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Varanus marmoratus (WIEGMANN, 1834)

IUCN Red List - Varanus marmoratus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Varanoidea, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymHydrosaurus marmoratus WIEGMANN in MEYEN 1834: 196
Monitor bivittatus philippensis SCHLEGEL 1839: X (nom. nud.)
Monitor bivittatus philippensis SCHLEGEL 1844
Varanus manilensis MARTENS 1876: 196
Varanus salvator — GORGOZA 1888: 275
Varanus salvator marmoratus — MERTENS 1942: 254
Varanus salvator philippinensis DERANIYAGALA 1944
Varanus salvator marmoratus — GAULKE 1999
Varanus marmoratus — KOCH et al. 2007
Varanus salvator marmoratus — LAGAT 2009
Varanus (Soterosaurus) marmoratus — KOCH et al. 2010
Varanus (Soterosaurus) marmoratus — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50 
DistributionPhilippines (Luzon); restricted to Luzon and offshore islands by KOCH et al. 2010.

Type locality: (restricted by MERTENS 1942 to) San Mateo near Manila, Philippines. Mertens’ decision, although adopted by later authors (e.g., Böhme 2003; Koch et al. 2007), was not conform to Article 76 of the International Code for Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN 1999), because no neotype was designated at the same time.  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 470, subadult, Luzon, Philippines, collected 1830-32 by F. J. F. Meyen. MNHN 8274 is the holotype of marmoratus Cuvier, 1829. The second missing syntype of Cuvier’s taxon very probably is MNHN 8275 (V17/23), another mounted specimen from Luzon, which is incorrectly labeled as Monitor nigricans Cuvier, 1829 (e.g. in Brygoo 1987).
Syntypes: MNHN 8272 (formerly MNHN 1530), MNHN 6510, formerly MNHN 1880-385 [philippinensis DERANIYAGALA] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: (to distinguish V. marmoratus s. str. from all remaining members of the V. salvator complex): (1) low mean scale counts around the tail at its base (character Q = 85–107, mean = 94.73), (2) at one third of its length (character R = 48–65, mean = 51.73) and (3) around midbody (character S = 115–145, mean = 133.60); (4) high mean scale counts on the ventral side (character TN = 158–180, mean = 169); but in contrast, (5) larger scales and thereby low mean numbers on the dorsal side (character XY = 101–123, mean = 110.80); (6) at least in juveniles four to six dorsal transverse rows of large bright spots between the fore and hind limbs of which the second transverse row behind the forelimbs is usually reduced. This colour pattern, however, may dissolve in adults; (7) a whitish temporal streak between eye and tympanum; and (8) at least in juveniles six to eleven dark pointed bars or crossbands on the belly, which may dissolve with age. For details about scalation features and colour pattern of the remaining Philippine members of the V. salvator complex we refer to Tables 3 and 5 in KOCH et al. 2010. 
CommentPublication date: Some sources give other publication dates than 1834, see BAUER & ADLER (2001) for a discussion.

Types: See also BÖHME & KOCH 2010 for a discussion of the types of Monitor marmoratus CUVIER 1829.

According to the timetree in Fig. S3 of Brennan et al. (2020), several taxa within the V. salvator group are distinctly younger than 1 million years, such as cumingi, marmoratus, palawanensis, and samarensis, hence they may be better considered as subspecies of V. salvator (Ziegler & Vences 2020). 
  • Bauer, A.M. and Adler, K. 2001. The dating and correct citation of A.F.A. Wiegmann’s “Amphibien” section of Meyen’s Reise um die Erde, with a bibliography of Wiegmann’s herpetological publications. Arch. Nat. Hist. 28:313-326. - get paper here
  • Böhme, W. & Koch, A. 2010. On the type selection and re-typification of two monitor lizard taxa (Squamata: Varanidae): Monitor bivittatus celebensis Schlegel, 1844 and Monitor kordensis Meyer, 1874; with some comments and corrections on other name-bearing type specimens. Zootaxa 2440: 60–68 - get paper here
  • Brown, R.M.; C.H. Oliveros; C.D. Siler; J.B. Fernandez; L.J. Welton; P.A.C. Buenavente; M.L.L. Diesmos; A.C. Diesmos 2012. Amphibians and Reptiles of Luzon Island (Philippines), VII: Herpetofauna of Ilocos Norte Province, Northern Cordillera Mountain Range. Check List 8(3):469-490 - get paper here
  • Brown; Rafe; Cameron Siler, Carl Oliveros, Luke Welton, Ashley Rock, John Swab, Merlijn Van Weerd, Jonah van Beijnen, Dominic Rodriguez, Edmund Jose, Arvin Diesmos 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VIII: the herpetofauna of Cagayan and Isabela Provinces, northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range. ZooKeys 266 (2013) Special Issue: 1-120<br />doi: 10.3897/zookeys.266.3982 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Deraniyagala, P. E. P. 1944. Four New Races of the ''Kabaragoya'' Lizard Varanus salvator. Spolia Zeylanica 24: 59-62
  • DEVAN-SONG, Anne and Rafe M. BROWN 2012. Amphibians and Reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VI: The Herpetofauna of the Subic Bay Area. Asian Herpetological Research 3 (1): 1–20 - 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
  • Gaulke M. 1999. Die Herpetofauna von Calauit Island (Calamianes-Inseln, Provinz Palawan, Philippinen) (Amphibia et Reptilia). Faun. Abh. Staatl. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 21 (19): 273-282
  • Gojo-Cruz, Paul Henric P. and Leticia E. Afuang 2018. The Zoogeographic Significance of Caraballo Mountain Range, Luzon Island, Philippines With Focus on the Biogeography of Luzon’s Herpetofauna. Philippine Journal of Science 147 (3): 393-409 - get paper here
  • GOJO-CRUZ, Paul Henric P.; Leticia E. AFUANG, Juan Carlos T. GONZALEZ and William SM. GRUEZO 2018. Amphibians and Reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines: the Herpetofauna of Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed, Nueva Ecija Province, Caraballo Mountain Range. Asian Herpetological Research 9(4): 201–223 - get paper here
  • Gorgoza 1888. Ann. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 17: 275
  • 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
  • MCLEOD, David S.; Cameron D. SILER, Arvin C. DIESMOS, Mae L. DIESMOS, Vhon S. GARCIA, Angela O. ARKONCEO, Kelvin L. BALAQUIT, Charlene C. UY, Mariden M. VILLASERAN, Earle C. YARRA, Rafe M. BROWN 2011. Amphibians and Reptiles of Luzon Island, V: The Herpetofauna of Angat Dam Watershed, Bulacan Province, Luzon Island, Philippines. Asian Herpetological Research 2 (4): 177–198 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1876. Preuss. Exped. Ostas. Zool. 1: 196
  • Mertens, R. 1942. Die Familie der Warane (Varanidae), 3. Teil: Taxonomie. Abh. Senckenb. naturf. Ges., 466: 235-391
  • Reyes, M.A.P. 2008. The Monitor Lizards of Camiguin Island, Northern Philippines. Biawak 2 (1): 28-36 - get paper here
  • Schlegel, H. 1837. Abbildungen neuer oder unvollständig bekannter Amphibien, nach der Natur oder dem Leben entworfen. Düsseldorf (Arnz & Comp.), i-xiv + 141 pp. [1837-1844] - get paper here
  • Schlegel, H. 1839. Abbildungen neuer oder unvollständig bekannter Amphibien, nach der Natur oder dem Leben entworfen und mit einem erläuternden Texte begleitet. Arne and Co., Düsseldorf, xiv + 141 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
  • Wiegmann, A. F. A. 1834. In: Dr. F. J. F. Meyen: Beiträge zur Zoologie gesammelt auf einer Reise um die Erde. Siebente Abhandlung. Amphibien. Nova Acta Physico-Medica Academia Caesarea Leopoldino-Carolina (Halle) 17: 185-268 [1835] - get paper here
  • Ziegler, T.. & Vences, M. 2020. Molecular identification of water monitors (Varanus salvator complex) from confiscations and the pet trade, including phylogenetic placement of V. s. ziegleri – a molecular reference for species conservation enforcement and conservation breeding Zool. Garten N.F. 88: 31-50
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