Trip to central western QLD, pt1

Discussion in 'Field Herping and Reptile Studies' started by moloch05, Oct 14, 2009.

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  1. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    I have just returned from a whirlwind trip through central western Queensland. This area is beautiful and supports a variety of habitats. I visited a number of sites ranging from the Mitchell Grass downs of Muttaburra/Aramac to the granite hills near Dajarra. I especially enjoyed the scenery in the Eyrean Basin between Winton and Dajarra. The habitat was in great shape with the biggest clumps of spinifex that I have ever seen. There must have been ample rainfall since the spinifex was green and flowering.

    This region is a long distance from Wollongong and I ended up driving about 6000km in one week. Needless to say, I spent much of the last week sitting in the car but I now know of several interesting areas to visit again someday when I can spend more time.

    There aren't many people in this part of Queensland. I saw very few cars on the road at night. On the downside, there was no radio or mobile phone coverage. I usually camped off small side roads. The stars at night were incredible due to the dry air and no artificial lights. This was a typical campsite.
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    Here are a few habitat shots of the areas that I visited.

    Mitchell Grass Downs near Muttaburra and Winton:
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    Acacia (several species) Savannah:
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    Mulga forest:
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    Eyrean Basin between Winton and Boulia:
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    Granite outcrops near Dajarra:
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    ... and now, the geckos:


    Tessellated Gecko (Diplodactylus tessellatus) -- this was by far the most abundant species. There were hordes of these on the road through many areas. They seemed to be particularly common in the Mitchell Grass Downs.
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    This little animal was different to any that I have seen before. Its ventral surface was white with black streaks. Is this the pattern of a juvenile?
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    Robust Dtella (Gehyra robusta) -- a new species to me. It was common on granite outcrops. Some animals were ghostly pale (maybe shedding?) but others were nicely coloured.
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    Tree Dtella (Gehyra variegata) (I think) -- these lived on the same rock outcrops as G. robusta.
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    Prickly Gecko (Heteronotia binoei) -- I like the glowing eyes. This animal was found during the day. At night, they are grey with black barring on the back.
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    Box-patterned Gecko (Lucasium steindachneri) -- their disruptive colouration makes them hard to see on dry grass:
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    Pale-striped Ground Gecko (Lucasium immaculatum) -- these were numerous here at the northern end of their range. I have only seen one previously in the Windorah area of QLD.
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    Prickly Knob-tailed Gecko (Nephrurus asper) -- I was very pleased to find this species. It was new to me. I saw two adults and a very cute little juvenile.

    adult 1:
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    ... amazing tail:
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    adult 2:
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    juvenile:
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    Marbled Velvet Gecko (Oedura marmorata) -- these are also a lovely sight. I saw several.
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    ... very pale. About to shed?
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    Beaked Gecko (Rhynchoedura ornata) -- I only took one photo before it streaked away and could not be relocated. These seem to be much more common further south.
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    Northern Spiny-tailed Gecko (Strophurus ciliaris) -- I only saw this single animal.
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    Burton's Snake Lizard (Lialis burtonis) -- one in the Mitchell Grass Downs.
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    Eastern Hooded Scaly-foot (Pygopus schraderi) -- there was hardly any traffic on the road at night so this poor little lizard was incredibly unfortunate. I assume that it is schraderi and not steelescotti since it was found about 100km west of Winton. The range maps seem to indicate that steelscotti is found a little north of this area.
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    Regards,
    David
     
  2. Twin_Rivers

    Twin_Rivers Active Member

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    Disgusting!
    It is people like you that make the rest of us feel the need to start our posts with "sorry about the picture quality"
    Fantastic photos and some great finds
     
  3. Acrochordus

    Acrochordus Well-Known Member

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    Nice pics, i wish i could travel as much as you do David, Surely you would of had to found some snakes, dragons, skinks.....ect.
    Thanks Tim.
     
  4. DanTheMan

    DanTheMan Suspended Banned

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    Great pictures!
    I cant wait to get out and do some traveling now I've got my 4WD. Looking forward to parts 2 and hopefully 3!
     
  5. j.kcustoms

    j.kcustoms Active Member

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    great quality pics you must have a good camera .. i was at Windorah not so long ago and saw a dog hooked up on a street sign with a butchers hook looked like it had been there for a fair while got a pic off it but best not post it ... did you see many pigs /roos on your trip ?
     
  6. levis04

    levis04 Very Well-Known Member

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    well done mate love the asper!
     
  7. justbrad

    justbrad Well-Known Member

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    Always a pleasure looking at the pics from your field trips! Thanks for sharing, cheers, Brad
     
  8. jessieJEALOUSY

    jessieJEALOUSY Active Member

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    that burtons snake lizard, is so strange looking! its actually kinda cute xD
     
  9. Serpentes

    Serpentes Suspended Banned

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    Great photos! And an epic trip in a little car!
     
  10. Brettix

    Brettix Very Well-Known Member

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    Mate what an awesome trip,i would love to do the same some time.
    Crystal clear pics mate,thanks for sharing,good thread.
     
  11. ryanharvey1993

    ryanharvey1993 Suspended Banned

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    nice pics, david, nice haul, cant wait to see more pics.
     
  12. jordo

    jordo Very Well-Known Member

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    Top quality as always Dave.
    You did great with the night life but did you see any diurnal herps?
    Did you see what mouth colour the spiney-tail had?
    I only recently got back from SW Qld as well, I'll post some pics from the trip soon.
     
  13. Sock Puppet

    Sock Puppet Very Well-Known Member

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    Great work as usual! Fantastic array of geckos, I love the look of that Northern Spiny Tail, what a cracker!
    Looking forward to the rest of the pics.
     
  14. froggyboy86

    froggyboy86 Active Member

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    Great photos David, you have a good knack of finding lots of geckos. Shame about the DOR schraderi.
    I look forward to seeing the rest of the photos.

    Aaron
     
  15. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, everyone. I am glad the the photos are enjoyed.

    Tim, I have been "forced" to use 12 weeks of leave this year so I have plenty of trips planned. I have another post that will show the diurnals.

    Dan, a 4x4 will be useful. I am looking forward to photos from your outback trips.

    kcustoms, I saw many feral goats and a few pigs. There were masses of kangaroos and wallabies in some areas. There were kangaroos lining both sides of the road a little north of Charleville one night. I could only drive at 50/60kph so that I could avoid the inevitable leap onto the road. I managed to hit a small wallaby during the day when it suddenly appeared in front of me at about 9am. The wallaby was killed and I did a little damage to the bumper.

    thanks, Levis, Brad, jessie, Brettix, Ryan and Aaron.

    Serpentes, I used to own a Pajero but I far prefer these little cars for the long trips. They are so much more economical and I really don't like driving on rough gravel or dirt roads anyway.


    Jordo, your assumption was correct. I mis-identified the Strophurus. It really is S. krisalys rather than S. ciliaris, due to the blue mouth lining. Looking forward to your pics.

    Here are a few more pics:
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    ... "growling"
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    Regards,
    David
     
  16. raged

    raged Active Member

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    Awsome pics
     
  17. billiemay

    billiemay Active Member

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    ALL of those photos are amazing! I love the northern spiny tail, reminds me of an eccentric old man.
     
  18. RCW74

    RCW74 Active Member

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    Great pics...and all done in a hyundai getz!! Goes to show we don't all need Hummers to see the bush:)
     
  19. redbellybite

    redbellybite Almost Legendary

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    Wow Dave your pics are great ..what amazes me even more is HOW CLEAN YOUR CAR IS ...considering where you were ...and you had no worries driving that little car around that type of area?
    so any snake pics at all?
     
  20. moloch05

    moloch05 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, all.

    redbelly, I only saw 2 Curl Snakes, 1 DOR Black-headed Python and 3 DOR Brown Snakes on the trip. For whatever reason, snakes did not seem to be active at the moment. Maybe they are awaiting the wet which should commence in another month or so.


    I recently bought the Getz for these trips. I have used them often as hire cars and really like their performance and economy. I think of these as "disposable" cars. They are cheap, reliable and fuel efficient but when they wear out, they can be easily replaced. I used to use a Pajero but would never buy one of those expensive, thirsty beasts again. I don't really like travelling on rough roads anyway.


    Regards,
    David
     
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