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Varanus komodoensis OUWENS, 1912

IUCN Red List - Varanus komodoensis - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Sauria (lizards) 
Common NamesE: Komodo Dragon
G: Komodowaran 
SynonymVaranus komodoensis OUWENS 1912
Varanus (Varanus) komodoensis - MERTENS 1942
Varanus komodoensis — DE ROOIJ 1915: 150
Varanus komodoensis — DE LISLE 1996: 130
Varanus komodoensis — AST 2001
Varanus (Varanus) komodoensis — KOCH et al. 2013 
DistributionKomodo, Padar, Rintja, Flores, Lesser Sunda region of Indonesia

Type locality: Komodo Island, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia.  
TypesSyntype: MZB (others probably in RMNH fide ISKANDAR & MUMPUNI 2002) 
CommentSize: This is the largest lizard known. Some claim that the largest specimen ever recorded was 10 feet 2 inches long and weighed 365 lbs!

Reproduction: Parthenogenesis has recently been reported for this species (WATTS et al. 2006).

SPAWLS et al. (2001) list this species also for Eastern Africa. 
  • 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
  • Arida, E. & Böhme, W. 2010. The Origin of Varanus: When Fossils, Morphology, and Molecules Alone Are Never Enough. Biawak 4 (4): 117-124 - 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]
  • Bonetti, Mathilde 2002. 100 Sauri. Mondadori (Milano), 192 pp.
  • Brenneman, Rick A.; Robert C. Barber; <br />Ryan M. Huebinger; Julie A. Sommer &<br />Edward E. Loui 2007. Characterization of ten microsatellite marker loci in the Komodo Monitor (Varanus komodoensis). Conserv Genet 8:1017–1020
  • Bull, J. J.; Tim S. Jessop, Marvin Whiteley 2010. Deathly Drool: Evolutionary and Ecological Basis of Septic Bacteria in Komodo Dragon Mouths. Plos ONE 5 (6): e11097 - get paper here
  • Burden, William Douglas 1928. Results of the Douglas Burden Expedition to the Island of Komodo V. Observations on the habits and distribution of Varanus komodensis Ouwens. American Museum Novitates (316): 1-10 - get paper here
  • Ciofi C.; Beaumont M. A.; Swingland I. R.; Bruford M. W. 1999. Genetic divergence and units for conservation in the Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis. Proceedings: Biological Sciences 266 (1435): 2269-2269
  • Ciofi, C. et al. 2011. Development of a multiplex PCR assay for fine-scale population genetic analysis of the Komodo monitor Varanus komodoensis based on 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci. Molecular Ecology Resources 11: 550–556
  • De Lisle, H.F. 1996. Natural History of Monitor Lizards. Krieger, Malabar (Florida)
  • de Rooij, N. de 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 384 pp.
  • Dunn, Emmett Reid; Burden, W. Douglas 1927. Results of the Douglas Burden Expedition to the Island of Komodo. I, Notes on Varanus komodoensis. American Museum novitates (286) - 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
  • Fry, Bryan G.; Stephen Wroe, Wouter Teeuwisse, Matthias J. P. van Osch, Karen Moreno, Janette Ingle, 2009. A central role for venom in predation by Varanus komodoensis (Komodo Dragon) and the extinct giant Varanus (Megalania) priscus. PNAS 106: 8969-8974
  • 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
  • Hien, P. 2003. Erster photographischer Nachweis von ungewöhnlich gefärbten Varanus komodoensis (OUWENS 1912) bei Riung, Flores, Indonesien. Sauria (Berlin) 25 (1): 3-9 - get paper here
  • Iskandar, Djoko T. and Mumpuni 2002. The herpetological type specimens in the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense Collection. Hamadryad 27 (1):123-135 - get paper here
  • JESSOP, T.S., T. MADSEN, J. SUMMER, H. RUDIHARTO, J.A. PHILLIPS and C.<br />CIOFI 2006. Maximum body size among insular Komodo dragon populations covaries with large prey density. Oikos 112:422-429.
  • Kern, James A. 1968. Dragon Lizards of Komodo. National Geographic 134(6): 872-880
  • 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. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 8 (Monograph 3):1 − 62.
  • Kumazawa, Y.; Endo, H 2004. Mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon: efficient sequencing method with reptile-oriented primers and novel gene rearrangements. DNA Research 11 (2): 115-125
  • Kwet, A. 2012. Die hundertjährigen Drachen von Komodo. Terraria Elaphe 2012 (5): 107-111
  • Lönnberg, Einar 1928. Notes on Varanus komodensis Ouwens and its affinities. Arkiv för Zoologi 19A (27): 1-11
  • Mertens, R. 1930. Die Amphibien und Reptilien der Inseln Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa und Flores. Senck. Naturf. Gesell., Frankfurt am Main, Abhandl. 42(3): 117-344.
  • Mertens, R. 1942. Die Familie der Warane (Varanidae), 3. Teil: Taxonomie. Abh. Senckenb. naturf. Ges., 466: 235-391
  • Ouwens, P.A. 1912. On a large Varanus species from the island of Komodo. Bull. Jardin Bot. Buitenzorg 6: 1-3
  • PACKARD, GARY C. and THOMAS J. BOARDMAN 2009. Bias in interspecific allometry: examples from morphological scaling in varanid lizards. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 96, 296–305. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Switak, Karl H. 2006. Adventures in Green Python Country. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 364 pp. - get paper here
  • Watts PC, Buley KR, Sanderson S, Boardman W, Ciofi C, Gibson R. 2006. Parthenogenesis in Komodo dragons. Nature 444(7122):1021-2
  • Werning, Heiko 1997. Die verwöhnten "Drachen" von Komodo. Reptilia (Münster) 2 (5): 26-27 - get paper here
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