TIMOR-LESTE 2013

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

LOMBOK, INDONESIA

We took an early morning Merpati flight from Denpasar to the new international terminal on Lombok, where we were met by a guide and a driver from a tour company.

The Merpati flight arrives at Lombok International

The team head for the Arrivals hall
photo: Hinrich Kaiser

Enroute Hinrich had amused us with some very odd images on the safety inflight card - how often do you actually read these?

She does not look very happy! And the less said about this one, the better!

We then travelled north to an area of pristine rainforest at the southern edge of the Sesaot Forest Park.

Views of the riverine habitat at Sesaot
Three men on a bridge And the team on a more conventional bridge

Although there were patches of original rainforest at Sesaot there was also a great deal of degradation with rice, coffee, cocoa, palms and gardens replacing much of the forest so the location was a bit of a disappointment. We did see some herps but nothing we could not expect to see more widely in the archipelago, e.g. Asian black-spined toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), Sun skink (Eutropis cf. multifasciata) and a medium-sized Indo-Malay water monitor (Varanus salvator) sighted by Britta as it climbed a rainforest tree. On a more slender tree besides the road eagle-eyed Sven spotted a Flying lizard (Draco volans) which displayed its yellow-dewlap before disappearing into the vegetation.

Asian black-spined toad,
Duttaphrynus melanostictus
Indo-Malay water monitor
Varanus salvator
photo: Hinrich Kaiser
Common flying lizard
Draco volans
Sun skink
Eutropis cf. multifasciata

We also found some interesting invertebrates, ie. a praying mantid (species to be identified) and some huge earthworms - the latter causing some hilarity in the team.

Praying mantis

Find a large earthworm and you are faced with two choices:
1. Wear it - like Fu Man Kaiser, or 2. Eat it - like Kevin Worm-dangler

Shades of Baldrick's slug-balancer here!

We really did not get an appreciation for the differences between Lombok and Bali, the locality was too degraded and influenced by man and our time too short, but it was an interesting trip nonetheless.

We next visited the Pura Lingsar temple, the largest temple complex on Lombok incorporating Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Animist cultures, traditions and structures, and here Hinrich found a Flat-tailed gecko (Hemidactylus platyurus).

Arriving at Pura Lingsar Pura Lingsar temple
Flat-tailed gecko
Hemidactylus platyurus

I went to look for some paddy-fields and habitats to photograph and sighted a large Common sun skink (Eutropis cf. multifasciata) crossing the road. After the temple we went for lunch on the outskirts of Mataram before traveling back to the aiport for our flight back to Denpasar.

Rice-paddies at Pura Lingsar Common sun skink
Eutropis cf. multifasciata

Back at the Best Western Kuta Beach we found another commensal, the Common house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) on the walls around the pool.