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Blue-tailed monitor

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

Varanus doreanus doreanus Meyer 1874

Varanus doreanus finschi Bohme, Horn & Zeigler 1994

Varanus doreanus
The rediscovery of the blue-tailed monitor is the latest in an exciting series of discoveries by Wolfgang Bohme and Georg Horn. Described and forgotten, the holotype had been destroyed by a wartime bomb, but the precise description given by Meyer allowed the recent workers to identify it as identical to their new-found species (Bohme et al 1994). The blue-tailed monitor appears to be closely related to the mangrove monitor, V.indicus, and can be distinguished from this and other, similar, species by the smaller, more numerous, scales over the back, a brightly marbled underside, white tongue and a striped tail. Specimens are known from all over New Guinea and the islands of New Britain and Biak. The blue-tailed monitor appears to be restricted to intact forests and has been seen foraging on the ground. When threatened they do not take to water, as is almost invariably the case with the mangrove monitor. They can be tempted out of hiding with carrion or turtle eggs. V.doreanus finschi from the island of New Britain has a marked, rather than white, throat.

Blue-tailed monitors are exported to Europe and North America, usually under the name Kalabeck's monitor. In captivity they require a spacious enclosure that allows them to climb and a warm, humid climate.

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About Mampam
Fish of Bui National Park


According to many authoritative atlases and maps, Bui National Park is already underwater! But the hydro electric dam first planned in the 1920s was not started until August 24th 2007.  Now work has begun on a controversial hydroelectric dam that will destroy the riverine habitat of the park. Many millions of $$ were spent on the environmental impact assessment, but fortunately a team of poachers wildlife staff and students produced a much better guide to the Fishes of Bui National Park

Help Mampam
The Butaan Project
Monitoring Individuals 1

butaan1.jpgButaan are so shy they frequently remain in a tree for more than a week after being frightened. A large male we rescued from a trap hid in a tree for 22 days before coming down!* . Most lizards do not appear traumatised by being caught and released by scientists, and resume normal activity very quickly. But we think that butaan, especially older individuals, may permanently alter their activity areas after such an encounter. Because the animals are so shy, and highly vulnerable to human disturbance, we have had to develop a range of techniques that allow us to learn about them with the absolute minimum of interference.





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