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The monsoon season is now in fully swing with daily heavy rains and some strong winds. During a short break from this weather I visited a small cascade just after nightfall, mainly in the hope of seeing some interesting amphibians. Numerous Horned frogs (Megophrys sp) were calling from the edges of the water but I couldn’t see any to confirm which of the two species on the island they were. Soon afterwards I found one of my favourite amphibians on Phuket, the Tasan frog (Ingerana tasanae). This is a species of primary rainforest locations and is usually found clinging to rocks along streams, cascades and waterfalls. I have only seen them at two locations on Phuket and they are not especially common in those places.

On a steep slope leading down to the fast-moving torrent I noticed a familiar shape of a Phuket pit viper (Trimeresurus phuketensis) facing the ground in a typical ambush pose. This is commonly seen with this species as they must take a lot of frogs as prey items at this time of year. I scrambled down the hillside to the viper which remained still after I put my torch light onto it and took some in situ photos. Some males of this species have spectacular a red and green colour and this was one of the prettiest individuals that I have seen. After only 30 minutes of hiking I decided to turn back as the humidity was intense and the storms could hit again at any moment.

Matt Wilson

This site was created in 2009 in order to share information and photography of field Herpetologist Matt Wilson as well as trip reports, photography and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. I have been conducting field trips since I was 15 years old and now at 34 I have gained invaluable experience thanks to over 50 excursions on the European continent and other parts of the world such as Latin America, North Africa and South-East Asia. The areas that I mostly visit are Greece and Spain, as I have a love for the Mediterranean herpetofauna.  In particular I have been visiting Greek islands since I was very young and I find the diversity and ecological adaptations of species here very interesting.

Recently, I decided that it was time for the website to evolve from The European Amphibian & Reptile Blog to Amphibian & Reptile Travels. This is because I have now started traveling further a field to explore different aspects of my interest in herpetology and therefore the site would need a wider coverage of visits to other places outside of Europe. In addition, I am also interested in almost all other kinds of wildlife but I especially like watching and photographing mammals and birds. I currently live on the island of Phuket in Thailand but later in 2021 I will move to Egypt to start a new adventure.

CONTACT: mjwilsonherp1@gmail.com   NOTE: This is not a page where I organise or advertise wildlife tours. This is a page were I merely share my own trips to different parts of the world to search for wildlife.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“When Matt spots my eye shine in his torchlight and approaches me, he does so without excessively shining the light into my eyes. Likewise as a delicate amphibian, he doesn’t handle me with his bare hands. He only takes a limited number of photos to avoid too much flash in my eyes! Overall he is a top bloke!”

— Long-nosed horned frog (Megophrys nasuta)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“Matt is a wonderful field naturalist who respects the animals and the environments he visits. When he visits myself and other adders he uses a zoom lens to take photos of us ‘in situ’ to avoid disturbing us during important times of the year. He also does not trample our habitat and if he does flip any rocks, he replaces them carefully. “

— A Lancashire Adder (Vipera berus)

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