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Varanus varius (SHAW, 1790)

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Higher TaxaVaranidae, Platynota, Varanoidea, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Lace Monitor
G: Buntwaran 
SynonymLacerta varia SHAW in WHITE 1790: 253
Lacerta varia — SHAW & NODDER 1791: plate 83
Tupinambis variegatus DAUDIN 1802: 76
Varanus varius MERREM 1820
Varanus varius — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 491
Varanus bellii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 493
Varanus (Hydrosaurus) mustelinus BORRE 1870: 124
Varanus varius — BOULENGER 1885: 319
Varanus various BERNEY 1936: 13 (in error)
Varanus (Varanus) varius — MERTENS 1942
Varanus varius — COGGER 1983
Varanus varius — DE LISLE 1996: 141
Varanus varius — COGGER 2000: 379
Varanus varius — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Varanus (Varanus) varius — BUCKLITSCH et al. 2016: 50 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria)

Type locality: New South Wales; no locality in description, but presumably from Sydney area, NSW, based on activities of collector.  
TypesHolotype: lost (fide COGGER 1983, Böhme & Koch 2010)
Holotype: MNHN = MNHP 8287, from Sydney, N. S. W. (as Port Jackson) [T. variegatus]
Holotype: MNHP 8283, from Australia [V. bellii]
Holotype: RIB 9422 (Typ. Cat. 2002), frorn "Côte de Guinée". 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): The monotypic genus Varanus differs from all other squamate genera in possessing the following combination of character states: head long and flat, neck long; tongue long and forked, legs well developed, each with 5 strongly-clawed digits; tail long, gradually tapering, in cross section circular, rounded-triangular or laterally compressed; skin smooth to rough, somewhat loose-fitting; head covered by small juxtaposed polygonal scales and body and limbs by oblong or squarish, juxtaposed, non-glossy scales often bearing a low central keel [from MARYAN et al. 2014]. 
CommentEx Shaw ms; junior primary homonym of Lacerta varia Wyttenbach, 1789, itself a nom. oblit.; conservation of Lacerta varia Shaw will require use of the Plenary power of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature [fide COGGER 1983]. See also Denzer et al 2020 for further discussion.

Variation: the bellii color variant seems to be a Mendelian trait that occurs primarily west of the Great Dividing Range in Australia (Scholz 2020).

Toxinological analyses of venom components from the Lace Monitor showed potent effects on blood pressure and clotting ability, bioactivities associated with a rapid loss of consciousness and extensive bleeding in prey [Fry et al. 2005].

Fossils: see Vasilyan & Bukhsianidze 2020 for a subset of fossils of the genus.

Type species: Lacerta varia WHITE 1790: 253 is the type species of the genus Varanus WHITE 1790.

Fossil species of Varanus: see Villa et al. 2018 for fossil Varanus from Europe.

Phylogenetics: Brennan et al. 2021 presented a phylogenomic analysis of most Varanus species, including a phylogenetic analysis of body size. 
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