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Hypsilurus modestus (MEYER, 1874)

IUCN Red List - Hypsilurus modestus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Amphibolurinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Modest Forest Dragon 
SynonymGonyocephalus (Hypsilurus) modestus MEYER 1874: 130
Gonyocephalus (Arua) inornatus DORIA 1874: 345 (fide BOULENGER 1885)
Gonyocephalus modestus — BOULENGER 1885: 294
Diptychodera lobata BOETTGER 1893: 45
Gonyocephalus modestus — DE ROOIJ 1915: 113
Gonyocephalus modestus carinatus STERNFELD 1918: 393
Gonocephalus modestus — BURT & BURT 1932
Goniocephalus modestus — LOVERIDGE 1948: 337
Hypsilurus modestus — WERMUTH 1967: 61
Arua modesta — MACEY et al. 2000
Arua modesta — MELVILLE et al. 2001
Hypsilurus modestus — BARTS & WILMS 2003 
DistributionIndonesia (Aru Island), Papua New Guinea, Oceania (Bismarck Archipelago, Admirality Islands)

Type locality: Jobi  
TypesLectotype: SMNS 2001 (Stuttgart); the specimen from Berlin formerly assigned as holotype, ZMB 8783, becomes a paralectotype (fide MANTHEY & DENZER 2006).
Syntypes: ZMB 7941, "Insel Wokan", leg. Beccari & Doria; MSNG 29163 (from Wokan, Is Aru) [inornatus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Small slender, long–tailed species (SVL mostly < 100 mm; TL/SVL > 2.3) with homogeneous dorsal scalation and without dorsal crest. Scales below the tympanum usually not enlarged; a row of enlarged submaxillaries sometimes present; anterior part of the gular pouch without enlarged scales. Edge of the gular pouch enlarged. Similar to H. geelvinkianus. H. modestus differs from all other species by the absence of a dorsal crest (vs. present) as well as the widely separated scales of the nuchal crest; additionally differs from H. geelvinkianus by a small gular pouch with rounded base approximately in the region of the clavicle (vs. acuminate base on the chest) (Manthey & Denzer 2006: 5). 
CommentSynonymy partly after WERMUTH 1967.

Habitat: semi-arboreal. 
  • Baker, Nick 2016. Modest Forest Dragon Hypsilurus modestus from Moro, Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. SEAVR 2016: 53-54 - get paper here
  • Barts, M. & Wilms, T. 2003. Die Agamen der Welt. Draco 4 (14): 4-23 - get paper here
  • Boettger, Oskar 1893. Katalog der Reptilien-Sammlung im Museum der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Frankfurt am Main. I. Teil (Rhynchocephalen, Schildkröten, Krokodile, Eidechsen, Chamäleons). [type catalogue] Gebrüder Knauer, Frankfurt a. M., x + 140 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. Geckonidae, Eublepharidae, Uroplatidae, Pygopodidae, Agamidae. London: 450 pp. - get paper here
  • Capocaccia, L. 1961. Catalogo dei tipi di Rettili del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova [MSNG]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Giacomo Doria 72: 86-111 - get paper here
  • de Rooij, N. de 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 384 pp. - get paper here
  • Doria, G. 1875. Enumerazione dei rettili raccolti dal Dott. O. Beccari in Amboina alle Isole Aru ed alle Isole Kei durante gli anni 1872-73. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova 6: 325-357 [1874] - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Goldberg, Stephen R. and Christopher C. Austin 2011. Hypsilurus modestus (modest forest dragon): Reproduction. Herpetological Bulletin (117) - get paper here
  • Hediger, H. 1934. Beitrag zur Herpetologie und Zoogeographie Neu-Britanniens und einiger umliegender Gebiete. Zool. Jahrb. (Syst.) 65: 441-582
  • Loveridge, A. 1948. New Guinean reptiles and amphibians in the Museum of Comparative Zoology and United States National Museum. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 101 (2): 305-430. - get paper here
  • Macey, J. R., J. A. Schulte II, A. Larson, N. B. Ananjeva, Y. Wang, R. Pethiyagoda, N. Rastegar-Pouyani, T. J. Papenfuss 2000. Evaluating trans-Tethys migration: an example using acrodont lizard phylogenetics. Systematic Biology 49 (2): 233-256 - get paper here
  • Manthey, U. & Denzer, W. 2006. A revision of the Melanesian-Australian angle head lizards of the genus Hypsilurus (Sauria: Agamidae: Amphibolurinae), with description of four new species and one new subspecies. Hamadryad 30 (1-2): 1 – 40 - get paper here
  • MANTHEY, U. & W. DENZER 2016. Melanesian anglehead lizards of the genus Hypsilurus Peters, 1867 – Part 1: Species from New Guinea. Sauria 38 (3): 11 - 36 - get paper here
  • Melville, Jane; Schulte, James A.; Larson, Allan 2001. A molecular phylogenetic study of ecological diversification in the Australian lizard genus Ctenophorus. Journal of Experimental Zoology: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 291(4): 339-353 - get paper here
  • Meyer, A.B. 1874. Eine Mittheilung von Hern. Dr. Adolf Berhard Meyer über die von ihm auf Neu-Guinea und den Inseln Jobi, Mysore und Mafoor im Jahre 1873 gesammelten Amphibien. Monatsber. K. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1874: 128-140 [also published as a separate print with pages 1-17 with a different title in which “Hern. Dr. Adolf Berhard Meyer über die von ihm” is replaced by “mir”] - get paper here
  • Schlüter, A. & Hallermann, J. 1997. The Type Specimens in the Herpetological Collection of the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart. Stuttgarter Beitr. Naturk. Ser. A (553): 1-15 - get paper here
  • Sternfeld, R. 1918. Zur Tiergeographie Papuasiens und der pazifischen Inselwelt. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) 36: 375-436 [missing from BHL in 2023]
  • Tallowin, Oliver J S; Shai Meiri, Stephen C Donnellan, Stephen J Richards, Christopher C Austin, Paul M Oliver, 2019. The other side of the Sahulian coin: biogeography and evolution of Melanesian forest dragons (Agamidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 129: 99-113. - get paper here
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