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New iguana species found in China
Scientists were researching the Calotes versicolor (above) when they discovered the new species.
Wang’s garden lizard has a distinctive orange tongue.

A new iguana species has been discovered in China, by a research team investigating a different species.

The iguana, now known as Wang’s garden lizard (Calotes wangi), is less than 9cm long and has a distinctive orange tongue.

The research team, from Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine, had been conducting field surveys in South China when they found the new iguana. However, samples they had been collecting of the oriental garden lizard (Calotes versicolor) were later discovered to be part of a new, undescribed species and two subspecies.

Analysis revealed the species was formed as a monophyletic group, and displayed considerable genetic divergence between organisms of the same genus.

Calotes wangi
can be found in the subtropical, broad-leaved forests and the tropical monsoon forests of southern China and northern Vietnam. They were mostly in mountainous areas, hills and plains on forest edges, shrub lands, arable lands and urban green belts.

The species is active from April to October each year, but can remain active from March to November, or longer, in tropical regions. It eats a variety of insects, spiders and other arthropods.

While the new species is not considered to be threatened, there were some areas of its habitat which were fragmented and their bodies are used medicinally.

The researchers have suggested that local governments work to strengthen protection of the iguana’s ecological environment, and pay closer attention to its population dynamics.

Yong Huang, whose team described the species, said: “It is active at the edge of the forest, and when it is in danger, it rushes into bushes or climbs tree trunks to hide.

“Investigations found that the lizards lie on sloping shrub branches at night, sleeping close to the branches.”

The full study can be found in the journal ZooKeys.

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.