Inland Australia

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weigi
Posts: 22
Joined: March 19th, 2013, 2:04 am

Inland Australia

Post by weigi » September 2nd, 2016, 3:04 am

This quick trip from Cairns to Uluru and back saw myself and two other guys cram into a Jeep and travel some real hours.Our journey took us 2 days to get to the West MacDonnell National Park and then down to Uluru for 2 nights and a quick stop back into the West MacDonnells on the way home. Rain had set in throughout the real inland which proved to be exciting as well as frustrating.

Our First night we stayed somewhere near boulia. We eagerly jumped into our first dryland herping but found were we were not overly productive. With some searching we found a gorgeous Sharp-snouted delma (Delma nasuta)

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Having very little experience with Delma I found this guy to be amazingly good at navigating the spinifex. A very cool species none the less.

A single gecko was soon found. Its a member of the Fat-tailed group that used to be D.conspicillatus. Anyone to up to date with this group?

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The next day consisted of another big drive so day photography was difficult. That night we stayed along the Plenty hwy.
This cool Theraphosidae spider was a highlight despite its invertebrate nature. Possibly a Phlogius /Selenocosmia?
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Another superb gecko the Smooth knob-tailed gecko (Nephrurus levis) the first the Nephrurus species on this trip were out and about as well as a curious pair of Hopping mice that were fascinating to watch.
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Further down the road we found a few Northern spiny-tailed gecko Strophurus ciliaris with their yellow mouths.
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A truely insane looking species.
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Hand showing the claw and pad.
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On all nights it rained while we were the West MacDonnell sadly while rain is usually the best thing on a desert herping trip this time the clouds would roll in with the afternoon cooling everything down and raining. However this did bring out the frogs and fossorial snakes.

An unexpected find a fossorial Centralian Bandy Bandy (Vermicella vermiformis) half way up the side of the steep rocky gorges.It was very quick to start its defensive hoops.
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Stimson's pythons (Antaresia stimsoni) were common, this was the first of many.
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The real target was the gargantuan Centralian knob-tailed geckos (Nephrurus amyae)
These huge geckos were simply outstanding.Before charging off this one had some photos taken.
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A photo of their name sake tail
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Brachyurophis are incredible snakes but quite painful to photograph at times.
Unbanded Shovel-nosed snake (Brachyurophis incinctus.
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Long-nosed dragons (Gowidon longirostris ruled most of the shady areas by day.
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One of the snake highlights of the trip. Desert death adder (Acanthophis pyrrhus)
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After much chasing of dragons and skinks we made it to Uluru which was far more productive for many species.
This Brownsnake (Pseudonaja mengdeni went classic Brownsnake.
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Western hooded scaly-foots (Pygopus nigriceps)were everywhere.
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The recent rains had brought a storm of flying ants which hindered photography but brought out the geckos.
Another very different looking N.levis.
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This beast was discovered beneath us after standing up from photographing. A Urodacus sp?
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One of a few Centralian blue-tongue's (Tiliqua multifasciata) that were scuttling around.
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Our 3rd species of Neprurus for the trip.N.laevisimus were very speedy compared to their relatives.
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The next snake was a Ringed brown snake (Pseudonaja modesta)
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Another Brachyurophis this time B.fasciolatus.
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On the way back to alice we saw this P.mengdeni which looked and acted like the first.
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Centralian tree frog (Litoria gilleni) were common near most water.
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so were Stimsons pythons waiting for a frog feed.
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Finally a much anticipated Chunky Mulga snake (Pseudechis australis) made an appearance.This was a seriously robust snake and a great end to the night.
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Not much herping was had due to a focus on getting home but we did find a De Vis's banded snake (Denisonia devisi) not far (100km) out from Normanton which i thought was a bit far north for this species.Has anyone here seen one in that area?
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Overall a very sucessful herping trip to the center.
Cheers :beer:
Nick

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Fieldherper
Posts: 236
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:46 am

Re: Inland Australia

Post by Fieldherper » September 2nd, 2016, 4:48 am

Great finds and excellent photos!! Can't wait to go someday. Are inland taipans at Uluru?

FH

weigi
Posts: 22
Joined: March 19th, 2013, 2:04 am

Re: Inland Australia

Post by weigi » September 2nd, 2016, 6:46 am

Fieldherper wrote:Great finds and excellent photos!! Can't wait to go someday. Are inland taipans at Uluru?

FH
Cheers. It is an amazing place to herp but you would have to go east or south of uluru for inland taipans.

Jon-m
Posts: 20
Joined: July 14th, 2015, 1:50 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: Inland Australia

Post by Jon-m » September 2nd, 2016, 8:58 am

Wonderful pictures! I think the ciliaris is my favorite out of the bunch. That tail makes you think of dinosaurs. Did you come across any goannas on your trip?

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mariquensis
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Re: Inland Australia

Post by mariquensis » September 2nd, 2016, 12:41 pm

Killer photographs, your style with soft light is stellar!

Eipper
Posts: 27
Joined: April 23rd, 2011, 8:24 pm
Location: Queensland Australia

Re: Inland Australia

Post by Eipper » September 2nd, 2016, 1:12 pm

Hi,

Nice stuff and good finds - I have not got vermiformis yet!

That Diplo looks like conspiculatus to me - do you have shots of the tail from above and the mid body scales to confirm

weigi
Posts: 22
Joined: March 19th, 2013, 2:04 am

Re: Inland Australia

Post by weigi » September 2nd, 2016, 6:16 pm

Jon-m wrote:Wonderful pictures! I think the ciliaris is my favorite out of the bunch. That tail makes you think of dinosaurs. Did you come across any goannas on your trip?
Thanks Jon m.I totally agree, most if not all Strophurus are incredible looking things. We did see a lot of V.gouldii, a large and a mediocre sized Perentie however most were not keen on photographs.

weigi
Posts: 22
Joined: March 19th, 2013, 2:04 am

Re: Inland Australia

Post by weigi » September 2nd, 2016, 6:51 pm

Eipper wrote:Hi,

Nice stuff and good finds - I have not got vermiformis yet!

That Diplo looks like conspiculatus to me - do you have shots of the tail from above and the mid body scales to confirm
Sadly the Gecko was a pain and I didn't bother with any more images. Next time I will have to be more patient.

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Nick Evans
Posts: 71
Joined: February 6th, 2014, 9:21 am

Re: Inland Australia

Post by Nick Evans » September 2nd, 2016, 10:28 pm

Awesome post! Great finds, great photos.
I need to get to Australia!

Mattsnake
Posts: 73
Joined: January 14th, 2011, 6:41 pm
Location: Cairns, Australia

Re: Inland Australia

Post by Mattsnake » September 6th, 2016, 3:17 am

Good stuff! It's my favourite part of the country to herp. It rained the last time I was at Uluru as well, and those flying ants that come out make it absolute hell to herp of a night!
Devis go all the way up into the blacksoil that is just south of Normanton. You get a few species there that you don't expect to get that far north.

weigi
Posts: 22
Joined: March 19th, 2013, 2:04 am

Re: Inland Australia

Post by weigi » September 10th, 2016, 12:14 am

Mattsnake wrote:Good stuff! It's my favourite part of the country to herp. It rained the last time I was at Uluru as well, and those flying ants that come out make it absolute hell to herp of a night!
Devis go all the way up into the blacksoil that is just south of Normanton. You get a few species there that you don't expect to get that far north.
Interesting.. might have to get back out that way soon, cheers Matt.

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Field Herper
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Location: Oz

Re: Inland Australia

Post by Field Herper » December 23rd, 2016, 6:31 pm

Some great finds and beaut photos Nick, especially some of the close-ups. 8-)

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dwakefield
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Location: Deerfield Beach, Florida
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Re: Inland Australia

Post by dwakefield » December 24th, 2016, 3:20 am

Awesome finds and photos! I especially loved the Death Adder.......definitely a dream species for me to find.

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Fieldnotes
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Re: Inland Australia

Post by Fieldnotes » December 24th, 2016, 11:17 am

Awesome! Has science discovered what the knob is for, on knob-tailed Geckos?

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Field Herper
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Location: Oz

Re: Inland Australia

Post by Field Herper » December 29th, 2016, 4:09 pm

Fieldnotes wrote:Awesome! Has science discovered what the knob is for, on knob-tailed Geckos?
Australian Journal of Zoology 35(6) 541 - 551

Abstract:

"The tail of lizards in the Australian gekkonid genus Nephrurus bears a characteristically expanded distal tip, the caudal knob. Anatomical and histological investigation of the knob reveals it to be an integumentary derivative with a massively hypertrophied dermal component. The knob's structure indicates that it is probably used to monitor the environment by detecting mechanical stimuli via the profuse array of sensilla on its surface. The vascular supply to it suggests that the knob may also be involved in thermoregulation."

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