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Varanus auffenbergi SPRACKLAND, 1999

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Varanoidea, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesG: Auffenbergs Waran
E: Auffenberg’s Monitor, Pin-spot monitor, Peacock monitor 
SynonymVaranus auffenbergi SPRACKLAND 1999: 22
Varanus auffenbergi — AST 2001
Varanus (Odatria) auffenbergi — WESIAK 2008
Varanus (Odatria) auffenbergi — KOCH et al. 2013
Varanus (Odatria) auffenbergi — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016 
DistributionIndonesia (Roti Island)

Type locality: Roti Island, Indonesia  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 143812, adult female 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: A small to medium arboreal monitor morphologically most similar to Varanus timorensis from which it differs in having 1) pale blue-gray (vs. cream) rosette markings forming a symmetrical pattern dorsally, and which are slightly larger than corresponding markings in V. timorensis, 2) an unmarked (vs. mottled), cream-colored belly, 3) a pale (vs. black or dark brown) face below canthus, 4) bright lemon-yellow markings on the limbs, often interspersed with orange scales, 5) the upper surface of the head with a dull orange (vs. black) background color, and 6) the dorsum and tail have a black (vs. chocolate brown) background color. In addition, the snout is distinctly depressed anterior to the nostril in V. auffenbergi, while it is only slightly depressed in V. timorensis. (SPRACKLAND 1999) 
CommentIllustration in Akeret (2003). AST (2001) indicated that this species may be synonymous to V. timorensis.

Abundance: only known from the type locality (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Walter Auffenberg Jr. (1928-2004), American herpetologist and paleontologist who wrote about monitor lizards, among other things. He was also Curator of Herpetology, Florida Natural History Museum (1963-1984), and then Professor of Zoology until retiring (1991). 
  • Akeret, B. 2003. Terrarienbepflanzung. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (40): 22-29 - get paper here
  • Akeret, B. 2003. Planting terrariums. Reptilia (GB) (29): 15-22 - get paper here
  • Akeret, Beat 2014. Geschichtliches zur Haltung von Waranen in Deutschland und der Schweiz. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (6): 14-21 - get paper here
  • Ast, Jennifer C. 2001. Mitochondrial DNA Evidence and Evolution in Varanoidea (Squamata). Cladistics 17 (3): 211-226 [erratum in 18 (1):125] - get paper here
  • Augstenová, Barbora, Eleonora Pensabene, Lukáš Kratochvíl, and Michail Rovatsos. 2021. Cytogenetic Evidence for Sex Chromosomes and Karyotype Evolution in Anguimorphan Lizards. Cells 10, no. 7: 1612 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • BUCKLITSCH, YANNICK; WOLFGANG BÖHME, ANDRÉ KOCH 2016. Scale Morphology and Micro-Structure of Monitor Lizards (Squamata: Varanidae: Varanus spp.) and their Allies: Implications for Systematics, Ecology, and Conservation. . Zootaxa 4153 (1): 001–192 - get paper here
  • Canto, R. del 2007. Notes on the occurrence of Varanus auffenbergi on roti Island. Biawak 1 (1): 24-25 - get paper here
  • Hörenberg, Thomas 2013. Der Timorwaran der Insel Roti: Varanus auffenbergi. Draco 13 (53): 51-54 - get paper here
  • Koch A, Ziegler T, Böhme W, Arida E, Auliya M. 2013. Pressing Problems: Distribution, Threats, and Conservation Status of the Monitor Lizards (Varanidae: Varanus spp.) of Southeast Asia and the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Herp. Cons. Biol. 8 (Monograph 3): 1 − 62. - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Sprackland, R. G. 1999. New species of monitor (Squamata: Varanidae) from Indonesia. Reptile Hobbyist, 4 (6): 20-27 - get paper here
  • TRAINOR, COLIN R.; OKI HIDAYAT & STIJN COOLEMAN. 2022. New Records and Observations of the Peacock Monitor (Varanus auffenbergi) from Rote Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, with an Analysis of Extent of Occurrence. Biawak 15(1): 8–13. - get paper here
  • Witte, O. 2020. Gefahrtierhaltung - eine Übersicht über die gesetzlichen Regelungen der einzelnen Bundesländer in Deutschland. Elaphe 2020 (5): 20-23
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