Liberia - Goe Fantro

Accounts and photos of non-captive reptiles in their natural habitat outside of South Africa. Try to record with your account details such as time of day/night, temperature, weather conditions, lunar cycle, sex, rough age of reptile, and so on.

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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:07 am

Thanks Armata. So basically the D. jamesoni and D. viridis otherwise look the same, just the range is different? I also find it interesting that this particular snake was up the tree, but I don't doubt it as there were 8 witnesses that saw it fall out next to them and they all confirm that it fell from the same place. Bearing in mind that this is one of the local palm trees, with a very rough trunk, which you could equate to a very stony rock face, and very easily climbable for any snake. I would love to have known what it had eaten up there, and was kind of hoping that it would regurgitate its meal.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby s'mee » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:39 pm

I was there even before we took over Cotton Tree as a base - we worked out of Monrovia and drove in most days in the beginning.

D viridis looks very distinctive with their enlarged dorsal scales - they have 13 midbody scale rows compared to 15 for D jamesoni.
Off the top of my head, I have found D viridis , Naja melanoleuca, Attractaspis irregularis, Bitis rhinocerus, Causus maculatus, Calabaria reinhardti, Python sebae, Lamprophis fuliginosis, Philothamnus irregularis and probably a few more I can't recall offhand around Harbel, as well as a bunch of other species in other parts of the country.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:26 pm

I'd really like to find some of the Bitis other than B.arietans, I'm hoping to go out with the guys when they do some bush clearing to make more drill pads. Even if i only find dead stuff that the dozer turns up I am sure it will be interesting. I would also like to find some Echis sp, which I believe have been found in this area. I was interested to see when I opened my fridge up that it was well stocked with both SAIMR Polyvalent and Echis carinatus antivenoms. The first project I have done in Africa where they actually seemed bothered to have it in place.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby WW » Fri Dec 24, 2010 5:27 pm

s'mee wrote:D viridis looks very distinctive with their enlarged dorsal scales - they have 13 midbody scale rows compared to 15 for D jamesoni.


In D. viridis, the dorsal scales of the middle rows are twice as long as the the dorsal scales of the lowest 2-3 rows, giving a rather peculiar appearance - see http://photovalet.com/data/comps/ARS/ARSV01P14_02.1713.jpg

In D. jamesoni, all dorsal scales look pretty normal - see http://www.pardisparker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Dendroaspis-jamesoni-jamesonii-500x394.jpg They should not extend to anywhere near Liberia.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:41 pm

Just a couple of odds for you…

Vieillot's Black Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus
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Another type of weaver that I haven’t identified yet
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A couple of Orthopterans that were out at sunrise
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Sunrise this morning over the mountain
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Some Lepidoptera
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A really gorgeous Nephila sp that has made her web on our perimeter fence
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A toad
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Another couple of shots of A. agama males, one with his crest raised as he was displaying to another male and one that is very much older than the others with a very much more faded colouration on the body.
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A really really big snail that was on a mission this morning. I estimate its footprint to be around 20cm in length.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:09 pm

I haven’t found too much in the last couple of days, the weather has been a bit crappy and we had a lot of rain. I did find this nicely coloured female A. agama on one of the palm trees.
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Some interesting inverts, with lots of Lepidoptera for those of you that like a different kind of scaled creature…
This first pic I found on the clinic phone, it was taken by the person I took over from, I am not sure whether it is a butterfly or a moth, but it’s pretty distinct so those of you in the know should be able to give some opinions as to an ID. Sorry for the quality of it, but it is now on my “Find and Photograph” list…
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Another couple of interesting crickets.
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A really large Rhinoceros beetle that was hanging on my window this morning.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby John Rees » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:07 pm

Love this post Sico! Those moths are stunning.

So too the A. agamas. There must be quite a demand for them in the pet trade? Glad they seem to still be common around there.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Bushviper » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:16 am

John those agamas sell for a few dollars in the pet trade. Not many people keep them because without decent heat and big spaces they never colour up as nicely as in the wild.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby moloch » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:56 am

Hello Sico,

You found some very interesting moths. I think the long-tailed animal would be a moth rather than butterfly. It certainly is distinctive. Saturniidae is what I would guess.

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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:31 am

Moloch I was lucky enough to find one of them this morning. After having a good look at it I would agree that it is probably one of the Saturniidae, and possibly Argema sp, although it has a very small body size. The wings were about 60mm from tip to tip and the length was about 90mm to the bottom of the wing trailers. Quite a stunning moth nonetheless.
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A foot or two away was this Imbrasia dione Emperor moth.
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Various other moths
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And lastly a Kite spider, Gasteracanthus sp that was silhouetted against the sky.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:46 pm

After making some enquiries I have found that the pink moth is called Eudaemonia argus. I cannot find a common name for it.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby MrG » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:02 am

Great post, we stopped over for fuel in Liberia at the airport of Montrovia during our trip to Haiti last year Feb. It was very, very humid, and hot. Thx for sharing.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:17 pm

I found this colony of Oecophylla longinoda Weaver ants in one of the trees in the camp. Pretty cool to watch them, but they tend to get very aggressive when you get close to take shots. I had a couple jump on to the camera to try take a nip, but I managed to blow them off before I got to experience that.
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Various moths…
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Boadicea » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:52 pm

Thanks for posting! I have never seen such an incredible array of moths before - and so beautiful. Surprised that you managed to spot some of them as their camouflage is incredible! That little pink one with the long wing extensions is my favourite. Apart from the toad and the spider have you seen anything that might prey on the moths - like bats maybe?
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:16 pm

Yeah, a couple of bats, not the amount that was around in Uganda though. A lot of the weavers also take the moths and the Black kites spend all day flying around the camp picking the larger moths off the buildings and lamps.
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