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

Beloi ravines, Ataúro Island, Dili District

On one afternoon, I took my troopie and some of the students north up the road from Beloi but we were prevented from driving to the northern tip of the island, as planned, by road construction so we pulled over and explored a ravine.

Map of cliffs and ravines north of Beloi
Mouse-over map for sat map and click for larger version of topo map


Under a rock on a cliff-face Sven caught a bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus sp.) which appeared to be different from the Mt Manucoco species.

The troopie parked at the base of the ravine The ravine from below
We explored the ravine and in a crevice to left of picture Sven found a
Bent-toed gecko Cyrtodactylus sp.
which appeared to be a different species from the Mt Manucoco gecko

On the way back to base we investigated several other likely gecko locations including a cliff-face beside the road. In the evening Hinrich took a team out to these two spots and came back with both bent-toed geckos and blindsnakes (Ramphotyphlops sp.).

A road-side cliff face which also looked promising and produced geckos at night

So despite being defeated in our quest to find the montane bent-toed gecko we refer to as Cyrtodactylus sp. 2 we managed to collect specimens of another species is the coastal lowlands, which is being referred to as Cyrtodactylus sp. 6, pending further analysis. Molecular results for the specimens we have so far collected from the mainland of Timor already demonstrate we have four new species, all in the genus Cyrtodactylus, and we may have two more from Ataúro Island.

Bent-toed gecko
Cyrtodactylus sp.