they are carnivorous. Ackie monitors diet consists of insects and small animals such as mice. Vegetables offer extra nutrients and minerals important to keep your ackie monitor healthy.

You can try to feed your ackie monitor vegetables, but it is important to be patient. Start at an early age, and if the ackie monitor refuses to eat the vegetables, you can try gut loading.

Gut loading is one method of ensuring carnivorous pets gain nutrients and minerals available in vegetables and fruits. You can gut load feeder insects such as crickets and mealworms with nutritious vegetables such as kale and collard greens. Your ackie monitor will gain the nutrients absorbed by the feeder insects after it eats them. You can gut load the insects yourself, or you can buy gut-loaded insects at the pet store.

11. Are Ackie Monitors Social?

Most animals that people keep in their homes are social animals that form bonds with their owners. A social pet is perfect because you can spend time handling or petting it.

Ackie monitors are social animals. Most ackie monitors have a good temperament, and once they get used to your presence, they stop showing signs of aggression or fear. Young ackie monitors are often aggressive because they have not spent enough time around humans to trust them.

An aggressive or stressed ackie monitor usually flings its tail at you or tries to bite you. Ackie monitors also have different personalities, and some prefer to stay alone in their cages unbothered, while others do not mind spending time with their owner.

Ackie monitors can also tolerate being handled by human beings. You can pick your ackie monitor and pet it for some time. However, just like other reptiles, you have to gain your ackie monitor's trust before it allows you to handle it.

When you get your ackie monitor from the pet store or breeder, give it some time to get used to the new environment. You can try to touch your ackie monitor when feeding. If your ackie monitor retreats, let it go and try another time. You should be patient and let your ackie monitor be comfortable around you on its own.

12. Can Ackie Monitors Eat Eggs?

The diet of an ackie monitor usually contains insects and small animals. Feeding your ackie monitor crickets or mice every time is boring, and you have to look for other types of food. If you have some chicken eggs in your house, you might want to offer some to the ackie monitor, and you may be worried if it will eat the eggs.

Ackie monitors can eat eggs. You can break the egg and feed it to your ackie monitor together with the shell. Eggs are very nutritious, and your ackie monitor will gain nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals such as sodium and potassium. The eggshells also contain calcium, an important mineral that helps in the growth of the ackie monitor.

However, eggs should just be a treat for the ackie monitor since they contain a high amount of fat and cholesterol. Eating too many eggs can lead to obesity.

Vets recommend that you give your ackie monitors cooked eggs or fertilized raw eggs only. This is because giving your ackie monitor unfertilized raw eggs leads to the presence of avidin. Avidin usually blocks the absorption of vitamin B, and if you feed your ackie monitor too many unfertilized eggs, it will get a vitamin deficiency. You can also mix the cooked eggs with another type of food, such as shrimps.


Ackie monitors are exciting animals and make great pets. Ackie monitors are easy to care for, and with their intelligence and vibrant personality, you will not be stuck with a boring lizard inside your home. To avoid getting bitten by your ackie monitor, only handle it when it is used to your presence. You should also wash your hands after touching its food, and it will bite your fingers if it smells cricket on them.

It is easy to form a bond with your ackie monitor compared to other lizards. All you have to do is be consistent and patient. You should also avoid harming your ackie monitor. They can remember bad things that happened to them and who caused them. It will be hard to earn your ackie monitor's trust after hurting it. Therefore, you should look for ways to bond with it and avoid situations where it might get hurt.


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