Large monocled cobra!

Yesterday after arriving home from work, my neighbour Dave dropped by to say there was a big snake in his yard. Although I couldn’t find it at first, after five minutes or so we located a big Monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) which was captured and the released in a suitable location. This is the third snake that Dave has had in his yard in recent weeks, they seem to be avoiding my yard for some reason!

Apart from that, this week Kat found a Phuket day gecko (Cnemaspis phuketensis), an endemic species to the island and one that I have not seen yet.

Ayer, después de regresar a casa, mi vecino Dave se dejó caer para informarme de una serpiente grande en su patio. Aunque, no la podía localizar al principios, después de unos cinco minutos localizamos una cobra de monóculo grande (Naja kaouthia) que se capturó y luego se liberó en una zona adecuada. Esta es la tercera serpiente que se encontró en el patio de Dave dentro de las últimas semanas, parecen que se están evitando mi patio por alguna razón. 

Aparte de eso, esta semana Kat encontró un gecko diurno (Cnemaspis phuketensis) una especie endémica de la isla y una que yo no he visto todavía.

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By Matt Wilson

Forest hike: 17th September

On Saturday evening we went for a short walk to a local waterfall with our colleague and neighbour Adrian. We saw several Phuket spiny lizards (Acanthosaura phuketensis) while they were sleeping and then a Mock viper (Psammodynastes pulverulentus). While driving home we also saw a Brown hawk owl (Ninox scutulata), a species I have seen several times without managing a photo. On Sunday afternoon after more heavy rain we went for a short walk in the forest, but unfortunately the trail had disappeared after several landslides. However, Kat spotted another Asian vine snake, this time a large adult and then another Parachute gecko like on Friday evening.

El sábado por la tarde pasamos un rato a una cascada cercana con nuestro compañero y vecino Adrian. Vimos a unas agamas (especie endémica) (Acanthosaura phuketensis) mientras estaban durmiendo junto con una víbora falsa (Psammodynastes pulverulentus). Mientras estaba conduciendo de vuelta también vimos a un búho (Ninox scutulata), una especie que he visto varias veces ya sin lograr una foto. El domingo por la tarde después de más lluvias fuertes pasamos otro rato en el bosque, pero desafortunadamente el camino se desapareció a causa de algunos derrumbes. Sin embargo, Kat localizó otro Ahaetulla prasina, esta vez un adulto grande y luego otro gecko paracaídas como el de viernes. 

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By Matt Wilson

Night walk 15th September

After very heavy rain, storms and flooding on the island this week myself, Kat and Paul headed out last night to see what was moving around. Amphibians were loving the conditions but we only found one snake despite my expectations that the conditions were perfect! A black-striped leaf turtle (Cyclemys oldhamii) was also seen in a small pond. Furthermore, I saw a Parachute gecko (Ptychozoon lionotum) at a close enough range for a photo for the first time, thanks to Paul for pointing him out. Some huge Tokay geckos (Gekko gecko) were also around. Those big guys are my favorite with their echoing call in the forest at night

Después de las lluvias fuertes, tormentas y inundaciones en la isla esta semana, Kat, Paul y yo nos dirigimos a la selva a ver lo que se movía. Los anfibios aprovecharon las condiciones ideales pero solamente encontramos una serpiente pese a mis expectativas que las condiciones estuvieron perfectas. Un galápago (Cyclemys oldhamii) se veía también dentro de una charca pequeña. Además, vi a un ejemplar del gecko paracaídas (Ptychozoon lionotum) desde tan acerca que logré sacar una foto por la primera vez, gracias a Paul por enseñarlo. Unos tokays gigantes estaban presentes también. Aquellos bichos grandes se tratan de mi especie favorita a causa del sonido que producen en el bosque por la noche.

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By Matt Wilson

Night hike and a cobra!

On Friday evening, together with Paul Carter from the UK, we headed out to some inland forest to see what we could find. Species encountered included a juvenile of what I believe to be the endemic Phuket bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus phuketensis), two Mock vipers (Psammodynastes pulverulentus) as well as the usual sleeping diurnal lizards. Some agricultural elephants were calling nearby and luckily we didn’t bump into them in the dark! On Sunday, while traveling across the island I saw several rat snakes (Ptyas korros) killed on the road. When I turned a corner on a coastal road I saw what I thought was another rat snake crossing the road. As I got out of the car and approached I soon realized it not a rat snake but a Monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia). It really is not so easy to distinguish these snakes until you see them up close. Needless to say I was really pleased to photograph a cobra for the first time in the wild! While my wife Kat has been working in the forest this week, she came across some of the endemic Phuket spiny lizard (Acanthosaura phuketensis). Again this week, large numbers of snakes have been found dead on the roads including keelbacks, rat snakes, bronzebacks and sunbeam snakes.

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By Matt Wilson

Tree frogs breeding

Despite a lack of rain recently, an amplexus pair of Common tree frogs (Polypedates megacephalus) crossed my path a couple of evenings ago. The only amplexus pair of frogs I have seen so far which indicates to me that these frogs have a longer breeding period than many of the other common amphibians on the island. That being said, after heavy rain at least four-five species of frog and toad can be heard calling all around.

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By Matt Wilson