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Who is Biawak?

 Biawak is the common name for "Monitor Lizards" (of the genus Varanus) in Bahasa Indonesia (our National language).
 At the moment I am an exporter of  live tropical fish ( PT Vivaria Indonesia ), live reptiles, amphibians, plants etc.
Most of the information included in my Personal "Herpetology of Indonesia" web site are the results of more than 10 years of work. The pages will grow, slowly! In the beginning it may be completely disorganized but it will get better later. I founded a company back in 1988 (CV Terraria Indonesia) which started a whole revolution in the live reptile trade in Indonesia. Before 1988, most hobbyists wouldn't be able to find most of the Indonesian reptiles in the pet market. We came up with so many species for the trade, such as Savu pythons (Liasis macklotti savuensis), Blue-tailed Monitors (Varanus doreanus/kalabeck), Black-backed Monitors (Varanus yuwonoi), Tanimbar and Halmahera pythons (unnamed varieties of Morelia amethistina), Irian and Tanimbar Blue-tongued skinks (Tiliqua scincoides ssp.), Casque-headed skinks (Tribolonotus spp.), White-lined or skunk gecko (Gekko vittatus) etc. We were also the first to export Indonesian White's (also known as "Dumpy") Tree-Frogs (Litoria caerulea) and captive-bred Green Tree Pythons (Morelia viridis) from Indonesia.
In 1994 we started a whole new trend of importing reptiles into Indonesia. The start of the iguana craze in Southeast Asia, which fizzled out in 1996 due to oversupply and the monetary crisis. After October of 1996, although I still own part of it, I have nothing to do with the operational aspects of this company anymore. All the breeding animals as well as the reptile stock of CV Terraria Indonesia came into my possession. The company now operating as CV Terraria Indonesia is not the same company; it is simply a different company with the same name.

Reptiles named after me:

The Sulawesi Forest Turtle Leucocephalon (Geoemyda) yuwonoi 1994
The Black-backed Monitor Lizard Varanus yuwonoi 1998

 I graduated high school from SMA Bunda Hati Kudus in 1976. Then I went on to study biology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. After a two-year stint in LMU's Graduate School of Environmental Science I went to The Graduate School of Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). I have three precious daughters: Jessica , Xandra and Shannon from a marriage that ended in 1996. My wife Liana and I got married on 12 October, 1997! From Liana now I have a new daughter, Vicky and two sons Nick and Daniel. Liana, Nick, Jessica, Xandra and Vicky are now living in Melbourne, Australia. Daniel is studying at San Jose State University, California, USA.

 My parents have been in the tropical fish business since 1968. My late father, Richardus Digdo Yuwono, is one of the founders of the Indonesian Ornamental Fish Association (PIHI - Perhimpunan Ikan Hias Indonesia) and has a fish named after him, the Sulawesi Half-beak Nomorrhamphus liemi. With this group, he was also instrumental in the development of the Taman Akuarium Air Tawar (Freshwater Public Aquarium) at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. My mother, E. Marjati Prasetio, who is now retired from the family business.
 My hobbies include Amateur Radio (my callsign is YC0UVO), photography, reading, collecting comic books, music, movies, computers, travelling, plastic modelling and so on (too many hobbies!). I also like studying military aircraft and fighting vehicles, especially those used in Indonesia and/or used during World War II.

 So what am I doing these days? On top of trying to earn a living, I'm also trying to learn more about the internet and design my pages..! I'm still doing a little bit of exploring, small mammal and herp breeding (currently Petaurus brevipes, Indotestudo fostenii etc.). Lately, I've taken my photography more seriously and have started to sell some pictures to various publications. At the present time, I am using Nikon, Canon and Mamiya equipment.

Frank B. Yuwono

Need to know more? Mail me at biawak_99 (at)

To see my other interests, go to these links:

Geocities Page
Herpetology of Indonesia

My Photography page at Tripod  Mostly of Reptiles, Frogs, Birds and Airplanes

YC0UVO's Indonesian VHF Amateur Radio Page


YUWONO, F. BAMBANG. 1994. Pengusahaan Satwa Reptilia di Indonesia. Prosiding Diskusi Panel: Sumber Daya Hewani dan Prospek Pendayagunaan dan pelestariannya. Balitbang Zoologi, Puslitbang Biologi-LIPI. Page: 53-58

YUWONO, F. BAMBANG. 1998. The trade of live reptiles in Indonesia. In: W. Erdelen (ed.). Conservation, Trade and Sustainable Use of Lizards and Snakes in Indonesia. Rheinbach, Germany, Mertensiella, 9: 9-15.

MACKNESS, B., F. B. YUWONO & T. WALSH. 1998. Recognition of twin neonates in a Green Tree Python Morelia viridis (Schlegel, 1872) clutch. Herpetofauna 28 (1) 1998. Pages: 25-29

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Bintaro Jaya, 9 November 1999 (updated 2 Aug 2005)