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Varanus bogerti Print E-mail
Bogert's monitor

Extract from A Little Book of Monitor Lizards © D. Bennett 1995. Viper Press, UK

Varanus bogerti Mertens 1950

Bogert's monitor is usually considered a subspecies of Varanus prasinus but was raised to specific status by Sprackland (1991). It differs from V.prasinus in that it is entirely black and differs from V.beccari by having more ventral and midbody scale rows (87-90 and 95-99 vs. 70-79 and 81-86 in V.beccari). It has been recorded from Fergusson and Normanby Islands, south of Huon Gulf and St Aignan in the Louisade Archipelago. Live specimens are unknown and nothing its known of the lifestyle of this apparently highly arboreal monitor lizard.

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William Oliver. Champion of biodiversity and its students. So many of us benefited from his advice and expertise. What a character. RIP.

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The Butaan Project
Varanus bitatawa

Varanus bitatawa is the third species of  monitor lizard to be recognised by science that belongs to the "Pandan Biawak" group,  all of which are of at least as great a conservation concern as the Komodo dragon, but receive virtually none of the attention. Pandan Biawak occur only in lowland dipterocarp forest. The first species (Varanus olivaceus or Butaan) was discovered in 1845 and not seen alive by a scientist until the late 1970s. The next species (Varanus mabitang or Mabitang) was discovered in 2001 and in 2010 Varanus bitatawa (Butikaw or Bitatawa) was described. Other species of frugivorous monitor lizards may remain undescribed, but many may have  gone extinct without ever having been recognised.

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