03 July 2012 4 of 4


NANCURO, MANATUTO DIST., TIMOR-LESTE

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE VII: NANCURO DAY 1

On the way back to the Convent Hinrich's vehicle encountered another road-kill. Closer examination revealed that this snake also had been noosed, killed and dragged onto the road. It was an appox. 2.0 m Reticulated python (Python reticulatus), a sad sight and an ignorant and wanton act.

Back at the convent there was essential specimen photography and preparation to be done as we planned to return to Nancuro the following day.

Reticulated python (DOR)
Python reticulatus
photo: Sven Mecke
The prepping and photography area

When not working on specimens our team members were herping in the Convent grounds and one thing they found was particularly puzzling. Under a plant pot they found a blindsnake (Ramphotyphlops sp.) and an Asian black-spined toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) - nothing unusual in that, but...

when the toad hopped the blindsnake hopped too! The apparently dead blindsnake was protruding head-first from the anus of the toad. Had the blindsnake used the spine on the end of its tail to gain a purchase inside the toad and pulled itself backwards? More likely, the toad gulped down the blindsnake and, being a burrower, the snake had just kept on going until he came to daylight again. Except the snake eventually died and the toad was alive. We are still pondering the possibilities.

The polar opposite of Toad in the Hole!