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 Post subject: Herping Australia
PostPosted: April 7th, 2018, 10:01 pm 

Joined: August 14th, 2017, 12:11 am
Posts: 5
Location: Melbourne
Over the easter weekend, a mate and myself embarked on a two night trip across the Victorian border into the South-East of South Australia. It was a rewarding trip as we found many endangered and rare species, only missing one target.
At midday on Good Friday, my mate caught an uber from the airport to my house, where his car was sitting whilst he was working out of state. With no time to lose, we jumped in the car, stopping in Ballarat to pick up some supplies and continued on into western Victoria.
We jumped out at a rocky lake, searching for our first targets. Not overly optimistic, we soon spotted one of many Corangamite water skinks out basking! A critically endangered species, it took us a while to get one to photograph. A few hours later, our cameras were full of photos of an individual with a regen, so we swore we would be back!
ImageCorangamite water skink (Eulamprus tympanum marnieae) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
We jumped out a few times looking for Striped legless lizards at several roadside verges on the way to the border, only uncovering a large copperhead under some cover, which we neglected to photograph as the sky grew darker.
Stopping at Hamilton, our only choice of food being a pretty good curry place on the man street. Finally after hours of driving we had crossed the border into South Australia, trying our best not to whack into kangaroos that were completely oblivious to the car travelling at them at 100kms/hr.
Soon enough we had made it to a reserve near mount gambier, looking for the Southern smooth froglet (Geocrinia laevis). We heard plenty calling, but the tall and dense grasses made them a challenge to find. Admitting defeat and getting the car bogged, we decided to hit the hay and hope tomorrow would be better. (Although I was still pretty chuffed with the water skink).
Waking up, we barrelled west to try our luck for a certain endangered pygopod (legless lizard). At the first site we found a stupid amount of shed skins, with no actual lizards in sight. Plenty of common skinks were to be found though!
ImageBougainville's skink (Lerista bougainvillii) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageFour-toed earless skink (Hemiergis peronii) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
Moving up north, we arrived at our next spot. I wasn't overly confident, but we were overjoyed to find this magnificent female Eared worm-lizard.
ImageEared Worm-lizard (Aprasia aurita) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageEared Worm-lizard (Aprasia aurita) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
For some reason we had spent over 6 hours in the reserve both looking for and photographing the lizards, so we decided we would drive north for our other target.
Unfortunately, due the plentiful and deep soil cracks, we were unable to find Delma impar this trip, but we did find dozens upon dozens of these fat snakes.
ImageLittle whip snake (Parasuta flagellum) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageLittle whip snake (Parasuta flagellum) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
Closeby, we also found half a dozen hatchling Eastern brown snakes. Adorable and deadly!
ImageEastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageEastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
I decided to hit the hay after the massive day, bright flashes lighting up the trees from my mates speedlites as he continued on his photography sesh as I bunkered down to sleep in the car.
Waking up the next morning surprisingly bright eyed and bushy tailed, I began to search for a different pygopod species I knew was around. Plenty more of the same Elapids were found, and I also found this massive Bluey!
ImageEastern blue-tongued lizard (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
As my mate started photographing the large skink, I continued on my search. Soon enough I had found an awesome Lined worm lizard!
ImageLined Worm-lizard (Aprasia striolata) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageLined Worm-lizard (Aprasia striolata) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
Packing up our gear, we decided to have one last crack at the Delma, once again failing. Having no time to waste, we began the drive back towards Victoria, stopping only for a Parma after a day or two of only muesli bars and up&gos. Finally we arrived back at the same lake we were at a few days ago, being able to photograph another "Corangie"!
ImageCorangamite water skink (Eulamprus tympanum marnieae) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
We arrived back in Ballarat totally smashed, but still pretty happy of what we managed to find in only a few days.
And here are some other random finds from the summer gone.
ImageLowland copperhead (Austrelaps superbus) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageSwamp skink (Lissolepis coventryi) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageEastern tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageGippsland water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii howittii) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageGuthega skink (Liopholis guthega) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageEastern small-eyed snake (Cryptophis nigrescens) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageWhite-lipped snake (Drysdalia coronoides) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageBlue Mountains tree frog (Litoria citropa) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageSouthern stream frog (Litoria nudidigita) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageGolden-crowned snake (Cacophis squamulosus) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageSand goanna (Varanus gouldii) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageShingleback (Tiliqua rugosa) by Nick Gale, on Flickr
ImageBearded dragon (Pogona barbata) by Nick Gale, on Flickr

Thanks for looking!
Insta : nickgalephotog


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 Post subject: Re: Herping Australia
PostPosted: April 8th, 2018, 8:09 am 
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Joined: April 2nd, 2015, 7:30 am
Posts: 130
Location: Utah
Gold-crowned snake is a real cool find man. Love herping Australia! :)

Looks like it was fun.

-Derek


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 Post subject: Re: Herping Australia
PostPosted: July 3rd, 2018, 9:07 pm 

Joined: May 27th, 2011, 4:32 pm
Posts: 15
the_cw1 wrote:
Gold-crowned snake is a real cool find man. Love herping Australia! :)

Looks like it was fun.

-Derek


It's ironic. Golden Crowns are super abundant and very easy to find. Some of the other stuff in that thread rarely seen at all.
Not trying to have a dig at all. Just interesting and funny to see what you find cool is the most common snake in my yard :P (not that I don't love them)


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 Post subject: Re: Herping Australia
PostPosted: July 5th, 2018, 4:28 am 
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Joined: April 2nd, 2015, 7:30 am
Posts: 130
Location: Utah
Haha, interesting! I've been to Australia twice, NT and Brisbane area, and the herpers I've connected with there love the gold-crowned snakes and talked about their rarity. Maybe you're onto something. :p

-Derek


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