A few photos from the Snowy Mountains

Discussion in 'Field Herping and Reptile Studies' started by moloch05, Feb 26, 2014.

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  1. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    I've just returned from a two-night trip to Kosciuszko National Park. I visited the area to try and find a few of the alpine reptiles and butterflies that I had not yet seen. Most of my time was spent in the Charlotte Pass area along the summit walk to Mt. Kosciuszko. The weather was mostly sunny and warm with highs in the upper teens/low 20s.


    Mt. Kosciuszko: I did not take the time to climb it but spent several hours along the summit walk. I was fortunate to have excellent weather on both days of my visit. Our highest mountain is really just a hill by world standards!
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    Habitat near Charlotte Pass:
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    Snow Gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora): These were the most beautiful at dusk. The low sun angles really seemed to accentuate the colours of the bark.
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    ... Many Snow Gums had bulbous trunks like this:
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    Gang Gang Cockatoo. I saw a few including a small group that was feeding on the roadside one morning.
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    Southern Grass Skink (Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii)?: Not certain but I think that the following are this species.
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    ... transparent eyelid:
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    Pseudemoia sp.: I saw several of these tiny skinks at dusk in a boggy area. They always reacted to the pre-flash. Any ideas as to the species?
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    Guthega Skink (Liopholis guthega): These were fairly common in the Charlotte Pass area.
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    ... juveniles
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    Water Skink (Eulamprus tympanum): These were fairly common in rocky areas near water. Most were dark and almost appeared black in the morning.
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    ... some had a greenish tint to their scales:
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    ... habitat:
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    Highland Copperhead (Austrelaps ramsayi): This species was common the area and I encountered four. The first one below expressed its displeasure when it saw me in the grass in front of it.
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    ... I had a close encounter with this copperhead. I was concentrating on the approach to a Heteronympha butterfly and suddenly realized that I was standing right next to this snake. It had flattened its neck but otherwise remained motionless. The snake was fortunately well behaved.
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    White-lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides): I saw this small snake as it crossed the summit walk one morning.
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    A few plants were flowering. Composites were attractive to the Xenica butterflies.
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    Orange Alpine Xenica (Oreixenica correae): This and the following were species that I really hoped to see. They are only active from mid-summer to early autumn in the high country of the Snowies.
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    ... habitat of Orange Alpine Xenica:
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    Spotted Alpine Xenica (Oreixenica orichora): I think that the following are all Spotted Alpine Xencia. These and Orange Alpine Xenica are quite similar in pattern. I found these mostly above treeline in alpine areas with flowering composites.
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    ... habitat of Spotted Alpine Xenica:
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    Bright-eyed Bob (Heteronympha cordace): This was a tiny species of Heteronympha and not much bigger than the Xenicas. I only saw a few, mostly near Guthega. They had a habit of folding their wings and dropping into clumps of grass where they were hard to photograph.
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    Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi)
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    Alpine Sedge-Skipper (Oreisplanus munionga): These were attractively marked skippers. I found several in a wet area on the outskirts of Guthega.
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    ... sedge-skipper habitat:
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    Photos of various insects.
    1,2: Mountain Katydids were numerous, especially at dusk. Females (as pictured) are flightless and display these warning colours when disturbed. Males were winged and I saw many in the evening as they flew across the road.
    3: A huge coccinellid.
    4: These blue-green coloured grasshoppers were common in Epacris shrubs.
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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  2. Stuart

    Stuart Site Admin Staff Member

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    Fantastic shots and a fantastic post. Cheers for sharing.
     
  3. richoman_3

    richoman_3 Very Well-Known Member

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    Awesome post!
    First and third Pseudemoia look like pagenstecheri
    the one your unsure of is an Acritoscincus
    nice finds!!
     
  4. borntobnude

    borntobnude Guest

    Again , you post the best pics with descriptions .
    I may be a bit strange as I think the best pics are the snow gums .
    And I am also slightly disappointed that there were no corroboree frogs . but maybe the zoo's have them all :)
    Rodney
     
  5. Zipidee

    Zipidee Active Member

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    Just as well the zoos have CF's, because the chances of them surviving in the wild without human help would be pretty slim.

    Great photos by the way!!!!
     
  6. Bredli1956

    Bredli1956 Not so new Member

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    Looks like fun I can't believe how amazing the environment is there
     
  7. NickGeee

    NickGeee Subscriber Subscriber

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    Love the katydids! Fantastic pics.
     
  8. critterguy

    critterguy Active Member

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    All great pics, I know someone that would be interested in obtaining a few of those mountain katydids and the colourful grasshoppers if that spot isn't National Park.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh yeah, I think the blue grasshopper is a male Chameleon grasshopper - Kosciuscola tristis, they can change colour with temperature changes, darken to blackish when colder and the blue you saw when warmer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Doesn't matter about trying to obtain any, I just re-read where you were.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  9. Lepbreeder

    Lepbreeder New Member

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    Wonderful Photos

    I joined this site as a result of seeing your report on a trip to Taman Negara and loved the photos there as now. Keep up the good work. Well done.
     
  10. Asharee133

    Asharee133 Very Well-Known Member

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  11. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much, everyone, for the feedback.

    Richo, I did not even think of Acritoscincus. These skinks were tiny. Their behaviour and size reminded me a little of Cryptoblepharus. Thanks for the suggestions about the identity of the Pseudemoia.

    Rodney, I really enjoyed the Snow Gums as well. They are beautiful trees. I did not realize that they could be so colourful. Too bad that Corroboree Frogs have suffered so badly.

    Thanks for the identification, critterguy. "Chameleon grasshopper - Kosciuscola tristis" -- an appropriate name for these pretty insects.

    Asharee, that is an enormous ladybird beetle (Coccinellidae). It was about as large as my thumb nail, one of the largest ladybirds that I have ever seen.


    Regards,
    David
     
  12. tahnia666

    tahnia666 Active Member

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    Beautiful pictures!!! That highland copperhead is incredible!!
     
  13. PappaSmurf

    PappaSmurf Active Member

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    Awesome pic's. My daughter lives not far from there at Tumburumba & we spent some time there last winter. Would love to go in summer.
     
  14. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, tahnia and pappasmurf.

    Here is another habitat shot from the alpine country:
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    Guthega Skink:
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    Southern Water Skink, juvenile:
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    Snow Gums
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    Silver Xenica (Oreixenica lathoniella) -- this is another of the mountain Xenica butterflies. I photographed this one a couple of years ago at lower elevations near Threadbo. I think that these are the most colourful of the Xenica. I missed Small Alpine Xenica ((Oreixenica latialis) on this visit. According to the range maps, it should be the alpine habitat.
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    Shouldered Brown (Heteronympha penelope): These butterflies were common at lower elevations.
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    Chameleon Grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis)
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    Flowers
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