Reptiles & Amphibians of Timor-Leste


Mark O'Shea and Hinrich Kaiser have been leading a lead of herpetologists, documenting the herpetofauna of Timor-Leste, Asia's newest country, since 2009.

They proposed a series of stamps to commemorate the International Year of Biodiversity and the Government of Timor-Leste liked the idea and gave it the go-ahead. Mark and Hinrich provided three photographs each for the set of six stamps, which were designed by Ivo Schneider and forwarded to Dili, Timor-Leste where they were signed off by the Government, and forwarded to a printer in Portugal.

Hinrich and Mark initiated the
Reptiles & Amphibians of Timor-Leste stamp series.
(click to enlarge)
Mark demonstrating an
Island pitviper, Cryptelytrops insularis,
one of the featured species, to US and Timorese students.
(click to enlarge)

Then the Portuguese printers made unauthorised alterations to the stamp designs and the text, including changing the English species accounts to Portuguese and unitalicizing the scientific names.

Despite this act of plagarism of our intellectual property right, in contravention of the Berne Convention which sets out to prevent this sort of behaviour, we are still proud to have been the instigators behind Timor-Leste's first set of herpetological stamps.

The stamps were launched by the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão of Timor-Leste on 28th November 2010.


Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão of Timor-Leste cancelling and displaying the Reptile & Amphibianstamp issue.
(click to enlarge)


Mark O'Shea with a young Saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus
at Uma Bot, Viqueque District, Timor-Leste.
(click to enlarge)

A signed copy of this photograph is provided
with each order of Timor-Leste stamps.


The featured species are:
50c Timor river frog Limnonectes timorensis
50c Timor snake-necked turtle Chelodina timorensis
75c Island pitviper Cryptelytrops insularis
75c Timor monitor Varanus timorensis
$1 Saltwater crocodile Crocodylus porosus
$1 Timor bronzeback Dendrelapis inornatus timorensis

Stamp Sheet, First Day Cover 1, & First Day Cover 2.
illustrated below
are now available for purchase from this website.
Combinations of items can be purchased with savings on total cost.
To view the combination options click here


50c Timor river frog,
Limnonectes timorensis
50c Timor snake-necked turtle,
Chelodina timorensis
75c Island pitviper,
Cryptelytrops insularis
75c Timor monitor,
Varanus timorensis
$1 Saltwater crocodile,
Crocodylus porosus
$1 Timor bronzeback,
Dendrelaphis inornatus timorensis

Timor-Leste uses the US dollar

Stamp sheet commemorating the International Year of Biodiversity 2010



To view larger versions of the First Day Covers and the Booklet click here.


River frog cancellation stamp.




Small first day cover.
(click to enlarge)


Large first day cover.
(click to enlarge)


Booklet included with large first day cover.
(click to enlarge)