Varanus cumingi MARTIN 1838
Mindanao Water Monitor


cumingicumingiVaranus cumingi is raised into species rank in the paper of KOCH et al (2007) as they reviewed the V. salvator species group. In 2010 KOCH et al reviewed the Varanus salvator complex on the Philippine Islands and stated, that V. cumingi has two distinct subspecies V. c. cumingi and V. c. samarensis. Both subspecies belong to the subgenus Soterosaurus, which was derscribed by ZIEGLER & BÖHME (1997).
The Mindanao Water Monitor is a smaller member of the Water Monitor group and can grow up to a total length of about 150 cm. The coloration and pattern shows a very high part of yellow. The head in adult animals is nearly complete yellow. The pattern on the back consists of light to yellow flecks, which are ordered in several cross bands.
The animals are strongly adapted to water, which is shown in the laterally compressed tail. The length is about 1.4 - 1.7 times the SVL.


Distribution, habitat and behavior


V. c. cumingi inhabits the island of Mindanao and small off-shore islands, while V. c. samarensis inhabits the islands of Bohol, Leyte, and Samar (KOCH et al. 2010).

Keeping and breeding

The captive husbandry was successful several times (VOGEL 1994, HEINZ pers. Mitt.). At the Frankfurt Zoo the firstoffspring of theis species hatched after 213 days. The incubation was managed at about 28,5°C in fairly damp perlite. The young monitor had a SVL of 120 mm with a total length of 280 mm. The body mass was 30 g.