AUSTRALIA
2000


"The Pilbara Cobra"

Port Hedland, Pilbara,
Western Australia

 

Port Hedland is the main town and the entry point to the Pilbara region. It has a small population (14,000) but it is still an important deep-water port for the export of iron ore. We overnighted at the Mercure Hotel on the out-skirts which gave me an opportunity to go herping in the tussock grass on the sand dunes.

Brian Bush arriving at Port Hedland airport with his "swag"
It was great to see "Bushie" again, the first time since the
2nd World Congress of Herpetology in Adelaide (1999-94)
Photos: Robert Pendlebury

 

The trip out to the sand dunes, to search the spinifex tussucks, produced a few herps: the Red treefrog (Litoria rubella), the four-limbed Müller's wood-mulch slider (Lerista muelleri) and less-endowed Northwestern two-legged sand slide (Lerista bipes), and three pygopodids: Butler's flick-leaper (Delma butleri), the Pilbara flick-leaper (Delma pax) and the Excitable flick-leaper (Delma tincta). While the sliders are advanced skinks, with reduced appendaged, the flick-leapers are simiarily advanced members of the Gekkota, belonging to the advanced gecko family Pygopodidae.

A road-cruise in the evening was less productive, a single sun-dried Desert death adder (Acanthophis pyrrhus) was all that we found.

 

Red treefrog
Litoria rubella
Müller's wood-mulch slider
Lerista muelleri
Northwestern two-legged sand slider
Lerista bipes
Butler's flick-leaper
Delma butleri
Pilbara flick-leaper
Delma pax
Pilbara flick-leaper
Delma pax
hindlimb detail
Pilbara flick-leaper
Delma pax
Excitable flick-leaper
Delma tincta
Excitable flick-leaper
Delma tincta
with autotomised tail

 

From Port Hedland we left for Marble Bar in the Pilbara.