23 June 2012 1 of 4


ERAULO, ERMERA DISTRICT, TIMOR-LESTE

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VII: BACK TO BAKHITA

It was Saturday and we wanted to get into the field, if only for a short excursion. One of our favourite locations near to Dili is the Sta. Bakhita Mission Hospital near the town of Eraulo in Ermera District, about 1.5 hours drive south, or more particularly the Meleotegi River a short drive from 'Bakhita'. We have visited this location on most of the previous phases. It is the only place we have found the Timor treefrog (Litoria everetti), Timor river frog (Limnonectes timorensis), and several species of skinks from the genera Carlia, Cryptoblepharus, Eremiascincus and Sphenomorphus. We have oddly yet to find a single snake here.

Sta Bakhita Mission, from Eraulo, Ermera District

The road to Bakhita is twisty and turny and heavily pot-holed and there are quite a few trucks and motorcycles on the road, not to mention water buffalo, goats, chickens and children, so careful driving is essential. When we arrived we entertained ourselves catching the local Four-fingered skink (Carlia sp.) around the accommodation block and also found a young Asian black-spined toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus). It also turned out that the chefe de suco (village head) was no longer the man who Hinrich had met previously so we had to find and seek permission to visit the Meleotegi from the new chefe de suco. He granted permission and sent Sisto Madera, a local chefe de aldeia (minor village head) along with us as a guide. Five malaes (foreigners) on the river might cause discord amongst villagers (remember we were Jet-less) but having a respected local with us would diffuse any tensions.

Asian black-spined toad
Duttaphrynus melanostictus
Four-fingered skink
Carlia sp.