Victor Valley College Tropical Research Initiative
Herpetofauna of Timor-Leste
Phase I


Sta.Bakhita Mission and Meleotegi River,
Eraulo, Ermera District

Map of Eraulo, Ermera District.
(click to enlarge and view Eraulo locations)

The expedition was based at the Sta. Bakhita Mission* where we were greatly assisted and provided with accomodation by Anders Hofstee. The town of Eraulo is located across a lowlying water-meadow where water buffalos are grazed.


*The St. Bakhita Mission Hospital and Community Centre is run by the Leeuwin Care charity. More information can be found at http://www.bakhita.org/centre.htm.

Sta. Bakhita Mission, accomodation above, hospital below. Sta. Bakhita Mission hospital with
large cross above on hill.
Views across paddifields and water buffalo wallows to Eraulo.


Sta.Josefina Bakhita's shrine.


Within a few kilometers of Eraulo is the Meleotegi River, a large river in flood but shallow during the expedition's visit. The river became an important collection location during the 2009 expedition.

Early morning views of Eraulo across the valley.


Meleotegi River, near Eraulo, with log-bridge on right and visible on Google Earth.

Amphibians collected, included the ubiquitous Foam-nest treefrog (Polypedates cf. leucomystax), and two endemics, two specimens of the Timor river frog (Limnonectes timorensis) and a single Timor treefrog (Litoria everetti).

click on an image to enlarge
Foam-nest treefrog, Polypedates cf. leucomystax
Timor river frog, Limnonectes timorensis
Timor treefrog, Litoria everetti

Skinks collected included a Four-fingered skink (Carlia sp.), two Forest Skinks (Sphenomorphus sp.) and a Many-banded skink (Eutropis cf. multifasciata). Work continues on the identification of these lizards, several of which may ultimately prove to be new to science. No geckos were collected, although Common house geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) were present in the accomodation, and no snakes were found although the Island pitviper (Cryptelytrops insularis) is known from the area.

click on an image to enlarge
Four-fingered skink, Carlia sp.1
Forest skink, Sphenomorphus sp.3
Forest skink, Sphenomorphus sp.4
Many-banded skink, Eutropis cf. multifasciata
Many-banded skink, Eutropis cf. multifasciata


Herp team preping specimens on the verandah at Sta.Bakhita's: (l-r) Benny, Jester, Hinrich, Paul; (bg) Caitlin and Mark on computer.