Varanus spinulosus MERTENS, 1941
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Varanus spinulosus?
|Higher Taxa||Varanidae, Platynota, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||Solomon Island Spiny Monitor|
|Synonym||Varanus indicus spinulosus MERTENS 1941: 269|
Varanus spinulosus — SPRACKLAND 1994
Varanus spinulosus — DE LISLE 1996: 130
Varanus spinulosus — AST 2001
Varanus spinulosus — KOCH et al. 2010
Varanus (Solomonsaurus) spinulosus — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50
|Distribution||Santa Isabel Island, San Jorge Islands (Solomon Islands), Papua New Guinea (Bougainville)|
Type locality: George Island near Ysabel, Solomon Islands.
|Types||Holotype: NMW 23387 (formerly NMW 3709).|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis (Solomonsaurus): Solomonsaurus is a subgenus of monitor lizards endemic to the Solomon Islands, which is uniquely defined by the following combination of morphological characters: (1) The body is covered with relatively small scales resulting, for instance, in a high number (>200) of scale rows around midbody (Mertens 1941, 1942a; Böhme & Ziegler 2007); (2) in addition, the small body scales are strongly conical and highly keeled particularly on the dorsal and lateral side and even the little granules surrounding each scale exhibit a conical shape. This scalation feature is only found in V. spinulosus and gives this species its unique scale texture which is also reflected in its name (spinulosus lat. = spiny, this study, see Figs. 63–64); (3) a distinct dorsal colour pattern consisting of three to four transverse rows of large solid yellow spots (the anterior two of which tend to dissolve into light broad transverse bands) on a dark background colouration (see Dwyer 2008; McCoy 2006); (4) relatively large eyes of so far unknown ecological significance (see Eidenmüller & Philippen 2008:61); (5) symmetrically built hemipenes that are characterised by 9–10 paryphasman rows on the asulcal side and two clearly mineralized hemibacula, the outer of which is more robustly built than the inner, emerging from the apical platform (Böhme & Ziegler 2007); and (7) an isolated basal molecular phylogenetic position within varanids (Schmitz et al., cited as in prep. ibyn Bucklitsch et al. 2016).|
|Comment||Type species: Varanus spinulosus is the type species of the subgenus Solomonsaurus Bucklitsch et al. 2016.|