Undercover researchers expose new species of lizard for sale on Philippine black market

Main report: Undercover researchers expose new species of lizard for sale on Philippine black market
(Phys.org)

Scientific Paper: Zootaxa    (Plazi Treatment)
New Taxa: Varanus bangonorum, Varanus dalubhasa
Common Name: Bangon Monitor Lizard, Enteng’s Monitor Lizard
Species named for: Bangon peoples of Mindoro Island, Tagolog word “dalubhasa” meaning skilled expert.
Categories: New Species | Reptiles | Species Discovery
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Over a five-year period in the Philippes researchers visited pet markets, roadside bush-meat stands and various other markets where monitor lizards were sold as pets or meat. They walked around pet markets and side streets talking to traders using circuitous conversation and eventually getting around to asking them if they had ‘anything else’ behind the scenes or in the back room. In the process, to their surprise, the researchers found genetic varieties of water monitor lizards that varied sharply from those common to the areas surrounding Manila. This was their first clue that additional species diversity might exist, hidden within the northern Philippine water monitor lizard population.

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