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

Com to Dili, Dili District

We were packed to leave fairly early on the 30th but it was some time before we took our leave of Yono and his staff at the Com Beach Resort.

The Jets and Naveen load a Troopie. Mark and Hinrich with Yono,
manager of the Com Beach Resort.
Naveen hanging with his homies,
the Jets.
Hinrich with three gunslingers,
the Jets who were about to graduate from UNTL.

Eventually we hit the road for the six hour drive back to Dili, stopping for occasional photographic opportunities, calls of nature and, of course, reptiles in the road!

On the road, a break in the journey through arid northern habitats.


The photographic opportunites included a herd of water buffalos being marshalled along the seashore.

Herds of buffalo sweeping majestically across the beach.
I can't walk another step! Come on, hurry up.

Reptiles on the road were three.

First a Timor monitor lizard (Varanus timorensis) shot across the road from left to right and as everyone bailed out of the vehicles, back across right to left, disappearing into a culvert. It was some time before Laca and Zito would admit defeat, it was gone.

On the trail of the monitor lizard. Give it up lads!

Next a road-killed Common island wolfsnake (Lycodon capucinus) which Mark's off-sider Caitlin spotted, the first vehicle having missed it, as we climbed up towards Baucau. The local rice farmers watched bemused at Caitlin, Laca, Zito and Mark first photographed, then GPS'ed, and finally picked up and bagged a dead snake, so flat it could slip under a door.

"Tell them we are not mad" Mark implored Laca, but he just laughed in his usual mad way!

Hinrich looks back as Mark's team collect the DOR wolfsnake. Roadkill Common island wolfsnake,
Lycodon capucinus


Finally, a living Timor bronzeback (Dendrelaphis inornatus timorensis) rocketed across the road on a bend in a forested area approaching Manatuto, but not so quickly we could not identify it to species. Everybody was out and running again, the Jets leaping into the bush hoping to land ahead of the snake and turn its flight back towards the road, but again it too was gone.

There are no photographic records of the 'refreshment stops'.