26 January 2012 1 of 1


SELIO, AILEU DISTRICT, TIMOR-LESTE

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VI: A TRIP TO A LAKE

Looking for an upland freshwater location to search for frogs and lizards we settled on a large lake located about 1.5hrs drive south of Dili, according to the map.

The drive was tortuous, up winding, narrow pot-holed roads, masked by low cloud. Our first stop was at Dare, the location of the museum to the Australian, Timorese and Portuguese resistance to the Japanese during WWII, with its impressive view back over Dili.

Here Laca amused the children and our new team members by demonstrating his abilities both with a blow-gun and as a tree climber to capture a female Timor flying lizard (Draco timoriensis).

Laca draws a crowd Timor flying lizard,
Draco timoriensis

We finally reached Lake Selio and discovered most of the shallow lake had been cultivated for rice. The team spread our in the coffee forest and the pools and creeks. We found numerous spiders including some interesting crab spiders, jumping spiders, huntsman spiders and a large female Golden orb weaving spider (Nephila sp.), which sank its fangs into my finger. The bite was painful for about 15minutes and then wore off.

The only herps we captured were Rice-paddy frogs (Fejervarya sp.) although Caitlin and Laca missed a Sun skink (Eutropis multifasciata) in some aloe veras.

Lake Selio, extensively cultivated for rice Coffee forest
The team spreads out to search for frogs Rice-paddy frog,
Fejervarya
sp.