Southern Yunnan 2014

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Keeper
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Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Keeper » September 17th, 2014, 5:11 pm

With the generous funding supports from CHS and MHS, I went back to my home province, Yunnan, for a little project, and I took the chance and did some herping along the trip.

First stop, Gejiu and Mengzi
As the major mining sites for tin and coal in China, the subsequent deforestation destroyed most of the natural habitats in those two places.
One of the entrances of the tin mines
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one of the open coal-mining sites
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Almost cleared mountains with very few patches of "forests"
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Outside the major cities scattered with many slum towns, which were specifically built for the miners.
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Those STD medication ads (for all kinds of nasty STD and parasites like pubic louse) were very common in the poor mining district.
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Some herptiles found around these two localities:
Tiannan Knobby Newt
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Verrucous Digging Frog, Kaloula verrucosa
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Tadpoles
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Burmese Keelback, Rhabdophis leonardi
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Black-headed Slugater, Pareas nigriceps
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Big-eyed False Cobra, Pseudoxenodon macrops
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And Jerdon Pit-viper, Protobothrops jerdonii
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The "kissing" in action
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Japalura varcoae
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The second stop was a small town beside the Red River.
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Those fruits are AWESOME! lol specially the mangoes!!!
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Our driver, I called him "The Man" hahaha
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We drove about 2km away from the town and took the trail off-road along the stream into the mountain.

Night sky decorated with Fireflies
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Even though I did not have the chance to see the Yangtze Giant Solfshell Turtle, I did found my first Chinese turtle in the upper reach of the stream!
a Chinese Softshell, Pelodiscus sinensis
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Some other herptiles found in the stream
Hemidactylus frenatus
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Odorrana livida
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Polypedates impresus
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Common Asian Toad, Duttaphrynus melanostictus
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Keeper
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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Keeper » September 17th, 2014, 5:40 pm

The third stop, Daweishan Natural Reserve at Pingbian.
We only stayed there for one night, and given that the herping results are not that bad.
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interesting slug
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gigantic spiny frog tadpole
Paa sp.
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Odorrana tiannanensis, very common and could be found almost everywhere at night
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Road-killed Tylototriton daweishanensis
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Lycodon septentrionalis
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I had never seen such a high density of Bamboo Pit-viper before: there were one coiling on the side of trail in every 5m at night!
Trimeresurus gumprechti
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Courting and breeding Rhacophorus omeimontis
Breeding site
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And the last shot was the gift for this stop (the pair somehow managed to detect the snake and escaped from the side)
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Kevin Messenger
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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Kevin Messenger » September 17th, 2014, 5:59 pm

awesome! loved seeing pics of the R. leonardi! and the Tiannan knobby newt. Seeing a jerdonii from that area is also very cool

Tim Leerschool
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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Tim Leerschool » September 17th, 2014, 7:52 pm

Very cool pictures! Love the last one especially!

Astounding to find those high densities of T. gumprechti. May I ask what time of the year was this? I've found high densities of snakes only in early spring, mating season or end of the season.

With kind regards,

Tim

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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Keeper » September 17th, 2014, 9:34 pm

Tim Leerschool wrote:Very cool pictures! Love the last one especially!

Astounding to find those high densities of T. gumprechti. May I ask what time of the year was this? I've found high densities of snakes only in early spring, mating season or end of the season.

With kind regards,

Tim
Thanks for your comment :)
That was in the early May, and I am not sure if that is the breeding season for the species. Those individuals seemed to be attracted by the abundant frogs and rodents along the trail.

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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by SurfinHerp » September 18th, 2014, 9:02 pm

Great post Kai!

Lots of cool finds, but the false cobra is my favorite - that guy looks awesome 8-)


Looking forward to more of your posts...

Jeff

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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Keeper » September 18th, 2014, 10:12 pm

The last stop of the trip, Fenshuiling Nature Reserve at the China-Vietnam border. Like Daweishan, it also had good sub-tropical forests, and as I chatted with locals, it seemed like the herptiles here were more abundant than Daweishan.
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Water snake, Sinonatrix percarinata
Very common in the rice plantations. When got caught on the tail, they would twist their body and roll like crazy, just like the death roll of the alligators. Two of the individuals we caught lost parts of their tail because of that suicidal movement.
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Amphiesma stolata was also common in the plantations
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Typical habitat
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Another Lycodon of the trip, Lycodon fasciatus
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Juvenile Yunnan Beauty, Orthriophis taeniurus
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Hiked for 2 hours at midnight and almost fell from a 10m water-fall, I finally found this Trimeresurus stejnegeri
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Psedocalotes microlepis
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Sphenomorphus sp., any suggestion?
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Leptobrachium chapaensis
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Another Mr. Unknown, Leptolalax sp.
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Kurixalus odontotarsus
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Amolops chapaensis
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The most abundant amphibian species, Fejervarya limnocharis
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That's the end of the trip~ Sorry for the limited landscape shots (it's a pain to change lens all the time lol)
Hope you enjoy the photos as I do. :D

Cheers
Kai

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » September 19th, 2014, 7:10 am

Keeper wrote:Hope you enjoy the photos as I do.
I sure did, man. Some glorious stuff there!

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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by sebastes » September 19th, 2014, 9:37 pm

No beauty snakes yet? haha Awesome finds!

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Tuataurifer
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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Tuataurifer » September 20th, 2014, 12:04 pm

Fantastic thread! You dont by chance have habitat shots of the first Tylototriton do you? Would love to see those if you do.

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chrish
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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by chrish » September 21st, 2014, 6:11 pm

Great photos of some really neat stuff.

But the most "interesting" photo is that STD poster :shock: ! If they posted that somewhere in public in the US, there would be protests in the street!

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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Keeper » September 28th, 2014, 1:02 pm

chrish wrote:Great photos of some really neat stuff.

But the most "interesting" photo is that STD poster :shock: ! If they posted that somewhere in public in the US, there would be protests in the street!
lol that's indeed true! I was wandering why nobody comment about that SDT photos haha

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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Keeper » September 28th, 2014, 1:03 pm

Tuataurifer wrote:Fantastic thread! You dont by chance have habitat shots of the first Tylototriton do you? Would love to see those if you do.
I do, but that will be used for a publication. Once the paper is out I will let you know. :)
Cheers
Kai

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Re: Southern Yunnan 2014

Post by Lloyd Heilbrunn » September 28th, 2014, 8:42 pm

Since I am one of the few who keeps and breeds Yunnan Beauties, it was nice to see one in the wild.

Thanks.

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