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.
Müller's wood-mulch slider
Northwestern two-legged sand slider
Delma pax hindlimb detail
Delma tincta with autotomised tail
From Port Hedland we left for Marble Bar in the Pilbara.