Project 2319: Y. Bucklitsch, W. Böhme, A. Koch. 2016. Scale Morphology and Micro-Structure of Monitor Lizards (Squamata: Varanidae: Varanus spp.) and their Allies: Implications for Systematics, Ecology, and Conservation. Zootaxa. 4153 (1):1-192. (In Press)
Specimen: Varanus cumingi (ZFMK:90999)
View: electron microscope slide of scale

Abstract

We analysed scale morphology and micro-structure from five different body regions using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) across all nine recognized subgenera of the monitor lizard genus Varanus including 41 different species investigated. As far as we are aware, this qualitative visual technique was applied by us for the first time to most monitor lizard species and probably also to the primary outgroup and sister species Lanthanotus borneensis. A comprehensive list of 20 scalation characters each with up to seven corresponding character states was established and defined for the five body regions sampled. For the phylogenetic approach, parsimony analyses of the resulting morphological data matrix as well as Bremer and bootstrap support calculations were performed with the software TNT. Our results demonstrate that a variety of micro-ornamentations (i.e., ultra- or micro-dermatoglyphics) as seen in various squamate groups is hardly present in monitor lizards. In several species from six out of nine subgenera, however, we found a honeycomb-shaped micro-structure of foveate polygons. Two further samples of Euprepiosaurus Fitzinger, 1843 exhibit each another unique microscopic structure on the scale surface. Notably, the majority of species showing the honeycombed ultra-structure inhabit arid habitats in Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, it can be inferred that this microscopic scalation feature, which has also been identified in other desert dwelling lizard species, is taxonomically and ecologically correlated with a xeric habitat type in varanids, too. In addition, the systematic affiliation of V. spinulosus, an endemic monitor lizard species from the Solomon Islands with an extraordinary scale shape, is discussed in the light of current hypotheses about its phylogenetic position within the Varanidae. Due to its unique scalation characteristics, in combination with other morphological evidence, a new monotypic subgenus, Solomonsaurus subgen. nov., is erected for this enigmatic monitor lizard species. Furthermore, we propose a taxonomic splitting of the morphologically and ecologically heterogeneous subgenus Euprepiosaurus comprising the Pacific or mangrove and the tree monitor lizards, respectively, again based on the SEM data. Thus, for the members of the highly arboreal V. prasinus species group erection of a new subgenus, Hapturosaurus subgen. nov., is justified based on the autapomorphic scale shape in concert with further morphological, phylogenetic and ecological evidence. In addition, V. reisingeri originally described as a distinct species is considered conspecific with the wide-spread V. prasinus due to joint synapormorphic features in the ventral scale micro-structure. Consequently, V. prasinus is (again) rendered polytypic with the taxon reisingeri being assigned subspecies status here.
In conclusion, the established scalation characters allow discrimination of single species even among closely-related Varanus species, such as the members of the V. indicus species group. Together with a recently published identification key for Southeast Asian monitor lizards based on macroscopic phenotypic characters (Koch et al. 2013), the SEM-pictures of the present study may serve as additional references for the microscopic identification of CITES-relevant monitor lizard skins and products, respectively.


Read the article »

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2319, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P2319
This project contains
  • 669 Media
  • 44 Taxa
  • 60 Specimens
Total size of project's media files: 830 MB

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 2319


    Members

    member name taxa specimens media
    Andre Koch
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 08/24/16
    4460669


    Project has no matrices defined.



    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views46276
    Project overview1868
    Media views31729Media search (1906 views); M407549 (211 views); M407579 (191 views); M426177 (205 views); M407580 (200 views); M426210 (205 views); M407574 (201 views); M407556 (187 views); M426195 (166 views); M426218 (202 views); M407583 (188 views); M426176 (169 views); M426184 (185 views); M407582 (170 views); M426197 (174 views); M426223 (197 views); M426169 (176 views); M426187 (178 views); M407567 (232 views); M407576 (200 views); M407581 (246 views); M407578 (177 views); M426171 (215 views); M426231 (202 views); M407566 (171 views); M426215 (211 views); M407569 (191 views); M426190 (195 views); M426232 (184 views); M426213 (176 views); M407564 (182 views); M407570 (186 views); M426189 (167 views); M426164 (174 views); M426170 (197 views); M426174 (160 views); M426225 (172 views); M426199 (187 views); M426172 (189 views); M426185 (192 views); M407552 (187 views); M407577 (190 views); M407562 (180 views); M407563 (212 views); M426168 (251 views); M407565 (180 views); M426209 (167 views); M426198 (196 views); M407558 (206 views); M426203 (199 views); M407553 (195 views); M426221 (183 views); M407560 (207 views); M426207 (197 views); M426202 (166 views); M407554 (207 views); M407571 (207 views); M426211 (196 views); M426192 (154 views); M407550 (198 views); M426175 (174 views); M426188 (173 views); M426186 (182 views); M426201 (184 views); M426204 (194 views); M426212 (175 views); M426163 (172 views); M426224 (186 views); M407573 (197 views); M426217 (197 views); M426166 (185 views); M407561 (169 views); M407572 (205 views); M426216 (202 views); M426227 (186 views); M426230 (187 views); M407555 (182 views); M426226 (183 views); M426173 (184 views); M426220 (171 views); M426222 (216 views); M407568 (191 views); M407557 (174 views); M426191 (189 views); M426208 (182 views); M426229 (184 views); M407584 (170 views); M426196 (177 views); M426200 (171 views); M407559 (267 views); M426205 (206 views); M426214 (199 views); M426167 (216 views); M426219 (202 views); M426228 (187 views); M407551 (211 views); M407575 (189 views); M426193 (201 views); M426194 (175 views); M426165 (224 views); M426206 (206 views); M426304 (80 views); M426250 (72 views); M426258 (84 views); M426322 (84 views); M426354 (89 views); M426257 (89 views); M426342 (95 views); M426351 (77 views); M426271 (81 views); M426241 (76 views); M426295 (80 views); M426335 (67 views); M426301 (73 views); M426348 (83 views); M426303 (78 views); M426281 (91 views); M426306 (88 views); M426341 (82 views); M426312 (76 views); M426325 (95 views); M426337 (80 views); M426283 (88 views); M426264 (84 views); M426317 (91 views); M426262 (77 views); M426299 (96 views); M426353 (95 views); M426316 (81 views); M426238 (91 views); M426246 (67 views); M426239 (93 views); M426279 (89 views); M426288 (84 views); M426321 (72 views); M426249 (92 views); M426355 (65 views); M426340 (71 views); M426309 (90 views); M426356 (79 views); M426242 (90 views); M426346 (82 views); M426240 (83 views); M426320 (89 views); M426259 (86 views); M426235 (91 views); M426334 (62 views); M426332 (77 views); M426272 (75 views); M426308 (89 views); M426359 (84 views); M426315 (76 views); M426293 (81 views); M426352 (69 views); M426327 (79 views); M426302 (82 views); M426297 (82 views); M426307 (76 views); M426276 (88 views); M426261 (88 views); M426290 (72 views); M426314 (84 views); M426289 (87 views); M426233 (89 views); M426245 (79 views); M426277 (80 views); M426323 (68 views); M426339 (81 views); M426255 (88 views); M426313 (91 views); M426253 (74 views); M426243 (77 views); M426278 (90 views); M426349 (78 views); M426333 (93 views); M426244 (76 views); M426330 (75 views); M426265 (99 views); M426263 (85 views); M426266 (85 views); M426338 (82 views); M426292 (79 views); M426274 (84 views); M426328 (91 views); M426345 (82 views); M426298 (96 views); M426347 (84 views); M426270 (71 views); M426331 (90 views); M426300 (80 views); M426280 (69 views); M426310 (88 views); M426360 (82 views); M426284 (98 views); M426282 (88 views); M426254 (82 views); M426291 (70 views); M426247 (79 views); M426251 (85 views); M426256 (75 views); M426326 (85 views); M426343 (78 views); M426358 (85 views); M426357 (85 views); M426248 (80 views); M426252 (88 views); M426336 (82 views); M426267 (89 views); M426237 (80 views); M426236 (68 views); M426305 (74 views); M426324 (90 views); M426318 (76 views); M426268 (79 views); M426294 (90 views); M426344 (82 views); M426234 (86 views); M426260 (88 views); M426269 (82 views); M426273 (80 views); M426275 (75 views); M426296 (80 views); M426311 (75 views); M426319 (80 views); M426329 (73 views); M426350 (73 views); M426395 (2 views); M426692 (1 view); M426699 (2 views); M426673 (2 views); M426764 (1 view); M426804 (1 view); M426363 (1 view); M426391 (1 view); M426413 (1 view); M426381 (1 view); M426412 (1 view); M426383 (1 view); M426398 (1 view); M426411 (2 views); M426374 (1 view); M426388 (1 view); M426386 (1 view); M426364 (1 view); M426369 (1 view); M426403 (1 view); M426402 (1 view); M426428 (1 view); M426427 (1 view); M426417 (1 view); M426429 (1 view); M426382 (1 view); M426409 (1 view); M426361 (1 view); M426392 (1 view); M426379 (2 views); M426376 (1 view); M426365 (1 view); M426362 (1 view); M426393 (1 view); M426375 (1 view); M426414 (2 views); M426433 (2 views); M426387 (1 view); M426434 (1 view); M426431 (1 view); M426385 (1 view); M426401 (2 views); M426419 (2 views); M426399 (2 views); M426384 (1 view); M426435 (2 views); M426416 (1 view); M426426 (1 view); M426397 (2 views); M426400 (1 view); M426406 (1 view); M426418 (1 view); M426396 (1 view); M426432 (1 view); M426366 (1 view); M426407 (1 view); M426408 (1 view); M426368 (1 view); M426377 (1 view); M426370 (1 view); M426378 (1 view); M426410 (2 views); M426422 (1 view); M426423 (1 view); M426394 (1 view); M426367 (1 view); M426424 (1 view); M426420 (1 view); M426404 (1 view); M426430 (1 view); M426389 (1 view); M426421 (1 view); M426372 (2 views); M426415 (1 view); M426373 (1 view); M426425 (1 view); M426405 (1 view); M426390 (2 views); M426380 (1 view); M426371 (1 view); M426470 (4 views); M426472 (4 views); M426524 (3 views); M426480 (3 views); M426488 (3 views); M426437 (4 views); M426443 (5 views); M426502 (3 views); M426522 (3 views); M426450 (5 views); M426457 (3 views); M426452 (5 views); M426483 (2 views); M426487 (2 views); M426447 (4 views); M426469 (3 views); M426498 (2 views); M426493 (2 views); M426499 (2 views); M426529 (2 views); M426475 (3 views); M426518 (2 views); M426468 (3 views); M426527 (2 views); M426528 (2 views); M426519 (2 views); M426530 (2 views); M426485 (2 views); M426441 (3 views); M426534 (1 view); M426479 (1 view); M426532 (1 view); M426491 (1 view); M426514 (1 view); M426520 (1 view); M426531 (1 view); M426512 (1 view); M426446 (2 views); M426486 (1 view); M426500 (1 view); M426456 (2 views); M426478 (1 view); M426448 (2 views); M426505 (1 view); M426494 (1 view); M426465 (2 views); M426495 (1 view); M426510 (1 view); M426503 (1 view); M426473 (5 views); M426523 (2 views); M426442 (4 views); M426501 (2 views); M426477 (3 views); M426476 (3 views); M426466 (4 views); M426504 (3 views); M426517 (3 views); M426453 (4 views); M426438 (3 views); M426471 (5 views); M426462 (3 views); M426492 (2 views); M426508 (2 views); M426484 (2 views); M426463 (3 views); M426460 (3 views); M426515 (2 views); M426507 (1 view); M426436 (2 views); M426481 (1 view); M426496 (1 view); M426464 (3 views); M426439 (3 views); M426451 (4 views); M426449 (5 views); M426455 (4 views); M426490 (2 views); M426521 (2 views); M426516 (2 views); M426511 (1 view); M426506 (1 view); M426482 (1 view); M426509 (1 view); M426525 (1 view); M426497 (1 view); M426489 (1 view); M426458 (3 views); M426533 (1 view); M426445 (3 views); M426526 (1 view); M426474 (2 views); M426459 (2 views); M426454 (2 views); M426440 (3 views); M426513 (1 view); M426467 (2 views); M426535 (1 view); M426444 (3 views); M426461 (2 views); M426550 (2 views); M426616 (2 views); M426558 (2 views); M426624 (2 views); M426542 (2 views); M426540 (2 views); M426573 (2 views); M426592 (1 view); M426554 (1 view); M426600 (2 views); M426608 (2 views); M426569 (2 views); M426560 (1 view); M426594 (1 view); M426593 (1 view); M426546 (2 views); M426604 (1 view); M426544 (1 view); M426635 (1 view); M426566 (1 view); M426577 (1 view); M426620 (1 view); M426561 (1 view); M426628 (1 view); M426564 (1 view); M426589 (1 view); M426548 (1 view); M426556 (1 view); M426602 (1 view); M426612 (1 view); M426588 (1 view); M426591 (1 view); M426632 (1 view); M426539 (1 view); M426629 (1 view); M426570 (1 view); M426580 (1 view); M426585 (1 view); M426584 (2 views); M426607 (1 view); M426579 (1 view); M426609 (2 views); M426543 (1 view); M426537 (1 view); M426590 (2 views); M426583 (2 views); M426562 (2 views); M426625 (2 views); M426559 (2 views); M426622 (2 views); M426619 (2 views); M426623 (2 views); M426581 (2 views); M426605 (2 views); M426613 (2 views); M426631 (1 view); M426621 (1 view); M426587 (2 views); M426574 (1 view); M426555 (1 view); M426634 (1 view); M426617 (1 view); M426551 (1 view); M426575 (1 view); M426618 (1 view); M426611 (1 view); M426633 (1 view); M426626 (1 view); M426547 (1 view); M426553 (1 view); M426578 (1 view); M426614 (1 view); M426568 (1 view); M426627 (1 view); M426538 (1 view); M426541 (1 view); M426571 (1 view); M426582 (1 view); M426552 (1 view); M426601 (1 view); M426565 (1 view); M426536 (1 view); M426567 (1 view); M426557 (1 view); M426549 (1 view); M426606 (1 view); M426597 (1 view); M426563 (1 view); M426576 (1 view); M426596 (1 view); M426697 (1 view); M426651 (1 view); M426732 (1 view); M426726 (1 view); M426661 (1 view); M426688 (1 view);
    Specimen list9322
    Taxon list2295
    Views for media list594
    Bibliography468




    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project143
    Media downloads2M407579 (1 download); M407549 (1 download);
    Project downloads141