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Varanus varius (WHITE, 1790)

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesE: Lace Monitor
G: Buntwaran 
SynonymLacerta varia WHITE 1790: 253
Lacerta varia — SHAW & NODDER 1791: plate 83
Tupinambis variegatus DAUDIN 1802: 76
Varanus varius MERREM 1820
Varanus varius — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 491
Varanus bellii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 493
Varanus (Hydrosaurus) mustelinus BORRE 1870: 124
Varanus varius — BOULENGER 1885: 319
Varanus various BERNEY 1936: 13 (in error)
Varanus (Varanus) varius — MERTENS 1942
Varanus varius — COGGER 1983
Varanus varius — DE LISLE 1996: 141
Varanus varius — COGGER 2000: 379
Varanus varius — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Varanus (Varanus) varius — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria)

Type locality: New South Wales; no locality in description, but presumably from Sydney area, NSW, based on activities of collector.  
TypesHolotype: lost (fide COGGER 1983, Böhme & Koch 2010)
Holotype: MNHN = MNHP 8287, from Sydney, N. S. W. (as Port Jackson) [T. variegatus]
Holotype: MNHP 8283, from Australia [V. bellii]
Holotype: RIB 9422 (Typ. Cat. 2002), frorn "Côte de Guinée". 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): The monotypic genus Varanus differs from all other squamate genera in possessing the following combination of character states: head long and flat, neck long; tongue long and forked, legs well developed, each with 5 strongly-clawed digits; tail long, gradually tapering, in cross section circular, rounded-triangular or laterally compressed; skin smooth to rough, somewhat loose-fitting; head covered by small juxtaposed polygonal scales and body and limbs by oblong or squarish, juxtaposed, non-glossy scales often bearing a low central keel [from MARYAN et al. 2014]. 
CommentEx Shaw ms; junior primary homonym of Lacerta varia Wyttenbach, 1789, itself a nom. oblit.; conservation of Lacerta varia Shaw will require use of the Plenary power of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature [fide COGGER 1983].

Toxinological analyses of venom components from the Lace Monitor showed potent effects on blood pressure and clotting ability, bioactivities associated with a rapid loss of consciousness and extensive bleeding in prey [Fry et al. 2005].

Fossils: see Vasilyan & Bukhsianidze 2020 for a subset of fossils of the genus.

Type species: Lacerta varia WHITE 1790: 253 is the type species of the genus Varanus WHITE 1790.

Fossil species of Varanus: see Villa et al. 2018 for fossil Varanus from Europe. 
  • Akeret, Beat 2014. Geschichtliches zur Haltung von Waranen in Deutschland und der Schweiz. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (6): 14-21 - get paper here
  • AMIR, ZACHARY 2018. Relative Abundance and Risk Assessment of Lace Monitors (Varanus varius) on Fraser Island, Queensland: Are Monitors Habituated to Human Presence? Biawak 12 (1): - get paper here
  • Ávalos, J. de & Martínez Carrión, P. 1997. Warane. Reptilia (Münster) 2 (5): 16-21 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. 1999. Notes on John White's Journal of a Voyage to new South Wales (1790), a Classic of Australian Herpetology. Newsletter Internatl. Soc. Hist. Bibliogr. Herpetol. 1(1): 16-19 - get paper here
  • Bennet, D.F. 2003. Australische Warane. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (43): 18-25 - get paper here
  • Bennet, D.F. 2003. Australian Monitors. Reptilia (GB) (30): 12-19 - get paper here
  • Berney, F. L. 1936. Gould's monitor (Varanus gouldiae). Qd. Nat. 10: 12-14
  • Borre, A. P. de 1870. Description d'une nouvelle espèce africaine du genre varan (Varanus). Bull. Acad. R. Belg. CI. Séi. (2) 29: 122-130
  • 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
  • Brygoo, E. R. 1987. Les types de Varanides (Reptiles, Sauriens) du Museum national d'Histoire naturelle. Catalogue critique. Bulletin du Museum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, 4e ser., 9, sect. A (Zool., BioI. & Ecol. anim.), (2), supplement, 21-38.
  • BUCKLITSCH, YANNICK; WOLFGANG BÖHME, ANDRÉ KOCH 2016. Scale Morphology and Micro-Structure of Monitor Lizards (Squamata: Varanidae: Varanus spp.) and their Allies: Implications for Systematics, Ecology, and Conservation. . Zootaxa 4153 (1): 001–192
  • Bustard, H. R. 1970. Australian Lizards. Sydney: Collins 162 pp.
  • Carter, D.B. 1991. Reproductive Cycle of female Varanus varius in south eastern Australia. Mertensiella, Suppl. Salamandra (2): 266-266
  • Carter, D.B. 1991. Courtship and Mating in wild Varanus varius. Mertensiella, Suppl. Salamandra (2): 266-266
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Daudin, F. M. 1802. Histoire Naturelle, génerale et particulièredes reptiles, ouvrage faisant suite, a l'histoiure naturelle, générale et particulière composée par LECLERC DE BUFFON, et redigée par C. S. SONNINI, vol. 3. F. Dufart, Paris.
  • Duméril, A.M. C. and G. Bibron. 1836. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol. 3. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 528 pp. - get paper here
  • Earley, Ryan L.; Omar Attum, Perri Eason 2002. Varanid combat: perspectives from game theory. Amphibia-Reptilia 23 (4): 469-485 - get paper here
  • Fry, Bryan G.; Nicolas Vidal; Janette A. Norman; Freek J. Vonk; Holger Scheib; S. F. Ryan Ramjan; Sanjaya Kuruppu; Kim Fung; S. Blair Hedges; Michael K. Richardson; Wayne. C. Hodgson; Vera Ignjatovic; Robyn Summerhayes and Elazar Kochva 2005. Early evolution of the venom system in lizards and snakes. Nature 439:584-588 [2006] - get paper here
  • FRÝDLOVÁ, PETRA and DANIEL FRYNTA 2010. A test of Rensch’s rule in varanid lizards. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 100: 293–306 - get paper here
  • Hawkeswood, T. J. and D. C. Metcalfe 2016. Varanus varius (Lace Monitor) harassment by birds. Herpetological Review 47(3): 470-471. - get paper here
  • Horn, J. G. 1980. Bisher unbekannte Details zur Kenntnis von Varanus varius auf Grund von feldherpetologischen und terraristischen Beobachtungen (Reptilia: Sauria: Varanidae). Salamandra 16 (1): 1-18 - get paper here
  • Hoser, Raymond 1998. Lace monitors (Varanus varius) in the wild and in captivity in Australia, with reference to a collection of seven adults held in captivity for eight years. Monitor 10 (1): 22-30; 32; 35-36 - get paper here
  • Iannucci, Alessio; Marie Altmanová, Claudio Ciofi, Malcolm Ferguson-Smith, Massimo Milan, Jorge Claudio Pereira, James Pether, Ivan Rehák, Michail Rovatsos, Roscoe Stanyon, Petr Velenský, Petr Ráb, Lukáš Kratochvíl & Martina Johnson Pokorná 2019. Conserved sex chromosomes and karyotype evolution in monitor lizards (Varanidae). Heredity 123, 215–227 - get paper here
  • Jones A. A. & Metcalfe, D. C. 2013. Shelter from the Storm: an Unconventional Refuge for a wild Varanus varius (white, 1790) (Reptilia: Sauria: Varanidae). Biawak 7 (2): 54 - get paper here
  • Kowalski, M. 1997. Das Portrait: Varanus (Varanus) varius. Sauria 19 (3): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Krauss, P. & Horn, H.-G. 2004. Lebensfähige Drillinge des Buntwarans, Varanus varius (WHITE 1790). Sauria, Berlin 26 (3): 3-6 - get paper here
  • Lei, J. and Booth, D. T. 2018. Fine scale analysis of intraspecific and interspecific interactions in two varanid lizard populations adjacent to a sea turtle nesting beach. Austral Ecology. doi:10.1111/aec.12646 - get paper here
  • Lisle, H.F. de 1996. Natural History of Monitor Lizards. Krieger, Malabar (Florida)
  • Longley, G. 1945. Notes on the lace monitor (Varanus varius). Proc. R. Zool. Soc. N. S. W. 1944-45: 20-22 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Mertens, R. 1942. Die Familie der Warane (Varanidae), 3. Teil: Taxonomie. Abh. Senckenb. naturf. Ges., 466: 235-391
  • Mertens, R. 1958. Bemerkungen über die Warane Australiens. Senckenbergiana biologica 39: 229-264
  • Metcalfe, Dean C. and Alan A. Jones 2012. Varanus varius (Lace Monitor, Common Goanna): Diet. Herpetological Bulletin (122) - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Mo, Matthew 2015. Herpetofaunal community of the constructed Lime Kiln Bay Wetland, south Sydney, New South Wales. Victorian Naturalist 132 (3): 64-72 - get paper here
  • Murphy, Michael J. 1994. Reptiles and amphibians of Seven Mile Beach National park, NSW. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 24 (2): 24-30
  • Pianka, E. R. and D. R. King, eds. 2004. Varanoid Lizards of the World. Indiana University Press, 599 pp - get paper here
  • Rese, R. 1988. Beitrag zur Lebenserwartung von Grosswaranen in Gefangenschaft. Sauria 10 (1): 25-26 - get paper here
  • Shaw,G. & Nodder,F.P. 1792. The Naturalist's Miscellany [...], Vol. III. London, Nodder & Co., plates 75-110, 137 unnumbered pages [published in monthly issues between between August 1, 1791, and July 1, 1792]. - get paper here
  • Shea, G. M. 1994. Three species of goanna occur in the Sydney Basin. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 24 (2): 14-18
  • Tasoulis, Theo 1984. Observations on the lace monitor, Varanus varius. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 15 (1-2): 25 [1983]
  • Vasilyan D, Bukhsianidze M. 2020. The fossil record of the genus Varanus from the Southern Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia). PeerJ 8: e8322 - get paper here
  • Villa A, Abella J, Alba DM, Almécija S, Bolet A, Koufos GD, et al. 2018. Revision of Varanus marathonensis (Squamata, Varanidae) based on historical and new material: morphology, systematics, and paleobiogeography of the European monitor lizards. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0207719 - get paper here
  • White, J. 1790. Journal of a voyage to new South Wales, with sixty-five plates of non descript animals, birds, lizards, serpents, curious cones of trees and other natural productions. Debrett, London, 229 pp. - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Ziegler, Thomas; Böhme, Wolfgang 1996. Neue Erkenntnisse zur Geschlechtsunterscheidung bei squamaten Reptilien. Kleintierpraxis 41 (8): 585-590
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