First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Mehelya » Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:50 pm

A good friend and myself decided, at the last minute on Friday, to head out and do some herping for photos on Saturday (27th August 2016). Little did we know what was in store for us!

We started the day out heading to the area that we had spoken of the previous night, and seeing as the girls weren’t with us, we were going to head high and see what we could find.

A quick shot from the base, doesn’t look like much, but it’s a steep, long climb.
Image

Some shots from about half way up the mountain… (yes, there is more mountain behind those ledges…)
Image
Image

The Climb was arduous, but worth it, as the species list started to climb exceptionally quickly in a short space of time. Here are photos of most of the ones we found, but a few (scorpions and spiders mostly) were not photographed because of the need to break habitat (which we did not do, hence no photos) in order to get the photos...

Without further ado, here are the photographed ones in no particular order. Some were taken with a cell cam, and the ones with black backgrounds were taken in a small material-lined box. All specimens were released back into the exact location they were found, and all moved items were replaced exactly as they were found.

Brachionopus spp (possibly robustus)
Image

Pachydacylus vansoni (Juveniles, the one broke its tail off as I tried to put my hand in front of it, and accidentally came down on the tail instead, felt awful!)
Image

Pachydactylus vansoni (Adult)
Image

Psammophis crucifer (Cross-marked Sand Snake, Juvenile)
Image
Image

A Skink of some sort…
Image
Image

Agama spp…
Image

Bushveld Rain Frog (Always forget the scientific name)
Image
Image

Dasypeltis scabra (Rhombic Egg-Eater)
Image
Image

Aparallactus capensis (Black-headed Centipede Eater)
Image

Transvaal Girdled Lizard (Again, the new scientific name eludes me at the moment)
Image

Scelotes mirus (Montane Dwarf Burrowing Skink, Adult)
Image

What we guessed was a Brown House Snake Shed…
Image
Afrotyphlops bibronii (Bibron’s Blind Snake)
Image
Image

A whole “nest” of baby Afrotyphlops bibronii (Baby Bibron’s Blind Snakes)
Image
Image

I’ve left the best for last… Early on in the trip, while I was photographing the Baboon Spider, my buddy calls out to me, and I can hear he has found a snake… Nestled in between a rock, and a part that had broken clean off, and was resting against it, he had found a lifer that we were not expecting.

Inyoka swazicus (Swazi Rock Snake)
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

That was the absolute highlight of the entire trip, and nothing could have been sweeter to start off the season. A Swazi Rock Snake in Natal (Don’t bother asking for location, it won’t be given.)! I have some natural shots that both of us took, and will upload them as soon as I get a chance to sort through them all… There were tons of pics taken of the little blighter, so he must’ve felt like a movie star… :lol:

And just for kicks… This is a panorama of where we were, the red circle about ¾ to the right is my Corsa Light car… To give you an idea of how high we were (+-2600m above sea level)…
Image

Thanks for looking!
Rian
If I wasn't me, then I'd probably be someone else...
Forceps. Not fingers...
Yes, it probably will bite you if you carry on that way...
User avatar
Mehelya
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Vryheid

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby IanM » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:27 am

Awesome finds! really makes me wanna go flip some rocks myself.
User avatar
IanM
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:33 pm
Location: Western Cape

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Bushviper » Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:36 pm

Now that sort of luck one needs a few times in your life.
It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Those who are afraid to ask are ashamed of learning.
User avatar
Bushviper
Founder Member
 
Posts: 17358
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 10:02 am
Location: Pretoria

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Nick Evans » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:02 am

Wow! Great post, and well done on your Rock Snake :D
The bunch of baby Blind Snakes is a very cool find too.
User avatar
Nick Evans
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:45 pm
Location: Durban, KZN

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Fooble » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:42 pm

Very Cool,

Interesting to see the Scelotes mirus and the Swazicus are often found in close proximity to one another.

Where exactly was this?
Organized crime comes in more forms than one.
User avatar
Fooble
Forum gatekeeper
 
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:32 am
Location: Umhlanga, Durban - KZN

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Mehelya » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:07 am

Ian, if I don't go out at least twice a month, I would not survive... I have to be in the field, it's part of me like breathing! :lol:

Arno, I think this season is going to be very lucky indeed, especially if we get the much-needed rains... I am after a few photographs of a few species where there have been sightings, but the said species are not supposed to occur... I'm getting there slowly. Just this age thing is catching up quickly now... :lol:

Nick, thanks man. The baby Bibrons were quite an awesome sight, I agree. Right before we left as well, so we ended the day pretty good on that note. They are pretty common around us, as well as thread snakes, which is awesome, as we have tons of termite areas for them...

Tyrone, Didn't know that... Will keep my eyes out for both next time. I sent you a private message for the locality. Is the S mirus part of the staple diet of I swazicus? Can you perhaps tell me what B atropos prefers to eat? I have a hunch and some info I need to follow up on and that info would/could help quite a bit...

Thanks for the kind words everyone, appreciated, and will pass it on to my buddy as well.
Rian
If I wasn't me, then I'd probably be someone else...
Forceps. Not fingers...
Yes, it probably will bite you if you carry on that way...
User avatar
Mehelya
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Vryheid

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Mitton » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:31 am

Excellent stuff, that sure is a nice find.
www.moreliapythons.co.za
User avatar
Mitton
Forum gatekeeper
 
Posts: 3206
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:32 pm
Location: Jhb

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Westley Price » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:32 pm

Great finds man.

That litter of blind snakes is exceptional. Epic find.
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
User avatar
Westley Price
Forum gatekeeper
 
Posts: 4017
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:25 am
Location: South Africa

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Mehelya » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:04 pm

Thanks Eugene. If the season starts like this, it's going to be a doozy 6 months.

Westley. That was an unexpected surprise. Never seen that before, and they are quite a decent size as well. I would have thought that by that size, they would have all dispersed by then, but once again, proven wrong! I have found Rhombic Skaapstekers on their eggs about a week before they hatched, and animals where they're not supposed to be (such as Night Adders in ceilings), so I suppose nothing should surprise us with reptiles any more, but hey... They don't read the books we write on them, so... :lol:

Thanks for the kind words and comments chaps. Enjoy the coming weekend!
Rian
If I wasn't me, then I'd probably be someone else...
Forceps. Not fingers...
Yes, it probably will bite you if you carry on that way...
User avatar
Mehelya
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Vryheid

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Ruan Stander » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:02 pm

Well done, that is a spectacular find. Thanks for sharing.

Do you have more photos of the Transvaal Girdled Lizard ? It looks more like a Crag Lizard.
The way to success has no shortcuts.
Ruan Stander
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 1008
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:25 pm
Location: Mookgopong/Modimolle(Naboomspruit/Nylstroom)

Re: First Herping Trip of the Season (with a lifer)

Postby Mehelya » Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:03 pm

Hi Ruan, I only have that one from the trip, but I have some from previous trips to the same area that I can load, or pm you... I am pretty clueless with the lizards (crag, girdled, agama and any other), and usually call on The Master Ping to help with ID, although I did not with this one, strangely, as I was pretty sure it was a TGL based on the Red Atlas distribution maps and pics. You are probably correct for the girdled vs. crag ID though...
Rian
If I wasn't me, then I'd probably be someone else...
Forceps. Not fingers...
Yes, it probably will bite you if you carry on that way...
User avatar
Mehelya
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 636
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Vryheid


Return to Kwazulu Natal

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron