Varanus bitatawa WELTON, SILER, BENNETT, DIESMOS, DUYA, DUGAY, RICO, VAN WEERD & BROWN, 2010
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Varanus bitatawa?
|Higher Taxa||Varanidae, Platynota, Varanoidea, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Sierra Madre forest monitor|
|Synonym||Varanus bitatawa WELTON, SILER, BENNETT, DIESMOS, DUYA, DUGAY, RICO, VAN WEERD & BROWN 2010|
Varanus (Philippinosaurus) bitatawa — KOCH et al. 2010
Varanus (Philippinosaurus) bitatawa — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50
Varanus cf. bitatawa — GOJO-CRUZ et al. 2018
Type locality: San Ildefonso Peninsula, Sitio Casapsipan, Barangay Casiguran, Municipality of Casiguran, Aurora Province, Luzon Island, Philippines (16.286667° N, 122.185833° E, WGS-84; 1 m elevation.
|Reproduction||oviparous (manual and phylogenetic imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022)|
|Types||Holotype: PNM 9719 (formerly KU 320000; LJW ﬁeld number 071), adult male, salvaged from hunter, 29 June 2009. Paratypes: KU 322188 (ACD|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Varanus bitatawa differs from congeners by the combination of (i) large, robust body (and related scalation differences: table 1), (ii) contrasting black and golden yellow dorsal coloration, (iii) dark gular coloration in juveniles, (iv) anteriorly directed, slit-like external nares, and (v) multiple characters of hemipeneal morphology (ﬁgure 2; electronic supplementary material). Additionally, the new species is distinguished from congeners by marked divergence in mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences and differs from its closest relative, V. olivaceus, by genetic divergence in excess of the divergence between other Asian species (ﬁgure 1 and table 2; electronic supplementary material, ﬁgure S2 and table S3). Detailed comparisons are provided in the electronic supplementar y material [from WELTON et al. 2010].|
|Comment||Diet: this species appears to be vegetarian.|
Photo in Elaphe 18 (2): 26 .
|Etymology||The speciﬁc epithet is derived from bitatawa, the Agta tribespeoples’ common name for the new species.|