Varanus telenesetes SPRACKLAND, 1991
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Varanus telenesetes?
|Higher Taxa||Varanidae, Platynota, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Varanus prasinus CZECHURA 1980: 103 (part.)|
Varanus telenestes SPRACKLAND 1991: 569
Varanus telenestes — DE LISLE 1996: 130
Varanus telenesetes — BÖHME 2002
Varanus (Euprepiosaurus) telenesetes — ZIEGLER et al. 2007
Varanus (Hapturosaurus) telenesetes — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50
|Distribution||Rossel Islands, Papua New Guinea|
Type locality: Roussel (= Rossel) Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.
|Types||Holotype: QM J1190.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Similar to V. prasinus from which it differs in having light, not black, palmar surfaces, smooth ventral scales, and a mottled ventral pattern.|
“Eidenmüller and Philippen (2008: 62) depicted the holotype specimen of V. telenesetes. In contrast to the original description by Sprackland (1991), the holotype is not “similar to V. prasinus” in being green dorsally with indistinct dark chevrons, but instead it is unicolored dark grey and, thus, largely resembles the type specimen of V. bogerti (Mertens 1950). Only the head of the holotype specimen was black and white depicted by Sprackland (1991). This author also incorrectly claimed that Mertens (1959) had examined a specimen from Rossel Island, which he identified as V. (prasinus) bogerti.
By contrast, Sprackland (1991) asserted that the holotype of V. telenesetes “bears no resemblence [sic] to bogerti” and, “aside from the distinct colouration,” mentioned some further morphological differences to distinguish both tree monitor taxa. However, in the cladogram presented by Sprackland (1991), V. bogerti and V. telenesetes are revealed as sister taxa. Because of these taxonomic uncertainties, it is reasonable to suggest that V. telenesetes may actually represent a junior synonym of V. bogerti Mertens, 1950. Re- examination of the type specimens of both rare monitor lizard taxa seems necessary to resolve this question” [cited from Koch et al. 2013].
|Comment||Distribution: The species could not be recorded on Rossel Island (F. Kraus, pers. comm. in De Lisle 2009). Therefore, the type locality is probably an error but V. telenesetes might occur on other islands in the Louisiade Archipelago (De Lisle 2009).|
Abundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017).
|Etymology||From Greek “tele” = far, and “nesetes” = island dweller, refering to its occurrence at the easternmost point of New Guinea, 330 km from the nearest tree monitor population.|
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