Category Archives: Reptiles

Australian Reptiles

Kariong Eco Garden

Nice walk around this morning up at Kariong Eco Garden catching up with Lisa there.

Been a while since seeing a Fence Skink, they used to seem more common ..though that’s probably observer bias.

fence-skink_cryptoblepharus

The Cryptoblepharus skinks were revised in recent years by Paul Horner, often using smaller less visible to the naked eye from a distance characteristics to distinguish them, for some ID’s, requiring a hand lens to compare scale textures on their feet – without doing that. i’ll assume its C. pulcher – because its apparently the local species.

I was happy to appreciate this skink doing its thing without wrestling it, and it would probably of been too quick anyway, ..it was very lively. Should brush up on their distinguishing characteristics, it may mean I get to tick another species off without having to travel far.

Also saw a Caper white butterfly, Belenois java flitting about, the wind was pretty turbulent so some butterflies did not stay for long – also saw Cabbage White, Orchard Swallowtail, Common Crow and Australian Painted Lady butterflies but were too quick to be photographed today.

caper-white_belenois-java

Today was a nice chaser to last nights walk, a good mix of species becoming more active.

Rough Scaled Snake, Tropidechis carinatus

One of the more recent milestones, has been a few encounters with Rough-scaled Snakes, as part of helping out with snake relocations – at Bateau Bay, NSW. This location, seems to be the furthest south of their distribution down the East Coast.

A front fanged, venomous snake which is medically significant.

Generally active at night, especially warm nights
PETE9632_Rough-Scaled-Snake

Juvenile Rough Scaled Snake, Tropidechis carinatus

PETE9645_Rough-scaled-Belly
Underside 
PETE9625_Rough-scaled-Face
Face detail

Horribly Slack

It has been a terribly long time since updating my blog, that is in the tradition of starting most diaries – we soon become so distracted by what we are doing that writing about it too can easily slip our mind.

A few highlights..

Powerful Owl with prey, the tail half of a ring-tail possum.
A mustard-bellied snake, from a rescue in the Blue Mountains, NSW
An Ornate Sea Snake, which I had the privilege of assisting on a rescue with.
Blue Mountains Tree Frog, calling from a mossy boulder

An Evening Walk on the Central Coast (Jan 2014

This adult Lace Wing was an encouraging find, in their immature form, lacewings are predators of other insects, some speceis form mounds to trap ants that slip in - sometimes assisted by flicks of sand launched their direction. Other lacewing larvae may be free roaming and wait in ambush with their jaws. Either way, they indicate that insect prey is present! This species lays their eggs in a horse shoe pattern on little stalks.
This adult Lace Wing was an encouraging find, in their immature form, lacewings are predators of other insects, some speceis form mounds to trap ants that slip in – sometimes assisted by flicks of sand launched their direction. Other lacewing larvae may be free roaming and wait in ambush with their jaws. Either way, they indicate that insect prey is present! This species lays their eggs in a horse shoe pattern on little stalks.
After dusk, we found this Golden Crowned Snake, Cacophis squamulosus, they are nocturnal, and have a pinkish peach coloured belly which can sometimes have them falsely identified as another local snake, the Red-Bellied Black Snake.
After dusk, we found this Golden Crowned Snake, Cacophis squamulosus, they are nocturnal, and have a pinkish peach coloured belly which can sometimes have them falsely identified as another local snake, the Red-Bellied Black Snake.
A close up of the head detail which gives them their namesake common name:
A close up of the head detail which gives them their namesake common name:

Under some breaking down plant material, we found a Three-toed Skink

Under some breaking down plant material, we found a Three-toed Skink

A Garden Orb Weaving Spider, with a small specoes of Longicorn Beetle ensnared in the web. Seems there is more invertebrate prey available to fuel lizards, we should head back again during the day to search for large skinks and dragons.
A Garden Orb Weaving Spider, with a small specoes of Longicorn Beetle ensnared in the web. Seems there is more invertebrate prey available to fuel lizards, we should head back again during the day to search for large skinks and dragons.

Another invert, a juicy Cicada emerging having drunk sap from the roots of the surrounding trees.

Another invert, a juicy Cicada emerging having drunk sap from the roots of the surrounding trees.

On the walk back, we found evidence of other species in the area, a freshly Dead On Road (DOR) Blackish Blind Snake, Ramphotyphlops nigrescens

On the walk back, we found evidence of other species in the area, a freshly Dead On Road (DOR) Blackish Blind Snake, Ramphotyphlops nigrescens

Both of snakes these appeared to have been in good condition leading up to their abrupt deaths.

And a long-DOR Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus
And a long-DOR Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

Mind your step – Red-bellied Black Snakes!

Bushwalking often rewards me with interesting wildlife, some of which is better enjoyed from a distance, like this young Red-bellied Black Snake, basking in the morning sun beside a small, slow running stream. Even though it is young, it is still dangerously venemous & should be treated with caution.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus
 
A few days later, walking the same track I find a similar looking Red-Belly. There is a good chance it is here for the Common Eastern Froglets I had seen in the area.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus
Red-bellied Black Snake, Catching some rays
 
Along another track in the same area I was lucky to see an older, larger Red-Bellied Black Snake. Perhaps a year old, it’s face has less brown on it.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus
Red-bellied Black Snake, Are you lunch?
 
I have seen a few Adult Red-bellies on my walks, slinking under lantana in the hopes of a meal of plump Antechinus, which I’ve seen bounding away clear of the dense cover – while the Red-belly can still be heard slowly probing around, still following it’s scent.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus
Red-bellied Black Snake, Looking for lunch
They are suprising great swimmers for land snakes, convenient if one of your favourite meals is frog, this one was disturbed from its hiding place under canoes where frogs were sheltering.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus
Red-bellied Black Snake, Swimming away!
 
…I wonder how they got their name!
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus