When you’re looking to buy an ackie monitor, there are several places where you may find one: small pet shops, reptile expos, online reptile distributors, or directly from a breeder. Although it’s possible to find a healthy young ackie monitor for sale in an independently-owned pet shop or at a reptile expo, you’re likely to get the best results by buying from a reputable ackie monitor breeder.
ReptiFiles advises against purchasing from most online reptile distributors, as this type of business tends to treat reptiles like products rather than living things, and you will have no control over the health, background, or general quality of the animal you will receive.
Most ackies for sale are either “red” ackies or “yellow” ackies. This is not necessarily a reference to their specific subspecies or locality, but rather a reference to the color they’ve been bred for. Like most reptiles, young ackie monitors look different from the adults, so in order to get an idea of what yours will look like when it’s mature, ask the breeder to see pictures of its parents.
Considerations for Buying an Ackie Monitor In-Person
If you are buying an ackie monitor in-person, you are most likely at a pet shop or reptile expo. In this setting, try to get a look at the animal up close and watch it for a few minutes so you can gauge its overall health. Unless indicated otherwise, the answers to these questions should be “yes”.
- Are the eyes clear?
- Does it have a robust body?
- Is the tail reasonably plump/well-rounded?
- Are the hip bones visible? (bad)
- Does it seem underweight in any way? (bad)
- Do the feet or toes appear swollen in any way? (bad)
- Is there any unusual curvature, bumps, or kinks in the spine or limbs? (bad)
- Is the animal generally active, alert, and curious?
- Does it flick its tongue regularly or when presented with a stimulus?
- Does it move freely without its belly dragging on the ground?
- Does it breathe with its mouth open? (bad)
- Is the animal free of mites?
- Does it struggle when restrained?
- Does the seller seem approachable and genuine?
- Does the seller demonstrate expertise when questioned?
For best results, look at more than one ackie so you can compare between them.
Considerations for Buying an Ackie Monitor Online from a Breeder
Here are some questions to help you gauge whether the breeder you are considering is trustworthy and worth buying from:
- Do they provide plenty of information in the listings for each available animal?
- Can they provide multiple photos of the animal from different angles? (helps detect scams)
- Do they offer a live-arrival guarantee?
- Do they have a DOA (dead-on-arrival) policy?
- Do they have a good reputation in the reptile community?
- Do they specialize in ackie monitors (best), a few species including ackie monitors (good), or do they breed many different species (potential red flag)?
Aside from looking at photos of the animal and evaluating it according to the above criteria as best as possible, here are some additional questions to ask about the monitor itself:
- Does it have a good appetite?
- Has it had any health issues in the past?
- (If adult female) Has she ever been with a male?
Of course, buying an ackie monitor directly from a breeder often means that you have to pay more, but it’s worth the extra money to get a healthy, high-quality animal. Also, buying online means that you will have to pay for overnight shipping — in the US, that’s usually around $50-$75.
NOTE — If you have other reptiles in your collection, you will need to quarantine your new ackie monitor to prevent it from accidentally passing diseases to the rest of your collection.
- Be careful about who you buy from.
- It’s best to buy directly from a breeder.
- Ask questions before buying.
- Quarantine your new ackie for at least 3 months.
- Introduction to Ackie Monitors
- Varanus acanthurus Subspecies
- Shopping List: Supplies You Will Need
- How to Select and Buy a Pet Ackie Monitor
- Enclosure Size & Roommates
- Lighting & UVB Requirements
- Heating Requirements
- Humidity Requirements
- Substrate Options
- Environmental Enrichment: Decorating the Enclosure
- Feeding Your Ackie Monitor
- Handling Tips & Behavioral Notes
- General Health Guide
- Additional Resources