12 July 2014 2 of 3


TIMOR-LESTE (Oecusse Distr.)

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
DID IT HAVE FOUR FINGERS ?

In the afternoon we all set out in the two Troopies to drive to a highland village called Cutete Aldeia, a location for four-fingered skinks (Carlia sp.). This involved a winding drive up a hillside which required four-wheel drive. This was a problem for my Troopie which had only "three-wheel drive", as one of the free-wheeling hubs would neither engage or disengage.

It was also a cloudy day with no sun-spots for the sun-loving lizards to bask or hunt so only one Carlia was sighted, by Katie in some dense vegetation, a reddish (male?) skink about 2-3 inches long that ran on top of the ground vegetation and disappeared.
"Did it have four fingers?" I enquired of Katie.
"I didn't have my binoculars" quipped Hinrich from the side, a reference to Snatch, a cult Guy Richie film popular amongst project members over the various phases.

Two forest skinks (Sphenomorphus sp.) were also sighted but evaded capture. They appeared to be of a more slender build than specimens we were familiar with and may represent an unknown species.

The Troopies parked on the dirt road The steep volcanic escarpments
Cutete Aldeia

Hinrich, Jose and Laca pursue a forest skink
Sphenomorphus sp.


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