Varanus samarensis KOCH, GAULKE & BÖHME, 2010
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Varanus samarensis?
|Higher Taxa||Varanidae, Platynota, Varanoidea, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Samar water monitor|
|Synonym||Varanus cumingi samarensis KOCH, GAULKE & BÖHME 2010|
Varanus samarensis — WELTON et al. 2014
Varanus (Soterosaurus) samarensis — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50
|Distribution||Phlippine Islands (Samar, Leyte, Bohol)|
Type locality: San Augustin near Gandara, Samar Island, Philippines
|Types||Holotype: ZFMK 64713 (Figs. 9–12), a subadult male, collected by M. Gaulke 1989. Paratype. ZFMK 64712 (Fig. 13), an adult female, Tiomonan near Gandara, Samar Island, Philippines, collected by M. Gaulke 1989|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: A subspecies of V. cumingi clearly distinguished from the nominotypic form by the following combination of characters: (1) A distinctive dorsal colour pattern of five to eight transverse rows of large yellow ocelli, spots, or markings on a black ground colour; (2) predominantly black dorsal side of the head with a varying extent of more-or-less symmetrical yellow markings; (3) black temporal streak sometimes bordered below by a bright stripe; and (4) no bright medio-dorsal stripe on neck and back. (5) Nostrils’ position on average about two and half times closer to the tip of the snout than to the eye (index 2 = 2.00–3.29, mean = 2.41). For details about scalation features and colour pattern of the remaining Philippine members of the V. salvator complex please refer to Tables 3 and 5 in KOCH et al. 2010.|
Diagnosis.—Following the findings of Koch et al. (2010b), Varanus samarensis can be distinguished from other members of the V. salvator Complex by a combination of (1) distinctive dorsal color pattern of 5–8 transverse bands of yellow ocelli or spots through the trunk; (2) a dark (black) head dorsally, with symmetrical yellow markings; (3) a variable black stripe in the temporal region, occasionally bordered by a bright (yellow-white) stripe ventrally; (4) the absence of a medio-dorsal stripe on the lateral surfaces of the nuchal region and trunk; (5) narial openings positioned approximately 2.5 times closer to the tip of the snout than to the ocular (updated, from Welton et al. 2014).
|Etymology||V. cumingi has been named after the collector of the type, “Mr. H. Cuming”. The subspecific epithet samarensis refers to the type locality Samar Islands, Philippines.|
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