Varanus sparnus DOUGHTY, KEALLEY, FITCH & DONNELLAN, 2014
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Varanus sparnus?
|Higher Taxa||Varanidae, Platynota, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||Dampier Peninsula Goanna|
|Synonym||Varanus sparnus DOUGHTY, KEALLEY, FITCH & DONNELLAN 2014|
Varanus (Odatria) sparnus — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50
|Distribution||Australia (Western Australia)|
Type locality: Coloumb Point, Dampier Peninsula (-17.5736°, 122.1694°)
|Types||Holotype: WAM R168486, adult male; paratypes: WAM.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: A very small Varanus (< 120 mm SVL) with short limbs, elongate body, ridged, circular and short prehensile tail (TailL/SVL: 0.92–0.99), and relatively plain reddish-brown dorsum with widely scattered small black spots. Further distinguished from V. brevicauda by having a more elongate body, shorter limbs, less robust head, body and tail, and presence of enlarged squarish scales not encircled by granules on front of the arms.|
|Comment||Habitat: alluvial or sandstone deposits, broadly classed as ‘pindan shrubland’; Corymbia sp. low trees over Acacia monticola, A. colei, A. eriopoda tall open scrub over mixed open grassland, on pindan soil on plain (Doughty et al. 2014).|
Behavior: this species is a highly active burrower, excavating underneath all hard structures, such as flat pieces of wood and a heating stone; the animals were constantly moving and rarely paused; the tail is highly prehensile, similar to that of V. brevicauda (Doughty et al. 2014).
Similar species: V. brevicauda
|Etymology||From Greek “sparnos” for ‘rare’ or ‘scarce’, in reference to this species’ isolation and small range on the Dampier Peninsula. Latinized to sparnus, and used as an adjective.|