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Varanus indicus (DAUDIN, 1802)

IUCN Red List - Varanus indicus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesE: Mangrove Monitor
G: Pazifikwaran 
SynonymTupinambis indicus DAUDIN 1802: 46
Tupinambus indicus DAUDIN 1802 — BÖHME et al. 2016 (in error)
Varanus guttatus MERREM 1820: 58 (nom. subst. fide COGGER 1983)
Monitor kalabeck LESSON 1830: 52
Monitor douarrha LESSON 1830: 53
Monitor chlorostigma GRAY 1831: 26
Varanus chlorostigma — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 489
Monitor doreanus MEYER 1874: 130
Monitor indicus — PETERS 1876
Monitor chlorostigma — GÜNTHER 1879: 84
Varanus indicus — BOULENGER 1883
Varanus indicus — BOULENGER 1885: 316
Varanus indicus — DE ROOIJ 1915: 148
Varanus indicus indicus — MERTENS 1926
Varanus indicus rouxi MERTENS 1926
Varanus tsukamotoi KISHIDA 1929 (fide BÖHME 2002)
Varanus leucostigma — HEDIGER 1934: 497 (in error for Monitor chlorostigma)
Varanus indicus — BÖHME 1994
Varanus indicus — COGGER 2000: 368
Varanus (Euprepiosaurus) indicus — ZIEGLER et al. 2007 
DistributionAustralia (North Territory, Queensland)
Indonesia (Sulawesi, Moluccas, Aru Islands, Talaud, Irian Jaya, Timor, Halmahera), Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Caroline Islands, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Lukunor Atoll, Uman District Islands etc.),
Guam (G. Rodda, pers. comm., 13 March 2016)

Type locality: Ambon, Moluccas, Indonesia; corrected to “northwestern New Guinea” by Böhme et al. 2016.


kalabek: Type locality: Fofak (as Offack) Bay, N coast of Waigeu, Indonesia

douarrha: Type locality: Praslin Harbour, New Ireland (as New Mecklenberg), Papua New Guinea

chlorostigma: Type locality: Rawack Is., N of Waigeu, Indonesia

doreanus: Papua New Guinea; Type locality: Doreh, Berou Peninsula, NW New Guinea

tsukawotoi: Type locality: Saipan, Caroline Ils.

indicus spinulosus: Type locality: from George's Is., Solomon Ils. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesNeotype: ZFMK 70650, designated by PHILIPP et al. 1999.
Syntypes: MNHN = MNHP presumed lost [Monitor chlorostigma]
Holotype: SMF 11583, from Durdjela, Wammer, Aru Ils., Indonesia [indicus rouxi]
Holotype: NHMW = NMW 3709 [indicus spinulosus] 
CommentSynonymy: Varanus indicus jobiensis AHL 1932 has been synonymized with Varanus indicus (e.g. by COGGER 1983) but is now considered as a valid species. Synonymy mainly after COGGER 1983 and DE LISLE 2009. Original description at (see link below). The presence of V. indicus in Sulawesi is questionable (Koch & Böhme 2005).

Habitat: terrestrial, but may enter brackish (”marine”) habitats in the mangroves. 
  • Amer, Sayed A. M. and Yoshinori Kumazawa 2008. Timing of a mtDNA gene rearrangement and intercontinental dispersal of varanid lizards. Genes Genet. Syst. 83: 275–280
  • Böhme, Wolfgang;<br />André Koch, Thomas Ziegler 2016. Comment on the proposed conservation of Tupinambus indicus Daudin, 1832 (currently Varanus indicus; Reptilia, Squamata) by replacement of the neotype (Case 3676; see BZN 72: 134–140). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 73(1)
  • 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
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1886. On the reptiles and batrachians of the Solomon Islands. Trans. Zool. Soc. London 12: 35-62
  • Brongersma, L.D. 1948. Lizards from the island of Morotai (Moluccas). Proc. Koninkl. Ned. Akad. Wet. Ser. C. 51: 486-495
  • Brygoo, E. R. 1987. Les types de Varanides (Reptiles, Sauriens) du Museum national d'Histoire naturelle. Catalogue critique. Bulletin du Museum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, 4e ser., 9, sect. A (Zool., BioI. & Ecol. anim.), (2), supplement, 21-38.
  • Buden, Donald W. 2015. Reptiles of Lukunor Atoll, Mortlock Islands, Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. Pacific Science 69 (1):117–124 doi:10.2984/69.1.9
  • Buden, Donald W. 2015. Reptiles of Uman District Islands (Southeastern Chuuk Lagoon and Kuop Atoll), Federated States of Micronesia. Pacific Science 69 (2): 271-279 - get paper here
  • Buden, Donald W. & Danko Taboroši 2016. Reptiles of the Federated States of Micronesia. Island Research and Education Initiative, 311 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Cota, M. 2008. Varanus indicus and its Presence on the Mariana Islands: Natural Geographical Distribution vs. Introduction. Biawak 2 (1): 18-27 - get paper here
  • Daudin, F. M. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, génerale et particulièredes reptiles, ouvrage faisant suite, a l'histoiure naturelle, générale et particulière composée par LECLERC DE BUFFON, et redigée par C. S. SONNINI, vol. 3. F. Dufart, Paris.
  • de Rooij, N. de 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 384 pp.
  • Duméril, A.M. C. and G. Bibron. 1836. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol.3. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 528 pp. - get paper here
  • Earley, Ryan L.; Omar Attum, Perri Eason 2002. Varanid combat: perspectives from game theory. Amphibia-Reptilia 23 (4): 469-485 - get paper here
  • FRÝDLOVÁ, PETRA and DANIEL FRYNTA 2010. A test of Rensch’s rule in varanid lizards. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 100: 293–306 - get paper here
  • Frydlova, Petra, Jan Hnizdo, Petr Velensky, Olga Simkova, Veronika Cikanova, Lenka Chylikova and Daniel Frynta. 2013. Easy life of males? Indirect evidence that growth is easier than egg production in mangrove-dwelling monitor lizards (Varanus indicus). Acta Herpetologica 8 (2): 105-113 - get paper here
  • Frýdlová, Petra; Velenský, Petr; Šimková, Olga; Cikánová, Veronika; Hnízdo, Jan; Rehák, Ivan; Frynta, Daniel 2011. Is body shape of mangrove-dwelling monitor lizards (Varanus indicus; Varanidae) sexually dimorphic?. Amphibia-Reptilia 32 (1): 27-37 - get paper here
  • Grabbe, J. & Koch, A. 2014. First and Repeated Cases of Parthenogenesis in the Varanid Subgenus Euprepiosaurus (Varanus indicus Species Group) and the First Successful Breeding of V. rainerguentheri in Captivity. Biawak 8 (2): 79 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [V Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp. [1830]
  • Gregorovicova, M., O. Zahradnicek, et al. 2012. Embryonic development of the monitor lizard,Varanus indicus. Amphibia-Reptilia 33(3-4): 451-468
  • Günther, A. 1879. Notice of a collection of reptiles from islands of Torres Straits. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (5) 3: 84—87. - get paper here
  • Hediger,H. 1934. Beitrag zur Herpetologie und Zoogeographie Neu-Britanniens und einiger umliegender Gebiete. Zool. Jahrb. (Syst.) 65: 389-582
  • Kishida, K. 1929. A new monitor from the island of Saipan, South Sea Islands. Lansania 1: 13-16
  • Koch A, Arida E, Schmitz A, Böhme W, Ziegler T. 2009. Refining the polytypic species concept of mangrove monitors (Squamata: Varanus indicus group): a new cryptic species from the Talaud Islands, Indonesia, reveals the underestimated diversity of Indo-Australian monitor lizards. Australian Journal of Zoology 57(1): 29-40 - get paper here
  • Koch, A. & Böhme, W. 2005. Die Herpetofauna Sulawesis unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Gattung Varanus: phylogeographische Beziehungen zu angrenzenden Gebieten - das Projekt stellt sich vor. Elaphe 13 (4): 43-46
  • Koch, André, Evy A. Arida and Wolfgang Böhme 2007. Zwischenbericht über die Herpetofauna Sulawesis unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Gattung Varanus: phylogeographische Beziehungen zu angrenzenden Gebieten. Elaphe 15 (3):42-52
  • Koch, André; Thomas Ziegler, Wolfgang Böhme, and Mark Auliya 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, Z.; Philipp, K. & Ziegler, T. 2010. The Monitor Man: A Story of Stunning Discoveries and Charismatic Creatures. Biawak 4 (4): 132-152 - get paper here
  • Lesson, R.P. 1830. Description de quelques reptiles nouveaux ou peu connus. In: M.L.I. Duperrey, Voyage Autour du Monde Execute par Ordre du Roi, sur la Corvette de La Majeste, La Coquille, exécuté Pendant les Annees 1822, 1823, 1824 et 1825. 2. Zoologie 2 (1). Arthur Bertrand, Paris: 1-65 - get paper here
  • McCoid, Michael James;Hensley, Rebecca A.;Witteman, Gregory J. 1994. Factors in the decline of Varanus indicus on Guam, Mariana Islands. Herpetological Review 25 (2): 60-61 - get paper here
  • McCoy, M. 2006. Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Pensoft Series Faunistica 57, 212 pp.
  • Merrem, B. 1820. Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien I (Tentamen Systematis Amphibiorum). J. C. Kriegeri, Marburg, 191 pp.
  • Mertens, R. 1926. Über die Rassen einiger indo-australischer Reptilien. Senckenbergiana biologica 8: 272-279
  • Mertens, R. 1941. Zwei neue Warane des australischen Fauenengebietes. Senckenbergiana 23: 266-272
  • Mertens, R. 1963. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien; Helodermatidae, Varanidae, Lanthanotidae. Das Tierreich 79: i-x, 1-26
  • Meyer, A.B. 1874. [Eine Mittheilung von Hrn. Dr. Adolf Meyer] über die von ihm auf Neu-Guinea und den Inseln Jobi, Mysore und Mafoor im Jahre 1873 gesammelten Amphibien. Monatsber. K. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1874: 128-140 - get paper here
  • Philipp, K. M., W. Böhme & T. Ziegler 1999. The identity of Varanus indicus: Redefinition and description of a sibling species coexisting at the type locality (Sauria: Varanidae: Varanus indicus group). Spixiana 22 (3): 273-287 - get paper here
  • Philipp,K.M.; Ziegler, T. & Böhme, W. 2007. Preliminary Investigations of the Natural Diet of Six Monitor Lizard Species of the Varanus (Euprepiosaurus) indicus Group. Mertensiella 16: 336-345
  • Pianka, E. R. and D. R. King, eds. 2004. Varanoid Lizards of the World. Indiana University Press, 599 pp - get paper here
  • Rese, R. 1988. Beitrag zur Lebenserwartung von Grosswaranen in Gefangenschaft. Sauria 10 (1): 25-26 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, KP 1932. Reptiles and Amphibians from the Solomon Islands. Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool. Ser. - 18 (9): 175-190 - get paper here
  • Setiadi, M. I. & A. Hamidy, 2006. Jenis-Jenis Herpetofauna di Pulau Halmahera. Kerjasama antara Pusat Studi Biodiversitas dan Konservasi Universitas Indonesia dan Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense, Puslit Biologi Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia. - get paper here
  • Sprackland, R. G. 1994. Rediscovery and taxonomic review of Varanus indicus spinulosus Mertens, 1941. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 24 (2), 33-38. - get paper here
  • Sprackland, Robert 1995. Evolution, Systematics, and Variation of Pacific Mangrove Monitors PhD thesis, University College London, 249 pp. - get paper here
  • Switak, Karl H. 2006. Adventures in Green Python Country. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 364 pp. - get paper here
  • Weijola V, Sweet SS. 2015. A single species of mangrove monitor (Varanus) occupies Ambon, Seram, Buru and Saparua, Moluccas, Indonesia. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 9 (1) [General Section]: 14–23 - get paper here
  • Wesiak, K. 2009. Terrarienhaltung und Erstnachzucht des Pazifikwarans Varanus (Euprepiosaurus) indicus (DAUDIN, 1802), mit einigen Bemerkungen zur Entwicklung der Jungtiere. Elaphe 17 (1): 44-55 [Nachtrag in Elaphe 17(4): 47]
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • WOODS, I.G. 2007. Varanus indicus (Mangrove Monitor) Liapari Island. Biawak 1 (2): 90 - get paper here
  • Ziegler, T., Schmitz, A., Koch, A. & W. Böhme 2007. A review of the subgenus Euprepiosaurus of Varanus (Squamata: Varanidae): morphological and molecular phylogeny, distribution and zoogeography, with an identification key for the members of the V. indicus and the V. prasinus species groups. Zootaxa 1472: 1-28 - get paper here
  • Ziegler, T.; Böhme, W.; Eidenmüller, B. & Philipp, K. 2001. A note on the coexistence of three species of Pacific monitor lizards in Australia (Sauria, Varanidae, Varanus indicus group). Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 50 (1-2): 27-30 - get paper here
  • Ziegler, Thomas; Wolfgang Böhme, Andreas Schmitz 2007. A new species of the Varanus indicus group (Squamata, Varanidae) from Halmahera Island, Moluccas: morphological and molecular evidence. Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin 83 (S1): 109-119
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