Central Province
Edevu, Brown River
(first week)

It took about 40minutes to reach the turn-off from the Hiritano Highway at Brown River and another hour to reach the point where we unloaded the kit. From there it was carried across a dry creek bed and through a forest and a garden into to the small village which would become our base camp.

We drove past Edevu main village This is the road
This is the river and this the drop-off point

Kevin and his family met us at the drop-off and we soon had all the kit in the small village. A field lab was constructed for me alongside a sleeping area, both covered by a green tarpaulin. Owen, Ben and Jasper set up their mosquito nets on the verandah of one of the houses. This would be our base for the following week which eventually turned into two weeks.

The camp area being constructed,
bed and table against tree
and completed, my sleeping area on left,
lab table on right


The village and our campsite from the mountain across the river
click on the image for a close-up
Green = the campsite tarpaulin
Blue = the tarpaulin of the house
visible on Google Earth
(the other two houses were not built when the GE image was taken)


Almost immediately we caught a Lesser black whipsnake (Demansia vestigiata) crossing the path just behind the field laboratory.

Black whipsnake,
Demansia vestigiata

The second came soon afterwards, a pastel-pink Barred keelback (Tropidonophis doriae). The village children also produced a small dead Groundsnake (Stegonotus sp.) killed in one of the gardens, but it was too decomposed to identify beyond genus.

Barred keelback (pink phase)
Tropidonophis doriae

There were numerous skinks around the small settlement. We got Dusky skink (Emoia obscura), New Guinea tree skink (Emoia kordoana), Black-cowled four-fingered skink (Carlia luctuosa), a sexually dichromatic species, and Yule Island snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus yulensis).

Dusky skink
Emoia obscura
New Guinea tree skink
Emoia kordoana
Black-cowled four-fingered skink (male)
Carlia luctuosa
Black-cowled four-fingered skink (female)
Carlia luctuosa
Yule Island snake-eyed skink
Cryptoblepharus yulensis

We then went down to one of the riverine gardens and dug in a drift fence with four bucket pitfall traps and six snake traps, which were covered with banana leaves for shade.

A drift fence is a line of sheeting, maybe 0.5 m high, with the bottom edge buried in the ground. At intervals along its length are buried pitfall traps, buckets with holes in the bottom for drainage. The modification here was that we also incorporated snake traps, rectangular wire and mesh arrangements with a funnel at either end, into which snakes may go but not easily escape. The fence was be checked twice a day.


Riverine garden habitat - good for snakes
Drift fence with pitfall traps and snake traps

This drift fence was not as successful as some I have constructed in the past. All we caught were Eastern kunai skinks (Carlia bicarinata), Black-cowled four-fingered skink (Carlia luctuosa), and Dusky skinks (Emoia obscura) and despite increasing the snake traps to ten four we did not catch any snakes.

Eastern kunai skink
Carlia bicarinata
Black-cowled four-fingered skink (male)
Carlia luctuosa
Dusky skink
Emoia obscura

A large Common treesnake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus) was captured in the small camp settlement, accompanied bymuch exciting from the village childen.

Common treesnake,
Dendrelaphis punctulatus