02 July 2012 1 of 3


FATUCAHI, MANUFAHI DIST., TIMOR-LESTE

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VII: CRISS-CROSSING TIMOR

The plan was to head for the south coast today, to a herpetologically rich location we had visited previously and where we had found a new species of ground snake (Stegonotus). Baguia is already a good third of the way across the island of Timor, but we were uncertain of the condition of the road further south and whether we could actually reach the coast by that route. We also knew that although we had forded several rivers on the south coast before there was one in our way that had almost cost us a Troopie. We therefore decided to take the longer route via the north coast. We drove back north from Baguia and then west to Baucau, stopping at a mountain waterfall with the most attractive swimming spot we had seen in Timor-Leste, but no time for swimming. We had a drive ahead.

Andrew and Mark on an old bridge near the waterfall swimming hole Caitlin doing her best mermaid or film starlet pose above the waterfall

On the north coast road we encountered four road-kills: a young Dog-faced watersnake (Cerberus cf. rynchops) and three Timor monitor lizards (Varanus timorensis). All were photographed and their GPS coordinates recorded. The snake was good enough to take as a voucher specimen.

Dog-faced watersbake
Cerberus cf. rynchops
Timor monitor lizard
Varanus timorensis
Timor monitor lizard
Varanus timorensis
Timor monitor lizard
Varanus timorensis