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Shinisaurus crocodilurus AHL, 1930

IUCN Red List - Shinisaurus crocodilurus - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaShinisauridae, Shinisauroidea, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesShinisaurus crocodilurus crocodilurus AHL 1930
Shinisaurus crocodilurus vietnamensis SCHINGEN et al. 2016 
Common NamesE: Chinese cG: Krokodilschwanzhöckerechse
Chinese: 鳄蜥 
SynonymShinisaurus crocodilurus AHL 1930
Shinisaurus crocodilurus — MÄGDEFRAU 1987
Shinisaurus crocodilurus — GOOD et al. 1993
Shinisaurus crocodilurus — NGUYEN et al. 2009

Shinisaurus crocodilurus vietnamensis SCHINGEN et al. 2016
Shinisaurus crocodilurus vietnamensis SCHINGEN, LE, NGO, PHAM, HA, NGUYEN & ZIEGLER 2016: 252
Shinisaurus crocodylurus vietnamensis — ZIEGLER & NGUYEN 2019 (in error) 
DistributionChina (Guangxi, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hunan), NE Vietnam (Quang Ninh Province)

For a detailed map see Mägdefrau,H. (1987).

Type locality: “Kwangsi”

vietnamensis: NE Vietnam (Bac Giang, Quang Ninh); Type locality: at an elevation of 407 m in Son Dong District, Bac Giang Province, Vietnam by Cuong The Pham.  
ReproductionMating takes place in or near water in August (the warmest month in China). Shinisaurus gives birth to 2 - 7 living young from April to May (viviparous). Newborns are 10-15 cm in length and weigh about 4 grams. 
TypesLectotype: ZMB 34034
Holotype: IEBR 3806 (TYT2012.1SC), Adult male, collected on 02 July 2012 by Cuong The Pham; paraypes: IEBR, ZFMK [vietnamensis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (vietnamensis): Shinisaurus crocodilurus vietnamensis ssp. n. differs from the nominate form Shinisaurus c. crocodilurus from China by the following combination of morphological characters: a relatively lower ratio of head height (HH) to head length (HL) and cheek height (CHa) to head length (lower head and cheek); a relatively higher ratio of eye-naris distance (EN) to head length and lower ratios of eye-eye distance to head length and internares distance to head length (snout longitudinally elongated and transversely narrower); and a relatively smaller ratio of orbital diameter (Or) to head length. For further morphological, molecular and ecological separation of the new subspecies from the nominate form see also the section “Comparisons”. 
CommentType species: Shinisaurus crocodilurus AHL 1930 is the type species of the genus Shinisaurus AHL 1930 and Shinisaurus is the type genus of the family Shinisauridae AHL 1930.

Taxonomy: Using molecular data, Macey et al. (1999) suggested to place Shinisaurus in a separate family, Shinisauridae, following the original suggestion by AHL (1930). Vidal & Hedgtes 2009 suggested to separate the Shinisauridae as superfamily Shinisauroidea from the Varanoidea.

Habitat: Along rivers and washes with densely overgrown banks. These regions are 500-700 above sea level.

Hibernation: Shinisaurus hibernates for 3 - 4 month.

Behavior: Sunbathes on branches hanging over water; jumps into the water and escapes by swimming when aroused. In general, a relatively sluggish lizard that might spend several days without movement in water or on a rock next to water. Swims very well and can stay under water for more than half an hour.

Diet: Crustaceans, fish, tadpoles, water snails and other small freshwater animals.

Distribution: Does not occur in Vietnam fide MÄGDEFRAU (1987) and BOBROV (2004, pers. comm.), but listed by SANG et al. 2009.

Genomics: A draft genome has been sequenced by Gao et al. 2017. 
EtymologyNamed after the Chinese scientist Prof. Shin. Length: up to 40 cm. Weight: up to 150 g. Sexual dimorphism: Males bear a bright red colouring on their throats and bellies. The female belly is white or grey and has slight stripes. 
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