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Varanus insulanicus MERTENS, 1958

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Varanoidea, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Groote Eylandt monitor
E: Black-spotted Ridge-tailed Monitor, Black-spotted Spiny-tailed Monitor [baritji] 
SynonymVaranus (Odatria) acanthurus insulanicus MERTENS 1958
Worrellisaurus insulanicus — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 22
Varanus baritji KING & HORNER 1987
Varanus baritji — COGGER 2000: 361
Varanus acanthurus insulanicus — BÖHME 2003: 29
Varanus acanthurus insulanicus — ARTH 2007
Varanus baritji — EIDENMÜLLER 2007
Varanus (Odatria) baritji — HÖRENBERG & KOCH 2013
Varanus acanthurus insulanicus — COGGER 2014: 764
Varanus (Odatria) baritji — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50
Varanus insulanicus — PAVÓN-VÁZQUEZ et al. 2022 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory: Groote Eylandt and Marchinbar islands, Gulf of Carpentaria)

Type locality: Groote Eylandt, Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory, Australia.

baritji: Australia (N Northern Territory); Type locality: Mirrngadja, Arafura Swamp, Northern Territory, Australia, [12º39'S 135º12'E].  
TypesHolotype: AMS R11037
Holotype: NTM R13192, female [baritji] 
CommentSynonymy: Varanus acanthurus insulanicus MERTENS 1958 clustered with V. baritji rather than with the other subspecies of V. acanthurus in a molecular study by FITCH et al. (2006). Some recent authors considered V. a. brachyurus as a synonym of V. acanthurus (Glenn Shea, pers. comm., Feb 2019). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality.

“baritj” is an aboriginal word for white and the lizard is named after its discoverer Dr Neville White. 
  • Arth, S. 2007. Haltung und Nachzucht des Stachelschwanzwarans (Varanus acanthurus). Reptilia (Münster) 12 (63): 24-33 - get paper here
  • Arth, S. 2007. Keeping and breeding the spiny-tailed Monitor Varanus acanthurus. Reptilia (GB) (50): 28-36 - get paper here
  • Bennet, D.F. 2003. Australian Monitors. Reptilia (GB) (30): 12-19 - get paper here
  • Bennet, D.F. 2003. Australische Warane. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (43): 18-25 - get paper here
  • Böhme,W. 2003. Checklist of the living monitor lizards of the world (family Varanidae). Zoologische Verhandelingen 341: 6-43 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Eidenmüller, B. 2003. Warane. Lebensweise, Pflege, Zucht. 2. Aufl. Herpeton Verlag, Offenbach, 174 pp.
  • Eidenmüller, B. 2007. Kleinwarane im Terrarium. Reptilia (Münster) 12 (63): 16-23 - get paper here
  • Eidenmüller, B. 2007. Small monitors in the terrarium. Reptilia (GB) (50): 12-19 - get paper here
  • Eidenmüller, Bernd 2013. Von Darwin nach Alice Springs – der Warane wegen. Draco 13 (53): 55-61 - get paper here
  • Hörenberg, Thomas & André Koch 2013. Die Zwergwarane der Untergattung Odatria Gray, 1838. Draco 13 (53): 6-19 - get paper here
  • King M; Horner P 1987. A new species of monitor (Platynota: Reptilia) from northern Australia and a note on the status of Varanus acanthurus insulanicus Mertens. The Beagle 4 (1) 1987: 73-79
  • Mertens, R. 1958. Bemerkungen über die Warane Australiens. Senckenbergiana biologica 39: 229-264
  • Pavón-Vázquez, Carlos J, Damien Esquerré, Alison J Fitch, Brad Maryan, Paul Doughty, Stephen C Donnellan, and J Scott Keogh. 2022. Between a Rock and a Dry Place: Phylogenomics, Biogeography, and Systematics of Ridge-Tailed Monitors (Squamata: Varanidae: Varanus Acanthurus Complex). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 173: 107516 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. and D. R. King, eds. 2004. Varanoid Lizards of the World. Indiana University Press, 599 pp - get paper here
  • Pianka, Eric R. 2012. Can humans share spaceship earth? Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 6 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Sprackland, R. G. 2001. Dwarf monitors. Reptile and Amphibian Hobbyist 6 (10): 8-16
  • Wells, R. W. and Wellington, C. R. 1985. A synopsis of the Amphibia and Reptilia of Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology, Supplementary Series (1): 62-64.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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