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  1. #1
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    Default Lucasium damaeum and others, Gawler Ranges, South Australia


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    The Gawler Ranges National Park protects an isolated range of hills along the northern end of the Eyre Peninsula. I camped for a night in the northwestern portion of the park and think that I was probably the only one there due to the hot weather. The road through the park follows a valley that once was used for farms and grazing but now it is regenerating.


    The side canyons were often rugged and beautiful with strange, red rock formations.





    ... these pinnacles are rhyolitic in composition:



    ... most of my photos were taken in this rugged canyon:



    ... I watched a Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby scamper across the rocks in the centre of this photo:






    micro habitat:
    ... spinifex on red rock:



    ... some sort of succulent, a little like Ephedra in North America:



    Near the park were some odd granite moniliths. This one is called Pidappa Rock:






    During my single night in the park, I drove alot and also tried walking some of the canyons but unfortunately only found a single gecko. I really hoped for Starred Knob-tailed Geckos (Nephrurus stellatus) that occur here but I had no luck. The night was windy and a little cool due to a passing change but I still was surprised to find so little.

    Beaded Gecko (Lucasium damaeum) -- this was a new species to me and I was surprised by its size. I expected the animal to be about the size of the Sand Plains Gecko (L. stenodactylum) but it was larger.





    ... here are the other herps found in the Gawlers:
    Crested Dragon (Ctenophorus cristatus)





    Peninsular Rock-Dragon (Ctenophorus fionni): These dragons were the primary reason for my visit to the Gawlers. C. fionni is restricted to the Eyre Peninsula and a few mountains just to the north of the peninsula.
    ... male









    ... female:








    Ctenotus skinks were numerous. I am not certain but think that these were probably C. robustus.







    Tree Skinks (Egernia striolita) were common in the rock crevices:





    ... here are a few more pics from the Kimba area, about 150km east of the Gawlers. In two nights, I failed to find a single gecko but did see a few snakes.


    I spent most of my time about 20km east of the little town in the Lake Gillies Conservation Park. The habitat here was mallee (a shrubby eucalpytus) with spinifex and bluebush (a chenopod) understorey.





    Lake Gillies is one of the many salt lakes of South Australia.





    I also examined shrublands further east (80km) between Kimba and Port Augusta.


    ... a remote station:



    I also saw a few Painted Dragons (Ctenophorus pictus). These lizards tended to live in shrubs near the edge of the salt lake.





    Central Bearded Dragons from the shrublands east of Kimba looked quite different to those from the mallee. I saw many as they sunned themselves from the tops of bluebush one morning. All were about the same size and were much smaller than their mallee-inhabiting relatives. Their colouration was also different with an orange stripe on the face. I have never read of different races of this dragon occurring on the Eyre Peninsula so I suppose that the differences are just habitat related adaptations. Dwarf Bearded Dragons (Pogona minor) also occur in the western half of South Australia but the field guide indicates that they do not have spines across the throat.







    This Edward's Slider (Lerista edwardsae) is one of the endemics of the Eyre Peninsula. This species lacks front legs and it is one of the sand swimmers. I was lucky to see it on the road at night.





    Shingelbacks (Tiliqua rugosa) were common on the road in the mornings and then again late in the day when the temperatures were a little cooler.





    Gould's Monitor (Varanus gouldii). This goanna was not worried by my presence and it allowed me to get quite close for photos. When I finished, I moved to the shade of a nearby tree to review the pics that I had just taken. As I stood up to leave, I found that the monitor had walked over to me and was watching me as I sat there ... kind of odd to have the roles reversed.





    Snakes included two Jan's Banded Snakes (Simoselaps bertholdii). Aussie elapids in general are a sombre lot but the little Simoselaps are one of the few exceptions and are flamboyantly patterned. They also have an interesting life style. They spend much of their time beneath the surface of the sand where they hunt skinks such as the Lerista included in the above photos.
    ... snake 1







    ... snake 2




    I also found two Southern Shovel-nosed Snakes (Brachyurophis semifasciatus). They also were coloured differently to those that I have seen at Kalbarri, WA. Here in SA, they seem to be brick red whereas those from the west were yellow. This species has a specialized diet that consists of reptile eggs.

    ... snake 1







    ... snake 2


    Last edited by moloch; 01-29-2009 at 10:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    Incredible post again!! Wish I could get out as much as you seem to, its like a new adventure every week

    The little bearded dragons are cool, and the scenery is beautiful again, love those rock formations!!

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    I am so envious of the amazing things that you get to see. Hopefully I will make it down there someday, but nothing I will ever do will compare what you get to do. So awesome. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    Your posts are very much appreciated!!

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    Wow! Fantastic pics! I love the pictures of the beardies, I suppose because I see them so often it's hard to think of them as being in the 'wild'. I also want to bring the rock & crested dragon's home. Bring any back?

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    Thanks, everyone, for the kind remarks.

    Yes, zohariels, I brought lots of dragon images home with me.

    It seems the Bearded Dragons are quite popular so I will post a few more shots.

    Central Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps) lived in the mallee woodland of Lake Gillies. This highly cropped photo shows a male that appears to be advertising its presence from the top of a dead clump of spinifex. The yellow made the lizard conspicuous even from a fair distance. As soon as I stepped out of the car, the lizard dropped a little into the grass and instantly turned off its "bright lights". It then blended well and allowed me to closely approach it.







    This animal was found along a dirt road about 30km west of Kimba. I did not realize it but there are 3 species of sympatric Pogona here ... P. vitticeps, P. barbata and P. minor. On a couple of the Aussie forums, I have had two suggestions for this animal. Unfortunately, I do not have a good shot of the throat or the back of the head of this lizard so I am really not certain as to its id. What do others think it to be?



    Regards,
    David

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    amazing pics again.
    1.1. U. Pietschmanni
    1.1. U. Ebenaui

  8. #8
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    you always post the best pictures of reptiles not commonly seen outside of your country. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Chondrodactylus Turneri
    Gekko Gecko
    Phelsuma M. Grandis
    Eublepharis Macularius

  9. #9
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    Great looking animals! Looks like a lot of fun.

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    Very nice pics! Im really jelous of you! Is the mystery dragon maybe a species of lophognathus?
    Some main species I work with:
    Pristurus carteri
    Strophurus williamsi
    Goniurosaurus hainanensis
    G. kuroiwae
    G. splendens
    G. luii
    Eublepharis macularius
    Coleonyx brevis
    C. mitratus
    Holodactylus africanus
    Eurydactylodes agricolae
    Phelsuma standingi
    Varanus acanthurus brachyurus
    V. t. tristis
    V. prasinus
    V. beccarii
    many Anolis Sp.
    lots of Inverts.......
    Geckos and Goannas

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