Varanus auffenbergi SPRACKLAND 1999
Auffenberg's Monitor
  auffenbergiVaranus auffenbergi belongs to the subgenera Odatria. SPRACKLAND described this new species in 1999. Unfortunately no big differences between this new species and V. timorensis are visible. Therefore SPRACKLAND used the coloration and pattern for differentiation. The scale numbers are within the variation of the scale numbers of V. timorensis.
The difference in coloration are the blue-grey ocelli (V. timorensis has creame colored) and the unpatterned creame underside (V. timorensis has some specles).
The ground color on top is a dark grey. On the back numerous irregular ocelli are visible. Most of these ocelli have a dark central spot, the color is a light blue to grey. Between these ocelli a reddish-brown pattern is visible.
The total length of V. auffenbergi is up to 60 cm. The tail is round in cross section. Light scales form a irregular pattern. It is about 1.6 times as long as the SVL.
KIRSCHNER (1999) mentioned, that the differences in coloration, described by SPRACKLAND (1999), fade away after some time during keeping in captivity. After that time, it is really hard to see differences between V. auffenbergi and V. timorensis. A review of the whole V. timorensis-complex has to be done.

Distribution, habitat and behavior


The distribution of Varanus auffenbergi is restricted to the island of Roti, 12 km southwest of Timor. There the animals will live the same habitat as V. timorensis. Further observations are not published yet.

Keeping and breeding

The captive husbandry of V. auffenbergi is described by KIRSCHNER (1999). There are no big differences to the keeping of V. timorensis. They also don't loose their shyness during captive care.
KIRSCHNER housed one pair in a paludarium measuring 255 x 80 x 170 cm. 70% of the floor were built as a waterpond. The depth of the water was 47 cm. Cork plates covered the back and tthe two side walls, some cork tubes and some branches build the furnishing.
A clutch of 5 eggs was incubated and all babies hatched. The first hatchling opend the egg shell after 124 days of incubation. The incubation temperature was between 29,5 and 30°C. The total average length of the youngsters was 15,8 cm. There was no problems in raising the babies.
Also W
ESIAK (2008) reported a succesfull captive husbandry. Several female produced clutches, with 4 to 6 egg per clutch. Incubation was at 29°C and the babies hatched after 119-154 days. They had a SVL of about 64 mm, tail length was about 94 mm, and the body mass was about 4.4 g. The babies were fed with small crickets, which were dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement. Thes grew well without any complication.