Amphibians and reptiles in Lobo

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Ampibian

Research teams left Lobo on Friday 31th October, an opportunity to review the field work so far. Here is an abstract on herpetofauna.

Little is known on the herpetofauna of the karst area of West Papua such as Lengguru. Despite the short duration of our stay in Lobo in the Lengguru region, we found a decent number of species of herpetofauna. Our ten-day search resulted in 165 specimens of frogs and squamate reptiles. Twenty species of frogs and 36 species of squamate reptiles were collected from sea level to more than 1000 m of altitude. Among the frogs, we found rare Microhylids of the genera Xenorhina and Sphenophryne. Our visit in Lobo coincided with the dry season, which did not make it easy to search for frogs without the help of our local guides.

However, we found interesting reptiles such as the highly venomous snake Micropechis ikaheka and the blue-tongue lizard Tiliqua gigas. We also encountered two pythons, one Morelia amethistina of almost 4 m long and one Leiopython albertisi of almost 2 m long. Unfortunately, our short stay in Lobo did not give us the chance to capture monitor lizards, even thought 15 tunnel traps were set for that purpose. These relatively large lizards endemic to Papua are
amongst the least known in the Family Varanidae.

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