PAPUA NEW GUINEA 2008

Iagifu to Manu
Southern Highlands Province
14-22 May 2008


Map showing route from Iagifu to Manu, Southern Highlands Prov., PNG.
click to enlarge map

From Hegigio we drove back to Iagifu, and then southwest to Manu at a lower altitude. The drive was herpetologically fairly uneventful until we investigated some tin-sheeting lying besides the road near Manu.

Burning gas-flares alongside the Iagifu to Manu road.
(click on the image to see what they look like at night)

At Manu we had Felix from the WWF conduct interviews with the locals to discover what snakes they saw in their neighbourhood.

Manu village.
Felix interviews the locals about papa graun moran while Philip looks on.

Under the tin sheeting we found a species of Highland four-fingered skink (Carlia sp.), the saurophagous Brown sheen skink (Eugongylus rufescens) and two very similar gecko species which, upon closer examination, were not only different species, but completely different genera. They have been tentatively identified as the Pelagic gecko (Nactus cf. pelagicus), and the Papuan bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus cf. papuensis), although both my ultimately be new species to science. These two geckos exhibited a raft of differences, one of he most obvious being the different arrangment of the mental and chin shields (see below).

SKINKS from MANU
click on an image to enlarge
Highland four-fingered skink, Carlia sp.
Brown sheen skink, Eugongylus rufescens

 

GECKOS from MANU
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Pelagic gecko,
Nactus
cf. pelagicus
Papuan bent-toed gecko,
Cyrtodactylus
cf. papuensis
Mental large, contacting scales of throat and separating small chin shields. Mental triangular, separated from scales of throat by large 1st chin shields, which are
and broadly in contact.

We also found specimens of the Wood scorpion (Liocheles sp.).

SCORPIONS from MANU
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Wood scorpion, Liocheles sp.