DYK: The Panay Monitor Lizard, known as Mabitang, was discovered in 2000 in the lowland rainforest on the Northwest Panay Peninsula.
The Panay Monitor Lizard, locally called Mabitang, was discovered in 2000 in the lowland rainforest on the Northwest Panay Peninsula.
Varanus Mabitang is a very large varanid (or monitor lizard).
The first caught specimen had a total length of 175 cm. (5.7 feet) and weigh 5750 grams (5.75 kilograms). A female is smaller, measuring 126.8 cm. (4.16 feet) in length and weighing 1850 grams (1.85 kilograms).
It has a relatively slender characteristic. The limbs and toes of Mabitang are long and slender, with very long and strongly curved claws.
Hunters who had observed Mabitang say it has a herbivorous diet. Interestingly, the feces of the first caught Mabitang contained Pandamus seeds. Once it is caught, It feigns death but when it becomes active again, it showed astoundingly little shyness towards people.
Varanus mabitang is an endangered species on the IUCN Red List.