Desert monitor Varanus griseus caspius, copyright Denis Nuridjanov.

Belongs within: Anguimorpha.

The Varanidae, monitor lizards, are a group of lizards found in warmer parts of the Old World, characterised by a long, slender neck together with a long, strong tail, pentadactyl limbs with a strong claw on each digit, a covering of small, juxtaposed scales, and a long, deeply bifid tongue.

    |--Iberovaranus Hoffstetter 1969 RB05
    `--Varanus Merrem 1820 RB05 [incl. Megalania Owen 1859 D07]
         |  i. s.: V. baritji DK14
         |         V. bengalensis USDI77
         |         V. bushi DK14
         |         V. caudolineatus ADD08
         |         V. exanthematicus K08
         |         V. flavescens USDI77
         |         V. giganteus TW05
         |         V. gilleni DK14
         |         V. glauerti PP13
         |         V. glebopalma PP13
         |         V. gouldii (Gray 1838) ADD08
         |         V. hamersleyensis DK14
         |         V. hofmanni Roger 1898 RB05
         |         V. indicus WH02
         |         V. komodoensis DK14
         |         V. mertensi PP13
         |         V. mitchelli PP13
         |         V. niloticus D56
         |         ‘Tupinambis’ ornatus Daudin 1803 M54
         |         V. ‘ornatus’ Gray 1845 non Daudin 1803 M54
         |         V. panoptes HD04
         |         V. pilbarensis HD04
         |         V. prasinus DV87
         |         V. priscus [=Megalania prisca; incl. Notiosaurus dentatus] F71
         |         V. pronini Zerova & Ckhikvadze 1986 RB05
         |         V. punctatus [=V. p. var. typica; incl. V. p. var. orientalis Fry 1913] F13
         |         V. rosenbergi DK14
         |         V. rudicollis GWN71
         |         V. rusingensis Clos 1995 RB05
         |         V. salvator MH11
         |         V. scalaris PP13
         |         V. semiremex DK14
         |         V. tristis ADD08
         |         V. tsukamotoi Kishida 1929 TYM08
         |--*V. (Varanus) varius (White 1790) [=Lacerta varia] DK14
         |--V. (Odatria Gray 1838) DK14
         |    |--V. (O.) acanthurus Boulenger 1885 DK14
         |    |    |--V. a. acanthurus DK14
         |    |    `--V. a. insulanicus DK14
         |    |--V. (O.) brevicauda Boulenger 1898 DK14
         |    |--V. (O.) eremius Lucas & Frost 1895 DK14
         |    `--V. (O.) sparnus Doughty, Kealley et al. 2014 DK14
         `--V. (Psammosaurus) griseus (Daudin 1803) [=Tupinambis griseus] M54
              |--V. g. griseus (see below for synonymy) M54
              |--V. g. caspius (Eichwald 1931) [=Psammosaurus caspius; incl. V. caspicus Gray 1845] M54
              `--V. g. koniecznyi Mertens 1954 (see below for synonymy) M54

Inorganic: Varanus salvator protominilorientalus Okamura 1987 O87

Varanus griseus griseus (Daudin 1803) [incl. Psammosaurus arabicus Hemprich & Ehrenberg 1899, V. arenaceus Gervais 1848, Tupinambis arenarius Geoffroy 1827, V. scincus Merrem 1820, V. terrestris Schinz 1834] M54

Varanus griseus koniecznyi Mertens 1954 [=V. ornatus Carlleyle 1869 nec Tupinambis ornatus Daudin 1803 nec V. ornatus Gray 1845] M54

*Type species of generic name indicated


[ADD08] Aplin, K., S. Donnellan & J. Dell. 2008. The herpetofauna of Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 39–53.

[D56] Dawes, B. 1956. The Trematoda with special reference to British and other European forms. University Press: Cambridge.

[DV87] De Vis, C. W. 1887. On new or rare vertebrates from the Herbert River, north Queensland. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 1 (4): 1129–1137.

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[DK14] Doughty, P., L. Kealley, A. Fitch & S. C. Donnellan. 2014. A new diminutive species of Varanus from the Dampier Peninsula, western Kimberley region, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 29 (2): 128–140.

[F71] Fletcher, H. O. 1971. Catalogue of type specimens of fossils in the Australian Museum, Sydney. Australian Museum Memoir 13: 1–167.

[F13] Fry, D. B. 1913. On a Varanus and a frog from Burnett River, Queensland, and a revision of the variations in Limnodynastes dorsalis, Gray. Records of the Australian Museum 10 (2): 17–34, pls 1–3.

[GWN71] Gorman, G. C., A. C. Wilson & M. Nakanishi. 1971. A biochemical approach towards the study of reptilian phylogeny: evolution of serum albumin and lactic dehydrogenase. Systematic Zoology 20 (2): 167–185.

[HD04] How, R. A., & J. Dell. 2004. Reptile assemblage of the Abydos Plain, north-eastern Pilbara, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (3): 85–95.

[K08] Korsós, Z. 2008. History of the Herpetological Collection of the Hungarian Natural History Museum. Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 100: 37–93.

[M54] Mertens, R. 1954. Über die Rassen des Wüstenwarans (Varanus griseus). Senckenbergiana Biologica 35 (5-6): 353–357.

[MH11] Müller, J., C. A. Hipsley, J. J. Head, N. Kardjilov, A. Hilger, M. Wuttke & R. R. Reisz. 2011. Eocene lizard from Germany reveals amphisbaenian origins. Nature 473: 364–367.

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347–573.

[PP13] Palmer, R., D. J. Pearson, M. A. Cowan & P. Doughty. 2013. Islands and scales: a biogeographic survey of reptiles on Kimberley islands, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 183–204.

[RB05] Rage, J.-C., & S. Bailon. 2005. Amphibians and squamate reptiles from the late early Miocene (MN 4) of Béon 1 (Montréal-du-Gers, southwestern France). Geodiversitas 27 (3): 413–441.

[TYM08] Tennent, W. J., M. Yasuda & K. Morimoto. 2008. Lansania Journal of arachnology and zoology—a rare and obscure Japanese natural history journal. Archives of Natural History 35 (2): 252–280.

[TW05] Thompson, S. A., P. C. Withers, G. G. Thompson & D. Robinson. 2005. Range extension for the perentie, Varanus giganteus (Squamata, Varanidae). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 88 (1): 41–43.

[USDI77] USDI (United States Department of the Interior). 1977. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants—republication of list of species. Federal Register 42: 36420–36431.

[WH02] Worthy, T. H., & R. N. Holdaway. 2002. The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press: Bloomington (Indiana).

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