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Varanus cumingi MARTIN, 1839

IUCN Red List - Varanus cumingi - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesCuming’s water monitor 
SynonymVaranus cumingi MARTIN 1839
Varanus cumingii — BOULENGER 1885: 316
Varanus salvator cumingi — MERTENS 1942
Varanus salvator cumingi — BÖHME 2002
Varanus cumingi — KOCH et al. 2007
Varanus (Soterosaurus) cumingi — KOCH et al. 2010
Varanus (Soterosaurus) cumingi — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50 
DistributionMindanao, Philippines;

Type locality: Mindanao, Philippines.  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.8.31.5 (dried skin), adult. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: As a conspicuous member of the V. salvator complex, V. cumingi can be identified by two main features: (1) the intensive yellow colour pattern of head and body in combination with the black background colour and (2) the possession of enlarged occipital scales around the pineal organ (character P: 47-57, x = 49.92, s = 2.99). Further diagnostic scalation characters are (3) enlarged dorsal scales (parameters X, Y, and XY; see Tab. 7) and (4) low scale counts around the tail at one third of the tail length (character R: 44-55, x = 49.25, s = 3.44). Additional characteristics of the colour pattern of V. cumingi are (5) black ocelli on the ventral side of the tail, (6) a black streak extending from the eye to the upper margin of the tympanum, (7) usually a unicoloured yellow chin without dark bars or crossbands, and (8) 8 to 15 dark crossbands on the belly. 
EtymologyV. cumingi has been named after the collector of the type, “Mr. H. Cuming”. The subspecific epithet samarensis refers to the type locality Samar Islands, Philippines. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Böhme, W. 2002. Langjährige Haltung und Altersrekord eines Bindenwarans, Varanus salvator (LAURENTI 1768) im Terrarium: zweithöchstes belegtes individuelles Lebensalter eines Vertreters der Varanidae. Herpetofauna 24 (141): 26-28 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 pp. - 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
  • 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
  • Koch, A. 2010. Underestimated Diversity of Philippine Water Monitor Lizards (Varanus salvator Complex) Unraveled: a Contribution to the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010. Biawak 4 (2): 69-74 - get paper here
  • Koch, A., Auliya, M; Schmitz, A.; Kuch, U. & Böhme, W. 2007. Morphological studies on the systematics of south east Asian water monitors (Varanus salvator Complex): nominotypic populations and taxonomic overview. Mertensiella 16:109-180
  • Koch, A.; Gaulke, M. & Böhme, W. 2010. Unravelling the underestimated diversity of Philippine water monitor lizards (Squamata: Varanus salvator complex), with the description of two new species and a new subspecies. Zootaxa 2446: 1–54 - get paper here
  • Koch, André; Mark Auliya & Thomas Ziegler 2010. Updated checklist of the living monitor lizards of the world (Squamata: Varanidae). Bonn Zool. Bull. 57 (2): 127–136 - get paper here
  • Martin, W. 1839. [Remarks on two species of saurian reptiles]. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1838: 68-70 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1942. Die Familie der Warane (Varanidae), 3. Teil: Taxonomie. Abh. Senckenb. naturf. Ges., 466: 235-391
  • Sanguila MB, Cobb KA, Siler CD, Diesmos AC, Alcala AC, Brown RM 2016. The amphibians and reptiles of Mindanao Island, southern Philippines, II: the herpetofauna of northeast Mindanao and adjacent islands. ZooKeys 624: 1–132, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.624.9814 - get paper here
  • Taylor, E.H. 1922. The lizards of the Philippine Islands. Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bureau of Science, Government of the Philippine Islands, Manila, Publication no. 17: 269 pp. - get paper here
  • Welton, Luke J.; Perry L. Wood, Jamie R. Oaks, Cameron D. Siler, Rafe M. Brown 2014. Fossil-calibrated phylogeny and historical biogeography of Southeast Asian water monitors (Varanus salvator Complex). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Welton, Luke J.; SCOTT L. TRAVERS, CAMERON D. SILER, RAFE M. BROWN 2014. Integrative taxonomy and phylogeny-based species delimitation of Philippine water monitor lizards (Varanus salvator Complex) with descriptions of two new cryptic species. Zootaxa 3881 (3): 201–227 - get paper here
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