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Varanus auffenbergi Print E-mail
Varanus auffenbergi is a species of dubious vailidity. The species description was controversially  published in a pet hobbyist magazine and splits lizards on the island of Roti from other members of the timorensis group on the basis of pattern and colouration. The species was not recognised as valid by King and Smith (2004), who stated that a review of all four main populations (Timor, Savu, Roti, Semau) of Varanus timorensis was required. Del Canto (2007) provides information on the ecology of V. timorensison Roti, and states that the tiny island of Ndao was home to lizards more similar to those from Timor than from Roti.
Del Canto, R. 2007. Notes on the Occurrence of Varanus auffenbergi
on Roti Island. Biawak 1(1): 24-25.
King, D & L.A. Smith. Varanus timorensis. In Pianka, E.R.,D. King & R.A. King. 2004. Varanoid LIzards of the World. Indiana University Press.
Sprackland, R.G. 1999. A new species of Monitor (Squamata: Varanidae) from Indonesia. Reptile Hobbyist 4(6): 20-27.
 
 

 

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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Background and History
butaan2.jpgThe butaan was first described to science in 1845 from a juvenile specimen collected by Hugh Cuming. It was labelled only "Philippines". It was named Varanus grayi.  No other specimens came to light for over 120 years. In the 1970s Walter Auffenberg found another specimen with a location in Luzon, established that its correct scientific name was Varanus olivaceus, and undertook a 22 month study of the species based in Bicol. His study revealed that butaan occupy a unique ecological niche and have a lifestyle quite unlike any other monitor lizard. Auffenberg used local hunters with dogs to catch the animals. Of 126 butaan caught during his study, 116 animals were killed.
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