PAPUA NEW GUINEA 2008

 

Southern Coast
Western Province
11-28 April 2008


Map showing the route from Daru to Sigabaduru, Western Province, PNG.
click to enlarge map

We made one long trip along the coast of Western Province, past Mawatta at the mouth of the Binaturi River to Mabaduwane at the mouth of the Pahoturi River. There is an elevated are behind the village known as Mabaduwane Hill and while David was meeting with the health officer at the clinic I investigated the rocks and grasslands of the hill and the gardens around the village. The Australian island of Saibai is visible from this elevated point.

Saibai Island from Mabaduwane Hill. Mabaduwane landing point.
Mabaduwane village.
Mabaduwane village. Mabaduwane clinic.

The only reptile I could find was the Trans-Torres litter skink (Carlia macfarlani).

Trans-Torres litter skink, Carlia macfarlani

From Mabaduwane we continued further west between the Australian owned Saibai Island and the mainland of Western Province, until we reached Sigabaduru.

   
   

At Sigabaduru we found two species of skinks: Western bicarinate four-fingered skink (Carlia storri) and Aramia four-fingered skink (C.aramia).

Western bicarinate four-fingered skink, Carlia storri
Aramia four-fingered skink, Carlia aramia
Richardson's mangrove snake, Myron richardsoni

Much rarer than the Crab-eating mangrove snake (Fordinia leucobalia), but still much commoner than any other marine homalopsine snakes in the area, is Richardson's mangrove snake (Myron richardsoni). The alternative common name of Grey mangrove snake might suit specimens I've seen in the past but not the single bright orange specimen we obtained from Sigabaduru. Unlike its carcinophagous relative, this species feeds on small gobies and other marine fish.