25 JANUARY 2011 1 of 2


SAME, MANUFAHI DISTRICT, TIMOR-LESTE

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE IV: IN THE MOUNTAINS

We came to the Same region in 2009 and collected a number of interesting species, including two species of wolfsnakes (Lycodon) on the road to Mirbuti and the introduced, parthenogenetic Brahminy blindsnake (Ramphotyphlops braminus) from Ladiki and Mirbuti, so we visited both of these villages again on in 2011. The Trilolo River had been our destination on the night we arrived and resulted in us bagging the much rarer Timor blindsnake (R. polygrammicus).

Ladiki is out of town to the north, an area of coffee forest running down to a river and rice paddies where we had collected two of the Brahminy blindsnakes and a number of skinks in 2009. The road was washed away, so access was even more limited in 2011. We walked in from the vehicles and, accompanied by local children and one or two older men who decided to help us, we started to search under boulders and fallen palm-axils. It was one of these men who, with eagle-eyes, spotted the coils of a snake in a crack of a large tree. I pulled the snake out and held up a Common wolfsnake (Lycodon capucinus). Then it started to rain more heavily and we worked our way back to the vehicles.

An interesting road sign outside Same ... but maybe not so far from the truth ! Coffee-forest habitat
Click on the images to enlarge

Just before we reached the eroded section of road Caitlin spotted a Timor flying lizard (Draco timoriensis) about 4m up on a branch over the road. Laca was straight up the tree but the lizard climbed higher, until it could go not further and leapt into space, to glide down to the road and be pounced opon by half a dozen field herpers. It was another female, like the specimen from Nancuro.

Common wolfsnake
Lycodon capucinus
Timor flying lizard
Draco timoriensis

 

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