Finds from Wakkerstroom (Mpumalanga), South Africa

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
Nick Evans
Posts: 71
Joined: February 6th, 2014, 9:21 am

Finds from Wakkerstroom (Mpumalanga), South Africa

Post by Nick Evans »

Hi all,

I finally got to explore outside of my home province (KwaZulu-Natal) last week, when I went to a town called Wakkerstroom. The purpose of the trip was to co-lead a public frogging event, with BirdLife South Africa (http://www.wakkerstroom.co.za/birdlife-south-africa/) and my friends from The LionHeart Experience (http://www.thelionheart.co.za/).

Image

The event was a huge success! On top of that, we ended up turning it into a sort of 'bio-bash' weekend. During the day, before an evening of frogging, we were out birding and flipping rocks, in the hope of finding some snakes- and we certainly did.

This gave us hope. 'Slang', is the Afrikaans word for snake.

Image

Here are some photos of some our reptile and amphibian finds. I've saved the best for last!

FROGS:

Rattling Frog (Semnodactylus wealii)
This was the species I had most hoped to see! They're really special frogs, which aren't all that widespread. Adorable little creatures!

Image

Image

Then, an unexpected find...
Rhythmic Caco (Cacosternum rhythmum)
This recently described species has been known to only occur in the KZN Midlands, about 270km away, give or take. This makes for a huge range extension, and they were abundant throughout the area. It was an exciting discovery!

Image

Karoo Toad (Vandijkophrynus gariepensis)
A new one for me.

Image

Bubbling Kassina (Kassina senegalensis).
Similair to the Rattling Frog in appearance, but lacks the bright orange undersides.

Image

Rain Frog (Breviceps spp). An interesting find, which we have yet to identify.

Image

Poynton's River Frog (Amietia poyntoni)
Another new one for me...

Image

Juvenile Clicking Stream Frog (Strongylopus grayii)

Image

Raucous Toad (Scleophrys rangeri)

Image

We only found two lizard species, the prettiest being the Common Crag Lizard (Psuedocordylus melanotus)

Image

SNAKES

Rhombic/Spotted Skaapsteker (Psammophylax rhombeatus)
We found a good few of these.

Image

Cross-marked Whip Snake (Psammophis crucifer)

Image

Herald Snake (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia). One of the prettiest individuals I've seen.

Image

Brown Water Snake (Lycodonomorphus rufulus)

Image

And then this, the highlight...

Yesterday morning, our group at the Wakkerstroom Frogging event were all left gobsmacked, when some youngsters in our group flipped a rock and found this: Spotted Harlequin Snake(Homoroselaps lacteus)!!!!!
What an outstandingly beautiful creature! We could not believe our luck! Thrilled, delighted, ecstatic, mind-blown (especially at the fact that these kids immediately identified it)- some of the words to describe how we were feeling :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :thumb:

Image

Image

Image

Myself with the Harlequin finders. These kids were machines, they found frog after frog, snake after snake. It was incredible!

Image

It was one of my most memorable trips yet! Apart from all the amazing reptiles and frogs, we were treated to sightings of Meerkats, an Otter, beautiful wild flowers, and a whole stack of wonderful birds!

Thanks for looking!

~Nick Evans
https://www.facebook.com/KZNHerpConservation/
http://www.kznamphibianreptileconservation.com

User avatar
Jeroen Speybroeck
Posts: 825
Joined: June 29th, 2011, 12:56 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: Finds from Wakkerstroom (Mpumalanga), South Africa

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck »

Thanks! I dare anyone to look at that (or any) breviceps picture and not fall in love.

User avatar
mtratcliffe
Posts: 533
Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
Location: Mt Laurel, NJ

Re: Finds from Wakkerstroom (Mpumalanga), South Africa

Post by mtratcliffe »

Those are some exceptionally beautiful snakes and frogs you found. Glad to see youngsters getting involved!

Thanks for sharing.

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

Re: Finds from Wakkerstroom (Mpumalanga), South Africa

Post by Nick Evans »

Thanks guys! :beer:

Yeah @mtratcliffe, they're the future of conservation! They were so passionate.

Jeroen, indeed, definitely one of the cutest little critters around :)

Post Reply