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 s'mee » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:45 pm

It is Toxicodryas blandingii.
No other genus in the region has that combination of triangular body profile, enlarged vertebral scale row and large eye with rear fangs. T blandingii has 21- 25 midbody scale rows and T pulverulenta has 19.
This is typical sub adult coloration - as they get bigger the males become dark, almost black above and yellow on the ventrals and the females retain most of their pattern, although not usually with the same degree of contrast.
There are reports of dizziness and transient loss of consciousness following bites from this species, and in the laboratory, their venom appears to be the most toxic of the Boiga/Toxicodryas group. they also get very big - up to 2.74m has been recorded.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:30 pm

Thanks s'mee, I must say, after tackling this little one (about 90cm) I would definately not like to try and catch a large adult. They are really aggressive!
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:50 pm

I just got back into Liberia this past Saturday and I've missed out on a couple of nice snakes while being away. Two days before I got back, this large Blanding's tree Snake was found in the laundry. The guys estimate it being between two and three metres in length. This is the best pic that was taken of it...
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also found was what appeared to be a Philothamnus sp but more than that I can't ID from the picture.
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There were numerous other snakes removed out of the camp, but I don't have pictures of them. Hoepfully some more will cross my path in the coming weeks!
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby froot » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:40 pm

Funny thing is I was wondering today why you haven't been online for so long and then started wondering how far Libya is from Liberia. Welcome back!
That Blanding's is massive!
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:09 pm

Ha! yeah, I managed to break another computer up here on my last trip so had to wait for that to get fixed up and then my internet was really crappy back in SA so gave it up as a bad joke. The blanding's is a real stunner, and I'm acid as hell that I missed it... but where there is one, there are more. They have procured another 5 Acres of land adjoining this camp, to extend it, and they have just started the brush clearing now, so I am hoping some more will pop out of the trees while they are messing around over there. One of the guys found a large Gabonica up on the mountain today, but didn't have a camera, and selfishly did not bother collecting it for me either. Tsk! I really need to work on these Aussies ;)
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Bushviper » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:10 am

The Blandings looks big enough to scare people. What a lovely specimen. The second looks more like Psammophis than Philothamnus. Just a typo?

The Aussies will probably not want to touch venomous snakes because thats all they are used to.

Have you found any ball pythons? I have been told they should be plentiful.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:25 am

Hey BV, check this other pic of the snake in question and see why I think it's Philothamnus sp rather than Psammophis. It looks more like a bush snake of sorts rather than a sand snake...
Image
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Bushviper » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:06 am

Yes you are right. I thought it had some banding on the neck in the previous picture. It also looks as if it has a broken line running down the centre of the back.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Westley Price » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:38 am

Very cool pics Sico!

I always enjoy your posts.

The possible Philothalmnus look a lot like a young Xyelodontophis uluguruensis due to the ridge down its spine.

Not sure if they occur that far north though.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:08 am

Westley thanks. It could well be Xyelodontophis sp, but after having a looking at some pics of them on the net, I still think this one looks more like Philothamnus. BV apologies for missing your earlier Q regarding the ball bythons, so far the only place I have encountered any wild ones is in Uganda, around Lake Albert, although I am hopeful to find some West African ones.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Westley Price » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:12 am

If it didn't have that ridge down its spine I would also go for Philothalmnus, but it is just to obvious to ignore.

Maybe one of the northern species that I am not aware of has this ridge.

Maybe if WW drops by he can give a positive ID.

Keep up the great posts!
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby s'mee » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:46 pm

Definitely not Xyelodontophis.
It is a juvenile Psammophis - most likely phillipsi - that chain-like vertebral stripe is fairly typical of the juveniles from that area.
Python regius doesn't occur anywhere near there, they are strictly a savanna species.
Also Bitis gabonica doesn't occur in the area, it would be Bitis rhinocerus.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Sico » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:00 pm

We had some decent rains yesterday and hoping to find some interesting stuff I went for a walkabout in the camp last night after it had eased up.
I found a couple of these little guys, initially thinking they were some kind of Kassina, looking at the pics a little more closely they show a lot more characteristics of Leptopelis-type frogs than Kassina. They had a very clipped "chik!" type call. I've been googling my nut off to try and find some keys/pics/etc but nothing resembling these critters has popped up. Size was about the same as that of a kassina, or about the size of the end of your thumb. Any thoughts?
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Also around the garbage pit were a bunch of Agama agama juveniles all sleeping on the chain-link fence, in their dozens. Decent pickings for a nocturnal predator I would think...
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Couple of unidentified geckos, I think the more decorated one is a juvenile of the large paler one.
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Went for a walk yesterday and found this butterfly feeding off some spoiled fruit. It was quite large, I'm thinking one of the Charaxes?
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Westley Price » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:47 pm

The geckos are one of the Hemidactylus species, but I'm not sure which one.

At night they tend to get paler and during the day they are patterned.
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Re: Liberia - Goe Fantro

Postby Fooble » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:55 pm

I agree those geckos are Hemidactylus sp but there are so many it's hard to ID.
That Frog looks like part of the Leptopeltis genus too ( along with the Brown backs and Forest tree Frogs)
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