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 Post subject: Going Troppo - Queensland, Australia
PostPosted: March 17th, 2012, 3:35 am 
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Joined: August 8th, 2010, 11:16 pm
Posts: 93
Location: Townsville, Australia
An unposted post from last September.

Stewart

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Failure. I don't like it. I don't like it at all. As my last trip was an utter failure, I had to redeem myself. Never fear - I had a cunning plan. I had been up to the Wet Tropics recently to help a colleague track down some of the little brown skinks she was working on. During the course of the day, I managed to track down a little brown skink of my own: Saproscincus tetradactylus, reptick #340 for me.

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Four-fingered shadeskink (Saproscincus tetradactylus)

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Four-fingered shadeskink (Saproscincus tetradactylus)

Alas, I was only able to poke around for a couple of hours, so Saproscincus tetradactylus was the sole reptick of the day. But this whetted my appetite for little brown tropical skinks. One Friday night soon after, SMZ4 and I jumped in the Critter Cruiser and headed to the Atherton Tablelands. Arriving at Ravenshoe late at night after someone who shall remain nameless sent us in the wrong direction for 40 minutes (it was Stephen), I soon had my first reptick: Saproscincus czechurai.

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Saproscincus czechurai

Poking around a bit more, we found a number of frogs and mammals. I wasn't able to get any worthwhile photos of the few lemuroid ringtail possums (Hemibelideus lemuroides) we saw around the place, which was unfortunate as that species was a mammaltick for me.

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Mixophyes schevilli

We called it quits for the night and set up camp. The next day we visited Lake Barrine and went for a pleasant stroll around the walking track encircling the lake. We kept our eyes peeled for the multitude of musky rat-kangaroos (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) that call the lake home, but the low light, dense vegetation and my complete lack of patience made it impossible to photograph them successfully. We evidently weren't the only ones on the lookout for these primitive macropods - we soon stumbled upon a scrub python (Morelia kinghorni) lying beside the path in an ambush position.

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Scrub python (Morelia kinghorni)

It wasn't long before reptick #342 showed its cute little polished form: Glaphyromorphus fuscicaudis.

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Brown-tailed bar-lipped skink (Glaphyromorphus fuscicaudis)

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Brown-tailed bar-lipped skink (Glaphyromorphus fuscicaudis)

Content with that find, we headed off to a nearby flying fox camp. The only mainland flying fox (Pteropus sp.) I was yet to see was the spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus), and this camp was one of the most reliable places to see them. Sure enough, the moment I opened the car door I could hear flying foxes squabbling. Walking a few metres into the bush, we looked up to see a bunch of spectacled flying foxes hanging out. The overcast day and the height of the trees made it difficult to get good photos, so I'll have to call in again the next time I'm in the area to have another go.

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Spectacled flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus)

We continued north and headed up to Mt Lewis. With Kingfisher Park nestled at its base, Mt Lewis is a well-known birding spot. It's also home to a number of other beasts that receive far less attention. That didn't seem right to me, so I set out to give them the attention they deserve. We drove up the mountain, keeping a careful watch for the characteristic red eye shine of arboreal mammals.

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Daintree River ringtail possum (Pseudochirulus cinereus)

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Sooty owl (Tyto tenebricosa)

Up at the top of the mountain, it started to rain lightly. This prompted a chorus from some of the microhylid frogs up there.

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Fry's frog (Austrochaperina fryi). Found while calling from leaf litter.

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Fry's frog (Austrochaperina fryi). Found while calling from leaf litter.

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Tapping nursery-frog (Cophixalus aenigma). Found while calling from vegetation.

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Tapping nursery-frog (Cophixalus aenigma). Found while calling from this hole in a dirt embankment.

While stumbling around in the rain chasing frogs, we flushed a grey-bellied sunskink (Lampropholis robertsi) out of its hiding spot. This was a reptick for me, taking my total to 343.

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Grey-bellied sunskink (Lampropholis robertsi)

Running total of Australian reptiles I've seen: 343

Repticks:
Saproscincus tetradactylus
Saproscincus czechurai
Glaphyromorphus fuscicaudis
Lampropholis robertsi


Amphibiticks:
Cophixalus aenigma
Austrochaperina fryi


Mammalticks:
Lemuroid ringtail possum
Daintree River ringtail possum


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 Post subject: Re: Going Troppo - Queensland, Australia
PostPosted: March 17th, 2012, 12:08 pm 

Joined: July 14th, 2011, 8:18 am
Posts: 409
Location: Denver, CO
WHOA! dude, freaki'n cool scrub python (and pic) :shock:
that's some skilled herpin :beer:
-Ian


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 Post subject: Re: Going Troppo - Queensland, Australia
PostPosted: March 18th, 2012, 1:03 pm 
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Joined: June 22nd, 2010, 9:48 pm
Posts: 277
Great photos (as usual *yawn*) Stewart. I can't say I understand your passion for little brown skinks, they aren't nearly venomous enough for me....it's rare to see photos that do them justice in the way yours do though. Nice scrubby shot too.


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