1 FEBRUARY 2011 1 of 2


ATAÚRO ISLAND, DILI DISTRICT, TIMOR-LESTE

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE IV: ATAÚRO ISLAND

We had been up Mt. Manucoco in 2010, and walked back down a mountain track, a tough trek that took 11 hours and ended in the dark, but this time we had arranged for the truck to come back for us at 14:00. This arrangment would allow us to herp more efficiently around Macadade village and carry more equipment, including camera gear.

With a local guide we made a long circuit around Macadade through densely-wooded creek and open rocky-grassland habitats until we reached a coconut plantation where we took a break and refuelled on coconut milk. During the trek we captured Common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus), Mutilated gecko (Gehyra mutilata) and Emerald tree skink (Lamprolepis cf. smaragdina), and missed a Eutropis-like skink which dived into a treehole. The Jets also elicited some interesting intelligence from our guide, there are reportedly no flying lizards (Draco sp.) on Ataúro Island. Had they been here they would have been a different species to the Timor flying lizard (D. timoriensis) of the main island and more closely related to flying lizards in the Inner Banda Arc. Despite this we have not given up hope of finding a second species on the island.

Climbing up from Macadade
Regen-tailed Common house gecko
Hemidactylus frenatus

Emerald tree skink
Lamprolepis cf. smaragdina

Click on images to enlarge

Orb-weaving spider
Nephila sp.

Kyle conquers his fears

 

During the trek semi-arachnophobic Kyle conquered his fears and allowed a large female Orb-weaving spider (Nephila sp.) to walk over his shirt and head.

 

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