Friday, October 22, 2010

Herping the Alice

I've been working as a tour guide out of Alice Springs - taking backpackers out to Uluru, Kata Tjuta and King's Canyon. The country is looking so beautifully green at the moment - due to the amazing amount of rain that's fallen this year. Alice Springs has had about 620 mm so far - compare this with the annual average of 250 mm or the 65 mm that had fallen by this time last year. Lots of plants are flowering or producing masses of seed. Birds are singing from all the trees. The waterholes are all looking fantastic and are home to plump tadpoles.

The arrival of the warm weather has seen me heading out from Alice on a couple of little night road-cruising trips. It's been quite productive so far!

A few geckos are out and about - masses of fat-tailed geckos (Diplodactylus conspicillatus, below), and the odd spiny-tailed gecko (Strophrurus ciliaris).



I also came across an old favourite, the smooth knob-tailed gecko (Nephrurus laevis)



The only elapids I've been seeing are a few Curl snakes (Suta suta).



This legless lizard, the Western Hooded Scaly-foot (Pygopus nigriceps) was a nice surprise.



But by far, the highlight was this impressive 150 cm Centralian carpet python, Morelia bredli, found crossing the road next to a tree-lined watercourse.



A few frogs have been active and calling on wet nights too - so far only Desert Treefrogs (Litoria rubella), Spencer's Burrowing frog (Platyplectrum spenceri), and a couple of Trilling frogs (Neobatrachus centralis, below).



Some interesting herps have been showing up on the tours I run - I'm going to start taking my camera along more often so I can get photos of them to share.

2 comments:

Snail said...

Nice herps. But what about the important stuff*?

*Snails**

**Not a lot at Uluru and Kata Tjuta, but quite a few at Watarrka.***

***Especially around the canyon

forestwalk/laura k said...

really cool pictures!! i just love the wildlife...all the critters and creatures...

i'll have to wander around here a bit...just found you via 'Snail'.
glad i did...