Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby Scavenger » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:43 pm

First off I would like to apologise for my inactivity in the year on the forum. As some of you may know I’ve been out in the Waterberg completing my experiential year of studies for a Diploma in Nature Conservation. I’ve been working at a well known reserve called Welgevonden Game Reserve. I’ve been involved in a lot of hands on management full time and unfortunately have maybe not paid as much attention to my herping interests as other priorities have been keeping me busy. Some background info on the Reserve is that it is situated in the Waterberg region of South Africa, twenty kilometres outside of Vaalwater and is approximately 37 500 hectares in size. This area is almost made up entirely of the Waterberg Mountain Bushveld Vegetation type. The geology is unique being made up of the Waterberg sandstone which is nutrient poor and dictates the functioning and management on the reserve. Although this is a reptile forum I thought I’d include some landscape and other fascinating wildlife that occurs. Currently the Reserves mammal list sits at 58 with the bird list at 307, 51 reptiles with 7 species added this year (personally) and 19 amphibians with 1 species added this year (personally). As one can see there is a lot of work to be done to classify the true reptile diversity with the region boasting a high diversity of reptile species with many endemic species occurring only in the region.

To begin with some landscapes to give a general idea of the Reserve

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Some flowers for the area
Geigaria longiflora
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Anthericum spp
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Freesia grandiflora subsp. grandiflora
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Although not reptiles these are a few of the mammals we have on the reserve
Jameson's Red Rock Rabbit
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African Pangolin
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African Leopard
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White Rhino
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Cheetah
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Lion
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Although not too much time was spent actively searching for herps I intend to improve this next year especially since I’m staying in the area for another year so stay tuned. This year I saw (only a few photographed):
Reptiles *Photographed
Psammophis subtaeniatus - Western striped-bellied sand snake
Psammophis mossambicus – Olive grass snake
Dispholidus typus – Boomslang
Dendroaspis polylepis – Black Mamba
Naja mossambica – Mozambique spitting cobra
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia – Red-lipped Herald Snake
Lycodonomorphus rufulus- Brown Water Snake
Boadon capensis- Brown House Snake
*Aparallactus capensis- Black-headed Centipede-eater
Atractaspis bibronii - Stilleto Snake
*Causus defilippii – Snouted Night Adder
Causus rhombeatus – Rhombic Night Adder
Bitis arietans – Puff Adder
Rhinotyphlops schlegii – Schlegal’s Blind Snake
Leptotyphlops spp. - unknown
*Chameleo dilepis – Flap necked Chameleon
Varanus niloticus – Water Monitor
Varanus albigularis - Rock Monitor
*Pedioplanis lineoocellata – Spotted Sand Lizard
Afroablepharus wahlbergii – Wahlberg’s Snake-eyed Skink
Acanthocercus atricollis – Blue Headed Tree Agama
*Agama aculeata – Ground Agama
*Lygosoma sundevallii - Sundevall's Writhing Skink
Trachylepis varia - Variable Skink
Trachylepis punctatissima – Montane Speckled Skink
*Platysaurus minor - Waterberg Flat Lizard
*Gerrhosaurus validus – Giant Plated Lizard
Gerrhosaurus flavigularis – Yellow-throated Plated Lizard
Hemidactylus mabouia – Moreau’s Tropical House Gecko
Chondrodactylus turneri – Turner’s Tubercled Gecko
*Homophilis wahlbergi – Velvet Gecko
*Pachydactylus affinis – Transvaal Gecko
Lygodactylus capensis – Cape Dwarf Gecko
*Crocodylus niloticus – Nile crocodile
Pelomedusa subrufa – Marsh Terrapin
*Kiniixys lobatsiana – Lobatse Hinged Tortoise
Stigmochelys pardalis – Leopard Tortoise

Amphibians *Photographed
*Pyxicephalus adspersus – Giant Bull Frog
Amietophrynus maculatus – Flat-backed Toad
Amietophrynus gutturalis – Guttural Toad
*Amietophrynus garmani – Eastern Olive Toad
Amietophrynus rangeri – Raucous Toad
Schismaderma carens – Red Toad
Kassina senegalensis – Bubbling Kassina
Breviceps adspersus – Bushveld Rain Frog
Xenopus laevis – Common Platanna
Phrynobatrachus natalensis – Snoring Puddle Frog
Ptychadena anchietae – Plain Grass Frog
Amietia angolensis – Common River Frog
Chiromantis xerampelina - Foam Nest Frog
*Phrynomantis bifasciatis – Red-banded Rubber Frog

Photographed Reptiles:
Aparallactus capensis- Black-headed Centipede-eater
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Causus defilippii – Snouted Night Adder
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Chameleo dilepis – Flap necked Chameleon
This was a very interesting observation. This Chameleon was found in old elephant dung at the beginning of winter. Don't know if this behaviour has ever been recorded.
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Pedioplanis lineoocellata – Spotted Sand Lizard
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Agama aculeata – Ground Agama
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Lygosoma sundevallii - Sundevall's Writhing Skink
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Platysaurus minor - Waterberg Flat Lizard
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Gerrhosaurus validus – Giant Plated Lizard
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Homophilis wahlbergi – Velvet Gecko
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Pachydactylus affinis – Transvaal Gecko
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Crocodylus niloticus – Nile crocodile
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Kiniixys lobatsiana – Lobatse Hinged Tortoise
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Photographed Amphibians
Pyxicephalus adspersus – Giant Bull Frog Adult minding tadpoles
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Pyxicephalus adspersus - Juvenile
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Amietophrynus garmani – Eastern Olive Toad
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Phrynomantis bifasciatis – Red-banded Rubber Frog
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Hope you all enjoyed and I'll be adding so stay tuned.
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby BushSnake » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:15 pm

Very nice! Please PM me your e-mail address. I'll send you all my Lephalale records to compare. The area is different, but it may give you an idea what to look out for as well.

BTW - The "Pedioplanis lineoocelata" you posted is a dull Ichnotroopis capensis. Look at the keeled scaled and rough texture. P.lineoocellata is definitely in the area as well!
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby Scavenger » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:03 pm

Hi Andre I did initially identify as Ichnotropis squamulosa not capensis but was revised on ispot check the link: http://www.ispot.org.za/node/186616 let me know your thoughts, that would be one more species for the reserves list :)
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby Scavenger » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:55 pm

Got this guy last night
Atractaspis bibroni - Stilleto Snake
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby Mitton » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:56 pm

Great stuff Sam, nice leopard and pangolan.

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby Nick Evans » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:13 pm

Stunning photos Sam, and some very nice finds. Those Snouted Night Adders are awesome!
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby Fooble » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:28 am

Great posts Sam!
Good to see you posting again!
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby jka » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:29 pm

Fooble wrote:Great posts Sam!
Good to see you posting again!


Sam, who?
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby Bushviper » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:58 pm

I would not have thought Snouted night adders occur there. Lovely post and some nice pictures too. Looks like you are having a blast there.
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby Scavenger » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:15 pm

The Snouted Night Adder find was quite a surprise as I've been working on updating and improving the reptile and amphibian list. By first creating a "potential" list using SARCA records and then using the current list and comparing, then trying to confirm as many as the unconfirmed species. Thus far 13 species confirmed for this year.
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Re: Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa

Postby jesica » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:03 pm

NIce photos.
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