Finsch's monitor

Finsch's monitor
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
Family: Varanidae
Genus: Varanus
Subgenus: V. (Euprepiosaurus)
Species: V. finschi
Binomial name
Varanus finschi
Böhme, Horn & Ziegler, 1994[1][2]

Finsch's monitor (Varanus finschi) is a species of monitor lizard found in New Guinea and Australia.[2]

Finsch's monitor was only known from Blanche Bay, Ralum, and Massawa in New Britain.[3][4] Further research on the available museum specimen enlarged the range of the species, which currently includes the Bismarck Archipelago (New Ireland), New Guinea and Queensland, Australia.[5][6] The specimen from Queensland lacks any fixed data on its locality, so the exact distribution of Finsch's monitor in Northern Australia remains unknown.[2] Reports of this species imported for the pet trade from the Kei Islands are erroneous and refer to similar though distinct animals which have yet to be formally described. V. finschi is found in several habitats: mangrove forest, inland forest, fresh-cut clearings, coconut plantations, and rocky beaches.[7] It belongs to the subgenus Euprepiosaurus along with the closely related Ceram mangrove and peach-throated monitors.[8]


The dorsal pattern of Varanus finschi adults consists of "black ocelli, which are often arranged in irregular transverse rows - with a yellowish center on a dark grayish background."[2] The dark head of V. finschi is speckled with many yellowish spots. Its tongue color is pink.[9]

Finsch's monitor is of Least Concern as evaluated by the IUCN.[10]


Further reading

  • Ast, Jennifer C. (2001). Mitochondrial DNA Evidence and Evolution in Varanoidea (Squamata). Cladistics 17 (3): 211-226 [erratum in 18 (1):125]
  • De Lisle, H.F. (1996). Natural History of Monitor Lizards. Krieger, Malabar (Florida)
  • Koch A, Arida E, Schmitz A, Böhme W, Ziegler T. 2009. Refining the polytypic species concept of mangrove monitors (Squamata: Varanus indicus group): a new cryptic species from the Talaud Islands, Indonesia, reveals the underestimated diversity of Indo-Australian monitor lizards. Australian Journal of Zoology 57(1): 29-40
  • Philipp,K.M.; Ziegler, T. & Böhme, W. 2007. Preliminary Investigations of the Natural Diet of Six Monitor Lizard Species of the Varanus (Euprepiosaurus) indicus Group. Mertensiella 16: 336-345
  • Ziegler, T., Schmitz, A., Koch, A. & W. Böhme 2007. A review of the subgenus Euprepiosaurus of Varanus (Squamata: Varanidae): morphological and molecular phylogeny, distribution and zoogeography, with an identification key for the members of the V. indicus and the V. prasinus species groups. Zootaxa 1472: 1-28
  • Ziegler, T.; Böhme, W.; Eidenmüller, B. & Philipp, K. 2001. A note on the coexistence of three species of Pacific monitor lizards in Australia (Sauria, Varanidae, Varanus indicus group). Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 50 (1-2): 27-30
  • Ziegler, Thomas; Wolfgang Böhme, Andreas Schmitz 2007. A new species of the Varanus indicus group (Squamata, Varanidae) from Halmahera Island, Moluccas: morphological and molecular evidence. Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin 83 (S1): 109-119
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