27 June 2011 1 of 1


COM, LAUTÉM DISTRICT, TIMOR-LESTE

 

 

TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE V: BACK TO MALAHARA

We continued with lab work and photography in the morning and set off in the afternoon for Malahara, intending a nocturnal search for geckos and other reptiles and amphibians, maybe even snakes, in the karst limestone foothills of the Paitxau Mountains between Lake Ira Lalaro and the Mainina sinkhole. The limestone cliff-face we had seen a couple of days earlier was our destination.

We picked up our guides at Malahara, south of Lake Ira Lalaro, and drove the same route as when we were visiting the sinkhole, parking our vehicles as darkness fell and setting off into the forest in a spread-out line, searching for reptiles as we went.

The Paixtau Mountains nearing dusk.
Are those pterodactyls circling?

We searched over a wide area and managed to reach the cliff-face but although the habitat looked perfect the weather, and certainly the rock, seemed too cold for reptilian activity. Apart from some large wolf spiders we found little and the only reptile was a Bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus sp.) captured on a tree by Laca. Driving back towards Malahara much later we also captured one of two Rice paddy frogs (Fejervaya sp.) seen on the road. We have had more successful nights.

Bent-toed gecko,
Cyrtodactylus
sp.
Rice-paddy frog,
Fejervarya
sp.

A tired team at the end of a long evening
(back) Mark, Caitlin, Luis, David, Marissa, Naveen;
(front) Laca, Hinrich, Zito, Malahara guide