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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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Bye Bye Butaan


Butaan start to visit fruiting trees before they are large enough to swallow the fruits. They make repeat journeys to trees, perhaps to reinforce memory of the position of the tree. If the youngster survives it may continue to use this tree for many decades. Fruiting trees like this are a vital resource for entire populations of butaan. Learn more >

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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Foraging behaviour

butaan7.jpgWe use feces to investigate diet and activity areas of butaan. In total we have examined more than 1500 samples, possibly the largest ever collected for a single population of reptiles.  Butaan and their relatives are huge specialised frugivores, much bigger than any other specialised frugivorous animal in  the Philippines. They need a constant supply of fruit but lack the wings that allow other frugivores to forage in different forest fragments. Large and immobile, the butaan depends on a very narrow range of foods.



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