Victor Valley College Tropical Research Initiative
Herpetofauna of Timor-Leste
Dili to Bakhita, Ermera District
One of our favourite locations near to Dili is the Sta. Bakhita Mission Hospital near the town of Eraulo in Ermera District, about 1.5 hours drive south (depending on the state of the roads which can be bad), or more particularly the Meleotegi River a short drive from 'Bakhita'. We have visited this location on most of the previous phases. It is the only place we have found the Timor treefrog (Litoria everetti), Timor river frog (Limnonectes timorensis), and several species of skinks from the genera Carlia, Cryptoblepharus, Eremiascincus and Sphenomorphus. We have oddly yet to find a single snake here.
An interesting cliff face enroute Bakhita
The town of Gleno is the largest settlement enroute
Mountain and river valley panorama enroute Bakhita
The road to Bakhita is twisty and turny and heavily pot-holed and there are quite a few trucks and motorcycles on the road, not to mention water buffalo, goats, chickens and children, so careful driving is essential. In the past we have based ourselves, even stayed, at the St Bakhita Mission but on this occasion we simply dropped in to say hello before heading for the Meleotegi River.
We have visited Sta Bakhita and the Meleotegi River on four previous phases:
For Phase I (dry season 2009) click here For Phase II (wet season 2010) click here
For Phase V (dry season 2011) click here
For Phase VI (wet season 2011) click here
Map of Eraulo, Sta Bakhita Mission and Meleotegi River
Mouse-over for Google satellite map and click for enlarged topographic map.
Sta Bakhita Mission, from Eraulo, Ermera District
Around Sta Bakhita Mission we found the local Four-fingered skink (Carlia sp.3) around the accommodation block and also found a young Asian black-spined toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus). It also turned out that the chefe de suco (village head) was no longer the man who Hinrich had met previously so we had to find and seek permission to visit the Meleotegi from the new chefe de suco. He granted permission and sent Sisto Madera, a local chefe de aldeia (minor village head) along with us as a guide. Five malaes (foreigners) on the river might cause discord amongst villagers (remember we were Jet-less) but having a respected local with us would help diffuse any fears the villagers might have about our presence.
Asian black-spined toad Duttaphrynus melanostictus