Saturday 29th may

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.

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