DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThis species is extremely widespread throughout southern and Southeast Asia (Gaulke and Horn 2004). Varanus salvator salvator is endemic to Sri Lanka, while V. s. macromaculatus occurs throughout southern Asia and Southeast Asia, and as far north as southern China (Koch et al. 2007, Somaweera and Somaweera 2009). It also occurs on Borneo and Sumatra. V. s. andamensis is endemic to the Andaman Islands and V. s. bivittatus occurs on Java and some of the Lesser Sunda islands (Gaulke and Horn 2004, Horn and Gaulke 2004, Koch et al. 2007). Recent work has shown that the species is absent from northeastern Myanmar, northern and northeastern Thailand, all but coastal Cambodia, and all of Laos except for the ranges on the Vietnam border (Cota et al. 2009); it is also absent from northwestern Vietnam, Yunnan, and all but the immediate coastal strip of south China adjacent to Hainan, as well as Timor and Seram and from part of the Lesser Sunda chain (M. Cota and S. Sweet pers. comm.). Although the species has an upper elevational limit of 1,800 m above sea level, it is typically a lowland species which is common only in areas up to 600 m and rare at higher altitudes, particularly above 1,000 m (M. Gaulke pers. comm.).