11 August 2014 1 of 1


TIMOR-LESTE (Dili Distr.)

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
THE PENULTIMATE DAY

On our final full day in Dili the team repacked the voucher specimens going to the US and German museums and I obtained macro-photos of some of the features only possible on preserved specimens, such as blindsnake head scalation. Amongst the specimens were the two Macklot's water pythons (Liasis mackloti mackloti) we picked up as road-kills on Ataúro Island during Phase IX back in June. Hinrich worked his embalming magic and now these two snakes, which would have long been ant-fodder or mush on the road, are now destinued to 'live forever' in the Museum Koenig in Bonn, Germany.

Some of the team members spent time by, and more dangerously in, the TLH pool. There is a tradition that any team members, other than Hinrich, who swim in the pool do not return on future phases. Jester swam in the pool after two phases and did not return, after six phases Caitlin succumbed to temptation and swam in the cool pool, she then missed Phase VII, but managed to break the curse and return for Phase IX. Since all the Germans have swam in the pool during Phase X it will be interesing to see if any of them return on future phases of the project. I have never swam in the pool, I only swim to get away from a burning boat!

In the evening Laca joined us for dinner and picked up the generator, Cubelite, blowpipes and other equipment he will use on field trips in our absence.

 

Macklot's water python, Liasis mackloti mackloti
road-killed specimen from Ataúro Is. on Phase IX, fixed and saved for all time by Hinrich
Timor blindsnake, Sundatyphlops polygrammicus
Slender blindsnake, Ramphotyphlops, Anilios or Indotyphlops sp.


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