TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VII: PREP DAY
The previous day had been both highly successful (Venilale Caves) and disappointing (Mt Mundo Perdido and the rock-faces) but we had obtained a number of specimens for photography and prepping, including the invertebrates. Fieldwork is not all about running around catching interesting animals, it is also about the scientific recording side of things and it is important to keep up to speed with that too before you get snowed under with specimens. As we were planning to leave for Baguia the next day we decided to devote today to lab work and photography.
Since Paulo has worked with Laca, Zito and Luis (the Jets) he was already conversant with the generic names of many species, ie. Carlia, Sphenomorphus, Cyrtodactylus, and he could identify them to genus with ease. Caitlin then took him under wing and showed him how to remove the liver of a specimen for later DNA analysis, prior to fixing the specimen in formalin which would destroy any remaining DNA. When asked to repeat the task himself he showed considerable adeptness.