Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

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Tim Leerschool
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Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » August 27th, 2014, 6:40 pm

Hi all,

I wish to share with you that I am currently doing a big (2.5 month) trip through China and Japan. Meanwhile, of course I am keeping my eyes open for any herps to be seen. Those I wanted to share with you in this post. I'll try to upload some pictures when the internet is allowing me to but here is a summary of the first week.

Week 1: Surrounding of Chengdu
We flew from Amsterdam to Chengdu with a transfer in Hong Kong. A long flight (13 hours) was pretty exhausting so the first days were spent adjusting and coping with the weather (around 30 degrees Celsius and a very high humidity) and the spicy food. The parks in Chengdu revealed some herps but they were all a big ''iffy''.
Bull frog Lithobates catesbeianus, probably introduced from the local restaurants as they were quite easy to get for consumption.
Image

Red-eared sliders that were introduced. The park had a ''release pond''. Unfortunately, someone also released a land turtle that had made its way in the water and did not come out of it...
Image

The pond was full of Trachemys species and several others that I could not identify. The big floating thing in the water was the land turtle.
Image

I also saw sea turtles and an actual Chinese Giant Salamander being sold in the local fish market. This is the one that really got to me. Highly endangered and protected and still being offered here to eat. Pretty much everything that moves, slithers, crawls, flies, swims or jumps, you can be certain there are Chinese people who eat them.

However, we made some small trips to Leshan and the Qingcheng mountains which revealed the very first herps.

Leshan, for any who have been to Chengdu should be familiar. A very touristy place, the tallest buddha can be found here. Luckily, it seems that the Chinese prefer to only go to the main tourist spot and don't wander about that much. Some secluded temples where disturbance was not that high revealed the first skink!

Sphenomorphus indicus (corrected, thanks to Kevin Messenger)
Image

Image

The habitat of Sphenomorphus indicus
Image

There was a renovation of a nearby temple which they showed ,had snake sheds in the wood of some of the pillars. No snake unfortunately for me that day so what species it was remains a mystery.

Anyhow, the following day we went to the Qingcheng mountains. A truly breathtaking place. For me this was the first time in a ''somewhat'' jungle environment but very rewarding. A large climb up the mountain with nice views again revealed some E. chinensis. On the way there I told my girlfriend that we might have a chance of seeing snakes. Not even 5 min. later she says, ''Tim, is that a snake?!'' I turn around and right next to the path she points to a large curled-up snake. It turned out to be a big pitviper: Protobothrops mucrosquamatus. Surprisingly the snake was right next to the path where maybe more than 100 people already passed that day. The animal did not bother it that much and the pictures were taken without handling.

Protobothrops mucrosquamatus
As seen by my girlfriend
Image

Close-up
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This is how close it was to the path
Image

At the end of the day we passed some small creeks with pools. There were large tadpoles in the water so we took a closer look. Four big frogs jumped from the shore into the water. With some doubts I started feeling around in the murky water (I wasn't sure what else might be there). Luckily I felt one of the frogs and got it to pose. A beautiful Paa species. Sturdy and big frogs.

Image

Habitat where the frog was found. Muddy shallow pools in mountain streams
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Other amphibians sighted on the slopes of the mountains was, what I presume to be Asiatic toad: Bufo gargarizans (please correct me if I am wrong). Also some brownish Rana-like frog escaped in between the bamboo.

Bufo gargarizans
Image

That was it for the Chengdu adventures. We then left for Chongqing, Lijiang and currently Dali. I will try to upload some pictures of the herps that were found there.

Hope you enjoyed reading and with the best regards,

Tim

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Bostaff of Asclepius » August 27th, 2014, 7:47 pm

Your toad appears to be Duttaphrynus melanostictus * edit: I'm wrong, sorry for the mis-identification *. Your snake appears to be...absolutely awesome! I look forward to seeing what else you turn up.

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Paul Freed » August 28th, 2014, 7:25 am

That was an interesting post Tim, thanks for sharing. I too recently spent some time in the Chendu region although I only found a few toads as it was still late Spring and the weather was rather cool. (By the way, you are correct, that toad is Bufo gargarizans [although it is very similar in appearance to Bufo andrewsi]).

Regarding the Giant Salamander (Wa Wa Yu, as it's referred to by the Chinese), I also wanted to see this species in the wild and when I asked around I was told that I could get a tour of the cave that they are found in. I thought that that was rather odd, since I didn't think that this species occurred in caves but I was eager to see it in the wild so I hired someone to take me there. It turns out that the 'cave' is a man-made one that extends over a mile into a mountain and the owner (he owns three such facilities) raises them for the food market. He has over 100,000 Andias in various stages of growth, from yearlings to four foot + adults. I found this rather shocking, since as you pointed out, this is an endangered species but he has full government sanction to do this and even has a slick-looking brochure in which he tells all about how he breeds them and even shows the various food 'products' available for purchase. I have to wonder if there are similar such breeders of Giant Pandas tucked away in some secluded mountain region doing the same thing. You are right, they will eat anything!
-Paul

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Kevin Messenger
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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Kevin Messenger » August 28th, 2014, 5:41 pm

nice seeing some other China posts. I was in Chengdu this year as well. Hopefully I'll get around to posting my experience soon.... (I just need 36 hrs in a day, that's all)

Your skink is most likely Sphenomorphus indicus or Scincella sp. - it's hard to tell the size from the pics. For reference:
Sphenomorphus indicus (the most common skink in all of China):
ImageSphenomorphus indicus by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

Scincella modesta:
ImageScincella modestum by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

Eumeces chinensis has a ton of orange flecking on the flanks, males and females:
ImageEumeces by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr
ImageEumeces chinensis by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr


Awesome way to find a habu!!

Oh, and your Chinese bullfrog is actually a Paa. Most likely Paa spinosa, but definitely a Paa. Here's a pic of H. rugulosus:
ImageHoplobatrachus chinensis (Chinese bullfrog) by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

The main difference can be noticed in the eye. Here are some Paa's, starting with spinosa:
ImagePaa spinosa by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

Paa exilispinosa (to give you another example of how distinct the eye is):
ImagePaa exilispinosa by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

Paa quadranus:
ImagePaa quadranus by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr


keep it up, best of luck. I wish I was back there. Been back in the states for about a month now (also a 2.5 month trip this past summer). Looking forward to LOTS more pics

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Alex » August 31st, 2014, 3:58 am

Paul Freed wrote:That was an interesting post Tim, thanks for sharing. I too recently spent some time in the Chendu region although I only found a few toads as it was still late Spring and the weather was rather cool. (By the way, you are correct, that toad is Bufo gargarizans [although it is very similar in appearance to Bufo andrewsi]).

Regarding the Giant Salamander (Wa Wa Yu, as it's referred to by the Chinese), I also wanted to see this species in the wild and when I asked around I was told that I could get a tour of the cave that they are found in. I thought that that was rather odd, since I didn't think that this species occurred in caves but I was eager to see it in the wild so I hired someone to take me there. It turns out that the 'cave' is a man-made one that extends over a mile into a mountain and the owner (he owns three such facilities) raises them for the food market. He has over 100,000 Andias in various stages of growth, from yearlings to four foot + adults. I found this rather shocking, since as you pointed out, this is an endangered species but he has full government sanction to do this and even has a slick-looking brochure in which he tells all about how he breeds them and even shows the various food 'products' available for purchase. I have to wonder if there are similar such breeders of Giant Pandas tucked away in some secluded mountain region doing the same thing. You are right, they will eat anything!
-Paul
Wow that is quit possibly the best thing that could ever be done for those salamanders to stay alive in the wild.

Tim Leerschool
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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » September 1st, 2014, 5:48 am

Thanks all for you replies.

@Kevin: I'll need to read in a bit more into these skinks. I'm not sure wether it is Sphenomorphus indicus or Scincella modesta although my money would be on the first one. I'll get back on this. Same goes for the Paa species.

I'm currently in Kunming and have some other nice pictures to share with you guys but as long as the internet is still going slow I can't upload any. I'll be back soon with pictures!

@Paul & Alex: Interesting indeed! Although I am not a big fan of captive breeding to prevent extinction this might be a effective method. It is good to know that these animals also might be bred instead of caught from the wild.

With the best regards,

Tim

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » September 3rd, 2014, 12:54 am

Hi all!

I've found a spot in the hostel that provides some better internet and am happy to share some more pictures with you. These are made in the vicinity of Chongqing (Chongqing province) and Dali (Yunnan Province). We visited Lijiang (Yunnan Province) between the city but found nothing interesting there. The city was incredibly touristy and a day trip to the outskirts of the city resulted in nothing, probably due to bad weather.

Chongqing
We only had a few days here but spent one day up in the mountains. The city was massive (never seen so many buildings and skyscrapers crammed into one valley). The view over the Yangtze river was very nice though!

Image

A hike up the nearby mountains revealed only some skinks. In the village on top of the mountain we found a peculiar sight. My girlfriend already knows it is good to look at water holes etc. that can act as a pitfall trap. Near the entrance of one of the parks there we found just over 10 B. gargarizans, a rana like frog, Paa species and a small little Pelophylax like frog. Do excuse me for not knowing the species names yet. The fieldguides arrived just a few days after we left. I will update the names on return.

B. gargarizans couple locked in.
Image

Image

The Pelophylax like frog
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Paa species
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The Rana individual
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The habitat of the park (only 20m. away) looked great for amphibians, so they were released there.
Image

Dali
Dali was more interesting! From our hotel we had a fantastic view over the, very mystic looking, mountains.

Image

Due to the weather (rainy most of the times) no reptiles were spotted up in the mountains but a big pit in the middle of the forest revealed some stunning Odorrana species. These frogs are big and beautiful! And to top it of they are accurate jumpers as one of them jumped straight in my girlfriends t-shirt, after which she screamed my ears off :D .

Image

Well, I'll save the rest for later. We spend some more days around Dali and a trip to Lake Erhai revealed some nice snakes! That will follow soon. Tomorrow we leave from Kunming to Guiyang.

With the best regards and I hope you'll enjoy reading,

Tim

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Kevin Messenger » September 5th, 2014, 10:12 am

great seeing more. Based on your location, I have a few guesses:

Your Pelophylax is most likely nigromaculata - a highly variable frog.
ImagePelophylax [Rana] nigromaculata by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr
ImageRana nigromaculata by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr
ImageRana nigromaculata by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

Your Paa could be a baby Paa, it's hard to tell from the size of the pic. But it seems more likely like it is a Fejervarya limnocharis, the Rice paddy frog, one of the most wide-ranging frogs in China:
ImageFejervarya limnocharis by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr
ImageFejervarya [Rana] limnocharis by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

And then lastly, your Odorrana is probably margaratae or schmackeri, it's hard to see from the angle. But I think it looks closer to margaratae:
ImageOdorrana margaratae by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr
ImageOdorrana margaratae by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr
ImageOdorrana margaratae by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

schmackeri - which is more common throughout China has more spots/ dots:
ImageOdorrana schmackeri by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr
ImageOdorrana schmackeri by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr
ImageOdorrana schmackeri by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

Hope that helps some! Anxious for your next location

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » September 15th, 2014, 7:06 am

And the journey continues.

To pick up where we left, these pictures were still taken in the surrounding of Dali. The surrounding looks very nice with large rice fields just outside the city of Dali. Apart from rice, corn and red chili peppers were being produced there. A rich abundance of green around! For birders this was heaven. Lots of Lanius species around.

Image

The bank of Lake Erhai gave a bit different scenery but was very nice. The water level was high in this time of year so the banks were flooded. Lots of kingfishers (3 different species) in between the trees hunting next to the fishermen for some food.

Image

The shore banks of Lake Erhai looked promising and quickly revealed a small eight lined keelback (Amphiesma octolineata)

Image

A larger specimen of the eight lined keelback was also found later in the day hunting along the shore line.

Image

Very cool natrix like snakes. Beautiful belly which they display when threatenend. A quick photo and then back to where it was found. The small openings within the forest on the shore made excellent snake habitat. The small streams from the rice fields flow into the lake on these spots. Although during daytime the temperature was very hot, at night several animals where around in these places.

Image

Unfortunately also some DOR's were found with some very surprising finds.

Ovophis monticola (with help from Kevin Messenger for ID), a species high on my wishlist just killed some nights before. Very unfortunate but at least it was good to know it was around here somewhere. Searches nearby during day and night resulted in nothing...

Image


Elaphe carinata, king ratsnake with sub-adult markings and larger ones were the more common DOR's found.

Image

And a freshly hit Bamboo rat snake (Oreocryptophis porphyraceus pulchra, thanks to Jelmer Groen for ID), man I hope to still find these alive. Stunning colours and pattern! It was fresh enough to pose a bit. Just to please myself and maybe you guys to not look at all these dead snakes ;)

Image

As said, night time herping did only reveal A. octolineata as for reptiles. Amphibians were more easily found. Rana schmakeri was pretty common and also these little funny looking toads (ID will follow). The ratio of their head/body seems a bit off to me.

Image

Image

That was it for Dali. Next destination was Kunming.

Kunming

Inside the city itself were some skinks to be found. Astounding to see that these little creatures could manage on just a couple of walls inside the city (always close to water). S. indicus most likely:

Image

Coming back to a comment I earlier stated that Chinese people will pretty much eat everything they make an exception for red eared sliders (Trachemys scripta). These are kept as pets and released everywhere, especially temples. The numbers they eventually reach never stops to amaze me. This picture was taken just on one tiny stretch of shore. There were 7 more of which only 3 were in the shade. Hundreds of 'em....

Image

A trip outside of Kunming resulted in some nice finds and a check on my checklist.
First, in a small agricultural field just before the rain started pouring down this small toad was already out and about, ready to enjoy the rain. Duttaphyrnus melanostictus, a very beautiful toad!! (sorry, I have a thing for toads somehow)

Image

Regarding the tick on my checklist for this trip. We passed a small pond with some fish in it of what I believed was not that interesting. To close to a busy road and we had seen better pools. But I noticed some movement on the edge of the small pond after which a big Rabdophis tigrinus crossed the pond and dove after some fish. I was to astound by what I had seen to react and have no picture to show for it :oops: but the memory will last.

That's all for now. Kunming did not reveal any more to me and after this we headed for Guiyang.

Hope to post some more quickly but for now enjoy the post.

With all the best from China,

Tim

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Kevin Messenger » September 16th, 2014, 11:36 am

man... that tank-like frog is turning out to be much more difficult to ID. I thought I'd see pics of that species somewhere, but can't find any pics resembling it. The closest I can get are two options. Either A) a malnourished and thin Calluella (Calluella has the smashed face that I'm looking for, but the body is wrong), or B) genus Nanorana, but there the face seems to be too pointed. I'm gonna see is Wang Kai will take a look and comment

ok, some friends weighed in. It's Kaloula verrucosa

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Keeper » September 16th, 2014, 1:27 pm

Some Kaloula verrucosa that I photographed this summer in Honghe Prefecture of Southern Yunnan.Image
Flickr 上 Wang Kai王剀DSC_9509Image
Flickr 上 Wang Kai王剀DSC_7858

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Kevin Messenger » September 16th, 2014, 1:27 pm

wow, quite different looking (in my opinion). But I'm just not familiar with that region

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » September 17th, 2014, 6:21 am

Thanks for the comments. I've got some response on other forums as well confirming it is Kaloula sp.. Thanks Kevin and Wang Kai for the extra pictures!

I've found them in other places as well and they indeed looked quite different. I'll post some pictures soon of those specimens. Very cool to see such diversity in appearance of the animals.

With kind regards,

Tim

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » October 12th, 2014, 5:41 am

A tad bit overdue but better late than never.

After Dali, Kunming was next. No herps found there but that was mostly due to not looking or being in suitable habitat at the right time. A nice city though with good food! Guizhou was the next destination after Kunming and with some a good weather forecast I had some hope of finding new stuff!

Unfortunately Guizhou proofed not to be bursting out of its seams with herps... ;) Still Guizhou was a very nice city with a good amount of other activities to do (monkey sightseeing, waterfalls). Still, if herping does not work I pay more attention to the other stuff around. The surrounding is very beautiful and home to some very cool birds (herons, kingfishers and long tailed tits) and insects.

Especially these critters were cool to see:
A Lucanus like species.
Image

Many of these long horn beetles (Cerambycidae) were found in an old village. Both species probably relied on the wooden houses with their larvae munching away on the wood of them.
Image

Dragonflies and damselflies are very abundant this time of year pretty much everywhere we were. Tricky to take pictures of without the right equipment. This one however was more willing to approach. I believe this is Calicnemia sinensis
Image

Back to herps. A small side trip to Kaili and from there into the mountains to a very small but very beautiful village home to the Miao people
Image

We spent the night sleeping in the house of one of the families there. The walk to the village came past this. A small water reservoir. This sort of stuff usually works in Europe to find some herps.
Image

I needed to get on all fours to look into the tiny crevices! It did reveal some very cool frogs!
Odorrana schmakeri (Thanks to Kevin Messenger for the ID), or at least, I think it is.
Image

And a new species for the China trip. Still undetermined but probably some kind of tree frog. Probably some Amelops species. (Thanks to Kevin Messenger for ID)
Image

The night was perfect for snakes but due to a bad yoghurt was spent most of the time in bed, above a bucket or the toilet.... Bad luck I'm afraid.

That is it for now. After this I'll upload some pictures taken in Zhangjiajie and Changsha which were the next destinations for the trip.

Hope you enjoy the post still and with all the best from currently Hong Kong,

Tim

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Kevin Messenger » October 12th, 2014, 11:58 am

Tim Leerschool wrote: Odorrana margaratae, or at least, I think it is.
Image

And a new species for the China trip. Still undetermined but probably some kind of tree frog.
Image
Tim
Odorrana schmackeri

and Amolops is the genus. Most likely A. ricketti (one of the more common, widespread Amolops)

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » October 12th, 2014, 9:43 pm

Hey Kevin,

thanks as always for the ID's. I was thinking about Amelops but having never seen them before was doubtfull making the call. Anyhow, I was really pleased with the find.

Hope your adventures are going well!

With all the best,

Tim

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » December 8th, 2014, 7:34 am

Hi all,

It's been a while but spare please spare me as sorting out around 3000 pictures is a hard thing to do.

Anyway, I'll pick up where I left you.

After Guizhou and the small villages we left for Zhangjiajie (the ''Avatar-mountains'' - as the director was inspired by this landscape). The mountains here were absolutely breathtaking and though no herps were found (though Deinagkistrodon acutus should be common in these places) I would like to show you some of these pictures

Image

Image

Image

We only had one good day with sunshine and clear views and made most of it.

Small long-tailed lizards (Takydromus sexlineatus) were a welcome sight after a massive hike up the mountain:
Image

These arboreal lizards are very hard to spot as they run a tiny bit and then sit still.

Further up the trail on the more sun-exposed slopes we found many of these Eumeces elegans. They were indulging themselves with sunlight and seized every opportunity, even when scared off they reappeared a meter or so within a minute.
Image

The area is also home to the Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias chinensis). I had no luck seeing these in the wild but we did see a very big one in semi-captivity. These salamanders are housed in a natural stream which has been slightly modified to let the salamanders live in safer conditions (better housing, controlled feeding, no predators etc.) This whopper of a salamanders was well over 1 meter.
Image

Looking for these big salamanders I did find some other interesting things:
Image

These are tadpoles of some Paa species. Really distinct colouration and they also grow quite big.

As always, this gorilla like B. gargarizans was also found along the streams
Image

Due to the weather we spent the majority of the days hiking around trying to get some glimpses of the landscape that surrounded us. After a short week we continued on to Changsha (which I skip in this report) and then on to Guilin.

A nowadays still small but growing city placed along the shores of the Li river gave us many good memories
Image

The hostel was home to some geckos
Image

A trip with a local (also member on this forum, Maarten) gave us some of the best moments of our trip. On the back of his bike we explored the surrounding nature and were really surprised how quickly you could escape the hustle and bustle of Guilin. A day trip to some remote places revealed apart from some stunning views that the Guanxi province has to offer some cool critters.
Image

Whip scorpions were very cool to see! My impression was that they are quite common and completely harmless btw.

A small impression of the herping grounds:
Image

Trying to spot small lizards and snakes among the thick foliage proved rather difficult. As a European, I' pretty used to flipping rocks or just spotting them clearly among the heather. Still, some critters were found. Looking up between the bananatree leaves we found some more Takydromus sexlineatus. The shade of them was the only thing that betrayed their position on top of the leaves.
Image

Following a small stream later on revealed a tiny Amphiesma boulengeri
Image

Motorbiking on the outskirts of Guilin
Image

Maybe our best find in Guilin and tipped by our guide was passion fruit. Man, this stuff is so good. We bought around two kilos of a local seller and when this was finished many more.
Image

Around Guilin, what many tourists do, they go to the rice terraces and mainly Yangshuo. We went a bit further to some more distant rice terrace village. This place is for me the most relaxing and just jaw dropping all round...

The view from the room:
Image

The village shrouded in the morning fog:
Image

And their agricultural mark on the landscape.
Image

Though this habitat destroyed the natural habitat and is highly monotipic the biodiversity in these fields was pretty high (our impression though)

We found many snakes, lizards and frogs but we did not take any pictures this time to just admire them and the surrounding.
Just this one of a Microhyla pulchra
Image

We left this place way to early and am for sure coming back to this beautiful place!

Our second to last herp destination was Yangshuo. We went by the river on boat rafts that gave some very cool views of the mountains.
Image

Around our hostel we found some stuff but due to the incredibly high temperatures we did not do much apart from cycling around at night.
Duttaphyrnus melanostictus
Image

Maybe a golden tree frog?
Image

Amphiesma stolata
Image

At the time identified as a wolf snake but handled with care (read: protective gloves) as they very much resemble the kraits in this area. Goes to show that when posted this picture I recieved comments that this was actually a krait! There are too many stories about these snakes getting misidentified, with sometimes deadly endings...
Bungaris multicinctus
Image

Next was Beihai, Haikou and Sanya. These destinations are on a tropical island (or on our way to it) and was mostly spent on the white beaches under a palm tree. A vacation from our vacation...

Anyway, Hong Kong followed with some more very cool finds. I'll upload some pictures of that soon!

With all the best,

Tim

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Ruxs » December 9th, 2014, 6:34 am

Nice stuff!

The 'ID still needed' is Amphiesma stolatum and the black and white banded snake looks like a Bungarus multicinctus to me.

Looking forward to the next post.

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » December 10th, 2014, 3:08 am

Ruxs wrote:Nice stuff!

The 'ID still needed' is Amphiesma stolatum and the black and white banded snake looks like a Bungarus multicinctus to me.

Looking forward to the next post.
Thanks for the ID Ruxs!

Regarding the Bungaris like snake:
The snake was hit by something and had his eye bulging out of it's skull on the left side. That might distort its headshape enough to make it look like a Bungaris. To get a sort of nice pic I've got it to pose in the best position to don't show the eye.

As for the ID of the snake, here are some more pictures to help ID the snake.
The damage on the left side of its head is clearly visible in this picture
Image

Closest I could get regarding with my camera and safety
Image

I am curious to see if you are still leaning towards Bungaris.

With all the best,

Tim

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Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by chrish » December 12th, 2014, 2:45 am

Interesting stuff.

I'm no expert of Asian snakes, but the healthy eye looks too large for a krait to me. They always seem "small-eyed", even as little ones.
But it also doesn't look right for Lycodon either. The rostrum is too short?

Are there baby Ptas or Boiga in that area that are banded like that?

I still wouldn't have free handled it though! ;)

Tim Leerschool
Posts: 20
Joined: May 28th, 2014, 8:01 am

Re: Asia travels - Central & South China and Japan

Post by Tim Leerschool » December 12th, 2014, 3:04 am

I've spoken to some more experienced guys in that area and it does seem that this was a Bungaris multicinctus.

The large/trapezoidal mid-dorsal back scales are present in this snake. Because the snake was starving and the head shaped deformed because of some accident it was difficult making a call between Bungaris or Lycodon.

As far as I'm aware of there are no similar other snakes in that area.

With free-handling snakes most of the time I use special gloves, especially if I'm not sure if it is a venomous snake.

A nice find now that I found out but a risky one indeed.

With all the best,

Tim

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