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Varanus pilbarensis STORR, 1980

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Varanoidea, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Northern Pilbara Rock Monitor
G: Nördlicher Pilbara Felsenwaran 
SynonymVaranus pilbarensis STORR 1980
Varanus pilbarensis — DE LISLE 1996: 132
Varanus pilbarensis — COGGER 2000: 370
Varanus pilbarensis — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Varanus (Odatria) pilbarensis — HÖRENBERG & KOCH 2013
Varanus (Odatria) pilbarensis — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50 
DistributionAustralia (Pilbara region, Western Australia)

Type locality: Chichester Range, Western Australia, (22° 03’ S, 118° 48’ E).

Localities: WAM: R90856 (female)—Woodstock Station (21o37'00"S 119°01'24"E); *R100766 (male)—Woodstock Station (21°35'20"S 118°58'59"E); R102103 (male)—20 km SSW Cooya Pooya, Millstream Chichester National Park (21°12'40"S 117°04'20"E); *R110941 (female)—44 km W Pannawonica (21°39'S 116°19'E); ^R113094 – 42 km NNE Munjina Roadhouse (21°57'S 118°50'E); *R132659 (female)—Burrup Peninsula (20°32'16"S 116°49'07"E); *R139384 (female)—Meentheena (21°12'59"S 120°20'26"E); R163916 (female)—47.5 km ESE Goldsworthy (20°25'41"S 119°58'10"E); *R165513 (female)—West Intercourse Island (20°40'41"S 116°37'54"E); *R170132 (male)—30 km NE Wodgina (21°01'42"S 118°55'00"E).  
TypesHolotype: WAM R39782, male; paratypes: WAM 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Differs from all Australian congeners by the following combination of characters: size moderately small (SVL up to 180 mm); slender build; tail long (between 170–211% of SVL) and thin, circular in cross section at midpoint, midbody scales 118–128; dorsal and lateral primary scales weakly keeled, enlarged keeled ventrolateral scales on each side of and posterior to vent in 4–6 rows, scales on top of head smooth; supraoculars gradually merging with larger interoculars; dorsal scales elongate, ovate; nostrils high and oriented dorsolaterally, dorsal and lateral surfaces of body with distinct transverse series of large ocelli on a light reddish-brown background, and tail with prominent alternating light and dark bands.
Varanus pilbarensis differs from its sister species in the Hamersley Range (described below) in its overall paler colouration, large greyish ocelli on the dorsal and lateral surfaces of body and limbs (v. small whitish ocelli on limbs only), strongly banded tail (v. completely or mostly unbanded) and larger and more elongate dorsal scales (Fig. 3A in Maryan et al. 2014). 
EtymologyNamed for the Pilbara region of Western Australia, the region to which it is restricted. Used as a noun in apposition. 
  • Bennet, D.F. 2003. Australian Monitors. Reptilia (GB) (30): 12-19 - get paper here
  • Bennet, D.F. 2003. Australische Warane. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (43): 18-25 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Doody, J. Sean, Brendan Schembri and Samuel S. Sweet. 2015. Varanus pilbarensis (Pilbara Rock monitor) and Varanus glauerti (Kimberly Rock monitor) tail display behavior. Herpetological Review 46 (3): 439-440 - get paper here
  • Eidenmüller, B. 2007. Kleinwarane im Terrarium. Reptilia (Münster) 12 (63): 16-23 - get paper here
  • Eidenmüller, B. 2007. Small monitors in the terrarium. Reptilia (GB) (50): 12-19 - get paper here
  • Eidenmüller, B. & Langner, C. 1998. Bemerkungen zur Haltung und Nachzucht des Pilbara-Felsenwarans (Varanus pilbarensis Storr 1980). Herpetofauna 20 (117): 5-10 - get paper here
  • Ellis, R.J. 2018. An annotated type catalogue of varanid lizards (Reptilia: Squamata: Varanidae) in the collection of the Western Australian Museum. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 33:187-194, DOI: 10.18195/issn.0312-3162.33(2).2018.187-194 - get paper here
  • Hörenberg, Thomas 2013. Der Pilbara-Waran, Varanus pilbarensis – Haltung und Nachzucht. Draco 13 (53): 31-36 - get paper here
  • Hörenberg, Thomas & André Koch 2013. Die Zwergwarane der Untergattung Odatria Gray, 1838. Draco 13 (53): 6-19 - get paper here
  • Lisle, H.F. de 1996. Natural History of Monitor Lizards. Krieger, Malabar (Florida)
  • MARYAN, BRAD; PAUL M. OLIVER, ALISON J. FITCH & MORGAN O’CONNELL 2014. Molecular and morphological assessment of Varanus pilbarensis (Squamata: Varanidae), with a description of a new species from the southern Pilbara, Western Australia. Zootaxa 3768 (2): 139–158 - 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
  • Storr G M 1980. The monitor lizards (genus Varanus Merrem, 1820) of Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 8 (2): 237-293 - get paper here
  • VEGA, ALVARO CAMINA & ANDRE KOCH 2017. First Breeding Report of the Pilbara Rock Monitor (Varanus pilbarensis Storr, 1980) in Spain with Taxonomic Comments on the Recently Described V. hamersleyensis Maryan et al., 2014. Biawak 11 (1): 19-27 - get paper here
  • VEGA, ALVARO CAMINA & EDGAR WEFER 2016. Remarks on a Case of Deformities in a Female Varanus pilbarensis. Biawak 10 (2): 51 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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