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  1. #1
    moloch's Avatar
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    Default Geckos and Pygopods from Perth, Western Australia


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    Here are a few more pics from my trip to Western Australia last October. My wife and I spent a few days in the Perth area. I was lucky to meet a guy there who was performing a faunal survey for the WA museum and he was able to show me quite a few interesting reptiles that I would not have found on my own.

    Here are a few habitat shots of the areas that I visited near Perth:




    ... the city centre of Perth:



    ... and Nambung National Park area, a couple of hours north of Perth:







    ... ideal Strophurus habitat:




    The herps:

    Speckled Stone Gecko (Diplodactylus polyophthalmus):





    Marbled Gecko (Christinus marmoratus):





    Soft Spiny-tailed Gecko (Strophurus spinigerus): This species was abundant in the Perth area. On one occasion, I could see seven on the road in my head lights at the same time. Driving on these roads meant lots of dodging of the little geckos.





    My friend was able to show me several species of pygopods. These legless lizards are thought to be close relatives of geckos.

    Keeled Legless Lizard (Pletholax gracilis):





    Fraser's Delma (Delma fraseri):





    Side-barred Delma (Delma grayii):





    Burton's Legless Lizard (Lialis burtonis).
    ... from Perth:


    ... from Nambung:






    Common Scaly-foot (Pygopus lepidopodus):






    Galahs at Nambung:



    Motorbike Frog (Litoria moorei):



    Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa):





    Regards,
    David

  2. #2
    geckocrazy's Avatar
    geckocrazy is offline Junior member
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    Another great post David. the polyophthalmus is awesome. Nice habitat shots too. One of these days I'll get there. Chris

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    PassPort's Avatar
    PassPort is offline Senior Member
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    heavily digging on the Pygopus. They're a long time pipe dream of mine. Unfortunately the only Pygopod that can be found in the pet trade are the occasional New Guinea Lialis sp.

    What can you tell us about the diet of wild Pygopus and Delma species? I know that Lialis are specialized reptile eaters, atleast that's the general belief.
    geckos from around the world...

  4. #4
    Tariq Stark is offline Junior member
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    Amazing pictures David! Interesting to see how L. burtonis lives in (very) different kinds of habitat. I love Pygopods! Also loving the Shingleback!

    Tariq
    Rhacodactylus auriculatus
    Rhacodactylus ciliatus
    Rhacodactylus sarasinorum
    Rhacodactylus leachianus
    Rhacodactylus chahoua
    Eurydactylodes agricolae
    Bavayia geitaina
    Oedura monilis
    Aeluroscalabotes felinus "Cameron highlands
    Aeluroscalabotes felinus "silver eyes"
    Goniurosaurus luii
    Eublepharis macularius
    Holodactylus africanus
    Lepidodactylus lugubris

  5. #5
    Jan Grathwohl is offline Member
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    Great post as always - your photos always amaze me

    Man i hope i get the opportunity to herp someday with you
    Kind regards

    Jan Grathwohl

    Keeping:
    Aeluroscalabotes felinus
    Diplodactylus galeatus, granariensis granariensis, granariensis rex, stenodactylus
    Phelsuma grandis
    Rhacodactylus auriculatus, ciliatus, leachianus leachianus, sarasinorum

  6. #6
    Riemer's Avatar
    Riemer is offline Newbie
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    very nice pix.
    especially the one with your car in his natural habitat

  7. #7
    moloch's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for the comments.

    Passport,
    With regards to the diet of the pygopods, I have to rely on the literature. I have never seen them eat. According to my field guide, Delma eat invertebrates, mainly insects. The photo of the Pletholax is a little deceptive. It actually was a tiny animal and not much thicker than a stem of grass. It must consume really small prey. Pygopus are more robust animals so no doubt can handle bigger prey. The field guide indicates that they eat arthropods including scorpions.

    Tariq,
    Burton's are found in most habitat types in Australia. They range from coastal heaths through the bleak, harsh interior.

    Kobe,
    Rankinia (now merged with Ctenophorus) lived in habitat like the first pic above ... sandy, heath country. Dwarf Bearded Dragons (Pogona minor) were also in the same habitat.




    I don't recall a Strophurus spinigerus that was quite so large as 5". Most of the geckos on the road were gravid females. They seem to like to absorb the warmth from the road and were usually seen tightly pressed on the pavement. Stophurus spinigerus would have to be one of the most common reptiles in the Perth area. ... and you are definitely correct about taking them. My passion is to see and photograph the reptiles in the wild anyway.

    Riemer,
    I love for the car to be in its "natural habitat". Next week, I will return it to more habitat in central Australia.


    Chris and Jan,
    Hopefully you will visit someday and see these animals in their natural environment.
    Last edited by moloch; 01-15-2009 at 10:55 PM.

  8. #8
    moloch's Avatar
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    Burton's Snake-lizards vary greatly in appearance.

    This one was from the Exmouth area of WA:




    ... from Karijini, WA:




    ... from Mt. Glorious (Brisbane), QLD:






    ... from Georgetown, QLD (Cape York Peninsula):






    ... from Windorah, QLD:






    ... from Cooktown, QLD:





    Regards,
    David

  9. #9
    moloch's Avatar
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    Eli,

    I did not see monitors near Perth but I did see Gould's on this trip at Shark Bay and Kalbarri. Over the years, I have seen quite a few species of monitors in various parts of Australia.

    in Australia they are almost all the most Venemous in the world. Like the Death adder, Fierce snake, Eastern Brown, Tiger Snake and The Taipan.. That's the scariest part of visiting Australia
    They are not a problem at all. Most of these are fast, alert snakes that race away when disturbed. They usually are difficult to photograph for this reason. About the only way to be bitten would be to try and catch or kill the snake. I would consider pit vipers like rattlesnakes or moccasins to be a much greater threat than the Aussie elapids. Also, I think that overall densities of snakes here is much lower than places like the southeast of the US.

    I only saw 4 snakes on this trip including a very-fast Western Brown, a Tiger, a Southern Shovel-nosed Snake and a DOR Carpet Python. Here are pics of the Tiger. It was shy and crawled into cover as soon as it saw me. I waited for awhile and it emerged again to sun and then allowed me to closely approach it as long as I moved slowly. It was never fully exposed so I could not take very good photos. It shifted positions frequently to warm different parts of its body. The snake was along the Margaret River in southwestern WA.

    Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus)






    Southern Shovel-nosed Snake (Brachyurophis semiannulata). This small snake is an elapid like the Tiger snake, but it is harmless to humans. These snakes only eat reptile eggs. I saw many gravid geckos on the road at night at Kalbarri where I photographed this snake. It no doubt was feasting during the season of abundant food.




    Regards,
    David

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    I cant wait to see the pix of your next week trip to central australia.

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