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Varanus obor WEIJOLA & SWEET, 2010

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymVaranus obor WEIJOLA & SWEET 2010
Varanus (Euprepiosaurus) obor — KOCH et al. 2010
Varanus (Euprepiosaurus) obor — KOCH et al. 2013
Varanus (Euprepiosaurus) obor — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50 
DistributionIndonesia (N Moluccas: Sanana)

Type locality: Soela-Bési [now known as Pulau Sanana, Maluku Utara province], Indonesia  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: RMNH RENA 7225. Leg. et don. D.S. Hoedt. Collection date was apparently not recorded, but probably between 1863– 1866 as Dirk Samuel Hoedt (1815–1893) was Secretary of the Moluccas from 1853–1867, and travelled extensively while collecting for the Natural History Museum, Leiden, between 1863–1866 (SteenisKruseman, 1950). 
CommentDiagnosis. The new species is a member of the Varanus indicus species group of the subgenus Euprepiosaurus. It is distinguished from other Euprepiosaurus by a combination of the following features. (1) Dorsum dark brown, charcoal gray or black, often with dispersed single tan or pale yellowish brown scales, most evident on nape and sacral regions. From a distance the dorsum appears uniformly glossy black. (2) Anterior facial region with variable orange or orange-red markings in life, always including the supra-and infralabial regions anterior to the eye, extending to include the entire snout and anterior interorbital region in some individuals. (3) Tail strongly compressed distally, dark brown or black with 17–20 indistinct, narrow pale bands, most prominent in the middle third. (4) Venter dark gray with diffuse paler areas arrayed in irregular incomplete transverse bands. (5) Throat gray-brown, with variable white markings that are usually arranged in 4–8 transverse patches and sometimes extend to the lateral neck or even the temporal-facial region. The mental region is usually white, grading into orange laterally. (6) Tongue pink with dark pigmentation on the distal half of the tines. (7) Middorsal scales comparatively large and highly polished, in 136–148 transverse rows from occiput to cloaca, and 119–134 rows at midbody. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet obor is from Bahasa Indonesia. Obor means torch, in reference to the striking facial coloration of this species which is unique in the subgenus Euprepiosaurus. The term is employed as a noun in apposition. We suggest the common name Sago Monitor in recognition of the association of this species with Metroxylon palm swamps. The local name for V. obor sp. n. is “soa-soa hitam” (black monitor). 
References
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Weijola, V.S.A.; Sweet, S.S. 2010. A new melanistic species of monitor lizard (Reptilia: Squamata: Varanidae) from Sanana Island, Indonesia. Zootaxa 2434: 17–32 - get paper here
 
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