Finally I introduce myself

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Finally I introduce myself

Postby nattim » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:30 pm

Hi All

My name is Natalie, and I've been surfing around on this site for a while now, but haven't posted anything because I didn't have much of value to add. I have always had an absolute fascination with snakes, and then in September, whilst on holiday on the South Coast, my husband and I did a venomous snake handling course with Wesley. He then told me about this website, and I have found it fascinating. I don't keep snakes, but I like to know how to handle them if the need arrises.

Last week over New Years we spent 9 days in the Kruger Park. We don't often see a lot of snakes in the park, but this time we were really spoilt, and not just snakes with lizards too. I have posted a number of pics onto the gallery, so I am just going to choose a couple for this post. Some we were able to identify, but others we weren't, so it would be great if somebody could help me out with names, and let me know if I got some of the identifications wrong. Also if I have posted the pics in the wrong folders, I am terribly sorry about that! Please feel free to move them to the correct location.

Well, first off we went on a night drive and got a see a small red-lipped herald crossing the road, unfortunately I didnt' manage to get any pics of that. Next we were driving between Orpen and Satara camp and we saw this guy on the road, I think it could be a Natale Purple Glossy Snake, but really not sure at all.
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Next we were driving back towards Orpen gate along the Timbavati road, when we were fortunate enough to witness a Boomslang that had managed to catch a bullfrog. We were able to watch until the frog had finally given up struggling, then it picked the frog up and whisked off into the veld, out of sight! So we unfortunately didn't get to see it eat the frog, but still, I've never witnessed anything like this in the wild before!
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We were staying at Letaba camp a couple of days later, and I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and saw this little guy outside the door to the Ladies! I think it is an African Shovel Snout, because of the yellow head, and the white dots along its back, but please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. After photographing it, we removed it to the nearest bushes, to prevent it getting injured by somebody less likely to enjoy its presence.
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On a walk inside Letaba rest camp we came across a little lizard, (my knowledge of lizards really sucks, so sorry can't give much more details than that) :( As well as a reasonable sized monitor lizard foraging in the camp site under some trees. He let me get up close to get some great pics of him.
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And finally at Orpen Dam lookout we saw this brightly coloured lizard, again, he allowed me quite close for some pics.
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Well, sorry it's such a long introduction, but like I said at least I had something to share.

Cheers
Natalie
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby insaniac » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:55 pm

Hi Natalie,

Welcome !!!

Glad you decided to join in the conversations.

Like the photos you took, those specimens all look healthy and happy.

Mustve been great out there in the Wilderness over the New Year, did they have any big bashes at all ?

One q, why don't you keep any snakes ?
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby Bushbaby » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:02 pm

Welcome Natalie,

Great experience you've had quite early on in your herping days :p Let's hope to see you ad some pics of your first pet snake!
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby jka » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:06 pm

Awesome photos, That is actually a legless skink not sure which specie but it looks quite big so I would say its a Giant Legless skink (Acontias plumbeus).

Lovely Boomslang different from the ones we get here.

That looks like a shovel snout but not sure which specie though. Maybe a East African shovel-snout?

Cool rock monitor.
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby nattim » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:11 pm

Thanks for the replies.

To Insaniac, I don't keep any snakes, primarily because I actually enjoy having family come to visit! :D Also, because it requires a fair amount of time and money, which currently we don't have. I'm also not entirely certain that my like for snakes extends quite so far as to having one of my own. But who know what the future holds.
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby nattim » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:14 pm

Oh yes, it was actually really quiet over New Year's. Sounds boring I know, but I actually quite like to have a quiet time over New Year's.

Oops about the legless skink, :oops: Well, I suppose at least I'll start to learn.

I've got a couple of pics of snakes from some of our previous trips, when I get a chance I'll post some of them. Last year in August, we saw a beautiful Snouted Cobra up in the North of the Park near Shingwedzi.

Thanks again, for the replies, and hopefully I'll be able to keep on contributing to the forum.
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby jka » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:17 pm

What length do you estimate the skink was?
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby rosshawkins2812 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:20 pm

Hey there

The two lizards are Striped Skink (top one) and Raindbow Skink (bottom)

I too don't contribute too much to this form, but it's a great place to learn n see what others are up to n what they keep
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby nattim » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:23 pm

I would say that the legless skink was about 40-50 cm long.

Tell me, how do you easily tell the difference between a legless skink and a snake? I was under the impression that skinks had external ears whilst snakes didn't, perhaps somebody can help me with this.
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby jka » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:34 pm

You can look at the scales the skinks scales are smooth and if you handling him you would easily feel the difference.

Second the eyes are very small not like a snakes.

Third if you look at the tongue its not fork shaped like a snake its looks like a normal lizard's tongue.

The head shape also looks different more "snouted".
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby Bushbaby » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:35 pm

Fourthly, they have eyelids, snakes don't. :)
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby Mitton » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:38 pm

Welcome Natalie, great introduction.
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby jka » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:42 pm

The eyelids are also a great give away.
The Woodbush Legless skink has no eyelids and all the blink legless skinks also lack eyelids would makes sense.
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby Grant » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:20 pm

The first snake looks like a Bibron's Blind Snake to me.....The smooth scales suggest it is a burrower of sorts.

Anyone agree?
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Re: Finally I introduce myself

Postby jka » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:29 pm

That is correct Grant, legless skinks are fossorial :D
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