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moloch
12-01-2008, 09:25 PM
My son, Nicholas, and I have just returned from a quick trip out to Windorah, Queenlsand. Windorah is an isolated town in the channel country of the far southwestern corner of Queensland. This area is a long drive from Wollongong so we spent many hours in the car and traveled a little over 4500km in five days. We hoped to photograph many of the inland herps and possibly find a Fierce Snake (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) out on the Morney Plains west of town.

Windorah is surrounded by red dunes. This year, the region has received lots of rain so the normally yellow spinifex (porcupine grass) was green and flowering.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/habitat13.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/habitat8.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/habitat5.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/habitat9.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/habitat3.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/habitat14.jpg


For some reason, we did not find many nocturnal reptiles at all on this trip. The weather was warm, conditions were moist with recent rain and there was a new moon so the lack of nocturnal reptiles was surprising. We found a single spiny-tailed gecko while we walked the dunes at night. I think that it was one of the newly described Strophurus krisalys due to the two rows of tubercles on each side of the mid-line of the body.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/gecko_stroh3.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/gecko_stroph2.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/gecko_stroph1.jpg



One of the highlights of the trip was this beautiful juvenile Jewelled Gecko (Strophurus elderi). Nicholas discovered it after searching clumps of spinifex for an hour or so. I had a hard time seeing it at first even when it was not too far into the clump … thank goodness for Nick’s sharp eyes! These little geckos are not easy at all to find but I doubt that they are rare.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/gecko_strophelderi1.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/gecko_strophelderi2.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/gecko_strophelderi3.jpg



We only found a single Smooth Knob-tailed Gecko (Nephrurus laevis laevis). This female was very dark and quite different to those that I saw recently in Western Australia.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/gecko_knob1.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/gecko_knob2.jpg



We found several Variegated Geckos (Gehyra variegata) on the trunks of trees growing on the dunes but I did not take any photos. On prior trips, we also have recorded Prickly Geckos (Heteronotia binoei) and Beaked Geckos (Rhynchoedura ornata) on the dunes but we did not see any this year.



Regards,
David

heiser
12-01-2008, 09:33 PM
As always a great post. S. elderi are one of my favorites.

Thanks,
John

DDReptiles
12-01-2008, 09:51 PM
Awesome Post again,

The elderi are just amazing :D

Man I wish I could come during the summer, I would check out that area!!

DLR
12-01-2008, 10:52 PM
Nice photos. I'm surprised there were not any goannas roaming around? That looks like prime territory for them.

Thanks!
Andy

Justin
12-02-2008, 01:23 PM
Stunning pics David. Well spotted on the elderi!

moloch
12-05-2008, 01:25 AM
Thanks, all.


Here is another pic of the little Jewelled Gecko:
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/StrohElderi2_Windorah.jpg


And another Nephrurus laevis. It was the darkest laevis that I have ever encountered.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/Nephrurus_laevis2_Windorah-1.jpg


Andy,
There certainly were goannas in the area. Gould's Monitors or Sand Goannas were the most common.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/liz_gouldii1.jpg


We also saw one of the big Yellow-spotted Monitors:
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/Varanus_panoptes29_Windorah.jpg

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c386/moloch05/Windorah/Nov2008/Varanus_panoptes30_Windorah.jpg


Regards,
David

PassPort
12-05-2008, 01:59 AM
wow

Melissa
12-05-2008, 11:40 AM
Very interesting, wonderful, and educational.
Thanks for sharing your photographs from Queensland.

Melissa

John Z
12-05-2008, 02:18 PM
Great photos! Thanks for sharing!