30 June 2014 2 of 3




We could have trekked further and found many more dragons had we not been distracted by the other reptiles. The smaller lizards we recorded two species of Forest skinks (Sphenomorphus cf. melanopogon and S. cf. striolatus), Flat-tailed gecko (Hemidactylus platyurus) and a Bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus cf. defossei).

Forest skink,
cf. striolatus

Forest skink,
cf. striolatus
Flat-tailed gecko,
Hemidactylus platyurus
(photo: Hinrich Kaiser)

We were even more successful with snakes. Within the compound our guide found a small Island pitviper (Trimeresurus insularis) sleeping near the base of a tree. This was the species I found on Padar Island in 2001, and which bit me during filming, but this latest specimen was green, like the Timor specimens, rather than cyan, like the Padar specimen. Nearby we were shown a juvenile Russell's viper (Daboia siamensis), virtually hidden in a small hole in the wall of a building. I would have liked to extract this snake for a photo session but it was not necessary as a much larger specimen was found inside the generator hut, the viper giving away his position by hissing angrily.

Island pitviper
Trimeresurus insularis
Southeast Asian Russell's viper
Daboia siamensis

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