Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Early Miocene dispersal of the lizard Varanus into Europe: Reassessment of vertebral material from Spain

Massimo Delfino, Jean-Claude Rage, Arnau Bolet, and David M. Alba

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 58 (4), 2013: 731-735 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.2012.0025

Iberovaranus Hoffstetter, 1969 was erected as a monotypic genus of varanine varanid lizard on the basis of a single trunk vertebra from the Miocene of Spain. Thanks to the study of the holotype, as well as of a still undescribed cervical vertebra from the same locality, we show that the vertebral morphology of Iberovaranus is contained within the known variability of Varanus. Therefore, Iberovaranus Hoffstetter, 1969 is considered a subjective junior synonym of Varanus Merrem, 1820, and the species Iberovaranus catalaunicus Hoffstetter, 1969 should be considered a nomen dubium.

Massimo Delfino [massimo.delfino@unito.it], Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università degli Studi di Torino, Via Valperga Caluso 35, 10125 Torino, Italy, and Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici ICP, Campus de la UAB s/n, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain; Jean-Claude Rage [jcrage@mnhn.fr], Centre de Recherches sur la Paléobiodiversité et les Paléoenvironnements, UMR 7207, CNRS, Département Histoire de la Terre, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, CP 38, 8, rue Buffon, 75231 Paris cedex 05, France; Arnau Bolet [arnau.bolet@icp.cat] and David M. Alba [david.alba@icp.cat], Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici ICP, Campus de la UAB s/n, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain.