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Expedition in Southern Thailand

Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by Michael_C, May 5, 2007.

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  1. Michael_C

    Michael_C Elite Member

    Last week I returned from an expedition in Southern Thailand which took us ca. 25km up and down jungle trails and up to ca. 1400m in elevation. Over 30 biological researchers, with an environmental team and almost 30 park rangers took part, making it the biggest expedition of its kind in almost 100 years in this country.

    Many new records for the province and region were recorded. Here are some pictures from the expedition:

    On the ascent, during a break, a Cyrtodactylus peguensis was found under a rotting log at ca. 500m in elevation.
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    At the highest elevations, Rhacophorus bipunctatus was the most common species of reptile or amphibian. Their calls drowned out the sounds of all other frogs. This specimen is a male.
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    As is common frogs, the female Rhacophorus bipunctatus is larger.
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    Limnonechtes spp. were common: Limnonechtes blythii, Limnonechtes kuhlii and Limnonechtes macrognathus. This is a picture of Limnonechtes macrognathus.
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    The largest toad of the region, Phrynoidis aspera, was found in this region. This is a juvenile.
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    Megophryidae is a family that found in leaf litter. This is one member of the family that was found, Xenophrys longipes.
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    For those that read my earlier post from the previous month (Nan, Northern Thailand), they will see an almost identical frog, Odorrana livida. This is Odarrana hosii.
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    A significant new record for the area was Pseudocalotes floweri, which was previously only recorded in Thailand near the border with Cambodia, over 1000km away. This is an adult in a threat display.
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    Juvenile Pseudocalotes floweri lack the long snout of the adults.
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    A common member of Agamidae found in the southern region is Acanthosaura crucigera, a species found in light bushes up to ca. 1.5m high in primary forest with significant canopy (80%+). Although primarily arboreal, they use the ground to move from bush to bush.
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    Taxonomy used is the most recent accepted name for the species, sorry for any confusion this may cause.
    I guess this is a long enough post for now. Maybe Knox will be happy ;)

    Cheers,
    Michael
     
  2. venus

    venus Founding Member

    OMG, I am soooo jealous!! Awesome pics Michael. The first little guy is adorable. Thats on my list as a vacation spot :)
     
  3. Michael_C

    Michael_C Elite Member

    Both Cyrtodactylus peguensis and C. pulchellus are common at lower elevations of that area. C. brevipalmatus has also been found in that area, but is less common.

    If you are serious and want more specific areas for your vacation spot, contact me off-line. They are in national parks, so no collecting is allowed and coordination must be made if you are even going to touch the animals.

    Cheers,
    Michael
     
  4. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    As usual some great pictures. I'm always envious of your expeditions!
     
  5. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    very nice... what expedition was this? just a general species distribution count?

    how often are you involved with other research expeditions...and are there ever any openings? Might just make a trip to thailand if an opportunity ever opens up... have no contacts in thailand. Just africa and now the americas
     
  6. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    such beautiful animals. thank you so much for sharing.
     
  7. Michael_C

    Michael_C Elite Member

    Thanks for the postive feedback on the pictures.

    The expedition was to study the biodiversity of that region, among the most biodiverse regions of Thailand and mainland Southeast Asia because of a cross over of mainland Southeast Asian and Malay/Indonesian zoogeographic zones not too far from the Isthmus of Kra. The expedition was organised and funded by BRT (Biodiversity Research Training Programme), which was set up by Thai government organisations. This was the first and probably last large expedition that they organised.

    This is the only 'expedition' that I have been on over here. I have been involved in a number of herpetological surveys of the country, like the one in an earlier thread on the Nan Province. Over the past two months, I have spent 5 weeks in the field and will probably go again in about 2 weeks, but not for as long as the last two trips.

    These herpetological surveys are conducted by the national natural history museum and at their expense, on a very tight and limited budget. I would be happy to help you out with any herping trip that you would make here, but not sure if you could come on any herpetological surveys because of legal and liability issues (many areas are very remote and in the last two places that I have been in, a venomous bite would have likely resulted in death because of the inability to get to medical care in time).

    Cheers,
    Michael
     
  8. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    yeah same thing back home in southafrica... some of ther areas especially out in the karoo are very far from help...especially when dealing with all the elapids and viper species...you don't get tagged....not an option. Haha but on all expeditions i have done all sign a waiver haha. But yeah if you don't get bitten it is not a problem. You always have to be ontop of your game when it comes to handeling. well if you ever want to come africa herping feel free...i sure will remind you of your thailand offer haha. I sure will trade some asian vipers and cobras for our dendroaspis, bitis and naja etc spots lol. I think asia will def be my next herp spot on my global tour...australia after that. Going to be doing usa, central and south america during the course of this year if all goes to plan.
     
  9. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Great photos, man! Congratulations on expanding the known range of Pseudocalotes floweri range too!
     
  10. Knox

    Knox Elite Member

    Nice outing! Excellent photos. I love native habitat pictures.
     
  11. Michael_C

    Michael_C Elite Member

    I realised that I had forgotten the snakes:

    Before we even started, we found Ahaetulla prasina. We showed a threat display most of the time, but gentle lifting from under the snake did not concern it at all. (Note the parasites under the skin)
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    Rhabdophis spp. should be considered dangerous. Rhabdophis subminiatus has caused fatalities by causing renal (kidney) failure. Of course, I did not know this until after catching my first one. This is Rhabdophis chrysargos found at over 1300m in elevation. It was a very docile specimen.
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    Rhabdophis spp. show a great amount of variation between juveniles and adults. This is a juvenile Rhabdophis chrysargos found in the same area.
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    Blind Snakes are not the most exciting species to come across, even though you never see them very often (unless you tear open rotting logs). This is Ramtyphlos albiceps
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    Another fossorial snake that was found is not seen very often, Calamaria lumbricoidea.
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    Last, a snake that I almost did not take a picture of because there was no regional variation between this region and Northern Thailand, is Amphiesma inas
    [​IMG]

    Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

    Cheers,
    Michael
     
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