TIMOR-LESTE 2009

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

 

Loré, Lautem District


Map of Loré, Lautem District.
(click to enlarge and view Loré locations)

 

Loré 1 is a small village with houses spread along a wide coastal strip between the forest and the beach. The expedition took up residence in two small huts and several tents at the eastern end of the beach.

Looking northeast from Loré 1.
Dawn due east of Loré 1.
Looking southwest from Loré 1.

 

 

View of Loré 1 village.

Several days were spent at Loré 1 conducting fieldwork by day and night in the coastal forest and scrub. This was also an opportunity to prep and work up some of the specimens from earlier stages, and conduct identifications and photography.

Our accomodation at Loré 1.
Mark O'Shea at his hut entrance. Benny, Jester and Barbara in the lab.

 

Inside Mark's hut with his Cubelite photoset.

Frogs collected at Loré comprised the usual suspects, a Rice paddy frog (Fejervarya sp.) and a Foam-nest treefrog (Polypedates cf. leucomystax).

FROGS from LORE
click on an image to enlarge
Rice paddy frogs, Fejervarya sp.
Rice paddy frog, Fejervarya sp.
Foam-nest treefrog, Polypedates cf. leucomystax

Geckos were also common species, the Common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus), Flat-tailed house gecko (H.platyurus) and the Mutilated gecko (Gehyra mutilata).

GECKOS from LORE
click on an image to enlarge
Common house gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus
Flat-tailed house gecko, Hemidactylus platyurus
Mutilated gecko, Gehyra mutilata

Skinks were very much in evidence. A fourth potential species of Four-fingered skink (Carlia sp.), and Leschenault's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus leschenault) were collected, the former on the ground, the latter on treebark. Specimens of a sexually dichromatic black-throated Forest skink (Sphenomorphus sp.) and a Night skink (Eremiascincus sp.) were also collected. Two distinct colour phases of Emerald tree skink (Lamprolepis cf. smaragdina) were found on trees in the coastal scrub, a form with a primarily green dorsum and others with a grey-brown dorsum, although colouration did not appear to be sex dependant.

 

SKINKS from LORE
click on an image to enlarge
Leschenault's snake-eyed skink, Cryptoblepharus leschenault
Four-fingered skink, Carlia sp. 3
Forest skink, Sphenomorphus sp. (white-throated specimen).
Forest skink, Sphenomorphus sp. (black-throated specimen)
Night skink, Eremiascincus sp. 2
Emerald tree skink, Lamprolepis cf. smaragdina

 

The Timor flying lizard (Draco timoriensis) was common in the southern coastal forests and we currently believe this may be the only species in Timor.

AGAMA from LORE
click on an image to enlarge
Timor flying lizard, Draco timoriensis

A Timor monitor lizard (Varanus timorensis) was observed scuttling into a dead log so the timber was removed to a clear area near the expedition accomodation and systematicall searched until the lizard was captured. Several other monitor lizards of the same species were observed or captured around Loré 1.

 

Carrying a hollow log back to camp at Loré.
Reflecting the he sun into a hole....
and extricating a
Timor monitor lizard
, Varanus timorensis
A team effort.

Several of the monitor lizards were found to bear ticks, which were removed for identification and preservation. Since varanids are CITES protected no voucher specimens of the lizards themselves were taken.

MONITOR from LORE
click on an image to enlarge
Timor monitor lizard, Varanus timorensis
Unidentified tick from Timor monitor lizard, Varanus timorensis

The only snakes observed were Timor bronzebacks (Dendrelaphis inornatus timorensis) but several juveniles were captured and at least one evaded capture.

SNAKES from LORE
click on an image to enlarge
Timor bronzeback, Dendrelaphis inornatus timorensis

 

Hinrich removing encysted cestodes (tapeworms) from
Timor treesnake, Dendrelaphis inornatus timoriensis
These snakes were found to have encysted cestodes (tapeworms) in blisters under the skin. Several cestodes were removed and preserved for identification. This parasite burden is also common in snakes in New Guinea and Madagascar.

 

 

 

 

Tiny ant lions, the larvae form of a lacewing (Myrmeleonidae), that preys on ants, were common in the sand around the expedition accomodation and worthy of a photograph.

INVERTEBRATES from LORE
click on an image to enlarge
Unidentified ant lion [Myrmeleontidae]