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Varanus samarensis KOCH, GAULKE & BÖHME, 2010

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Varanoidea, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Samar water monitor 
SynonymVaranus cumingi samarensis KOCH, GAULKE & BÖHME 2010
Varanus samarensis — WELTON et al. 2014
Varanus (Soterosaurus) samarensis — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50 
DistributionPhlippine Islands (Samar, Leyte, Bohol)

Type locality: San Augustin near Gandara, Samar Island, Philippines  
Reproductionoviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: ZFMK 64713 (Figs. 9–12), a subadult male, collected by M. Gaulke 1989. Paratype. ZFMK 64712 (Fig. 13), an adult female, Tiomonan near Gandara, Samar Island, Philippines, collected by M. Gaulke 1989 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A subspecies of V. cumingi clearly distinguished from the nominotypic form by the following combination of characters: (1) A distinctive dorsal colour pattern of five to eight transverse rows of large yellow ocelli, spots, or markings on a black ground colour; (2) predominantly black dorsal side of the head with a varying extent of more-or-less symmetrical yellow markings; (3) black temporal streak sometimes bordered below by a bright stripe; and (4) no bright medio-dorsal stripe on neck and back. (5) Nostrils’ position on average about two and half times closer to the tip of the snout than to the eye (index 2 = 2.00–3.29, mean = 2.41). For details about scalation features and colour pattern of the remaining Philippine members of the V. salvator complex please refer to Tables 3 and 5 in KOCH et al. 2010. 
EtymologyV. cumingi has been named after the collector of the type, “Mr. H. Cuming”. The subspecific epithet samarensis refers to the type locality Samar Islands, Philippines. 
  • Böhme, W. 2002. Langjährige Haltung und Altersrekord eines Bindenwarans, Varanus salvator (LAURENTI 1768) im Terrarium: zweithöchstes belegtes individuelles Lebensalter eines Vertreters der Varanidae. Herpetofauna 24 (141): 26-28 - get paper here
  • Böhme, Wolfgang 2014. Herpetology in Bonn. Mertensiella 21. vi + 256 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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 2018. 15 Jahre Forschung an indo-australischen Waranen. Terraria-Elaphe 2018 (5): 54-57 - 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
  • Martin, W. 1839. [Remarks on two species of saurian reptiles]. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1838: 68-70 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1942. Die Familie der Warane (Varanidae), 3. Teil: Taxonomie. Abh. Senckenb. naturf. Ges., 466: 235-391
  • 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
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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