Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

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Durban Keeper
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Joined: August 29th, 2011, 10:26 pm

Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Durban Keeper »

I haven't posted anything in a while, but I would like to share my most recent trip with you as it's in all likelyhood going to be my last one for the year.

I flew up from Durban to Johannesburg airport & met up with some friends & then drove from JHB to Hoedspruit, a town in the Limpopo province of South Africa which is situated near the boarder of the Kruger National Park. From the get go this trip was set to be an extremely brief stint as we arrived late on Friday afternoon & then departed early Monday morning. I always feel nervous before trips like these as you put a lot of effort & finances into pulling it off & you never quite know how things will go. This time though I had nothing to be worried about!

Here are some pictures of our team...Guys are hard at work photographing an Eastern Tiger Sake.
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The scenery was breath-taking!

There is a reason they call this God's window... just look at that view.
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We found 18 snake species in total. Only 3 where DOR!

I've never been to excited about finding a wolf snake, however the ones from this locality are truly striking.

Lycophidion capense - Common Wolf Snake

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Dasypeltis scabra - Rhombic Egg Eater

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Gonionotophis nyassae - Black File Snake

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Boaedon capensis - Brown House Snake

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Elapsoidea boulengeri - Boulenger's Garter Snake

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Megatyphlops schlegelii - Schlegel's beaked blind snake

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Leptotyphlops scutifrons - Peters Blind Snake

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Telescopus semiannulatus - Common Tiger Snake

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Lycodonomorphus rufulus - Brown water snake

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Atractaspis bibronii - Stiletto Snake

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Amblyodipsas polylepis - Common Purple Glossed Snake

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Dipsadoboa aulica - Marbled Tree Snake

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Psammophis subtaeniatus - Western Sand Snake

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Species not pictured include Herald snake, Bibrons blind snake, Mozambique spitter & Vine snake.

We also found a nice variety of Lizard & Gecko species.

A personal highlight for me was this Rock Monitor that bolted across the dirt road in front of our car.

The guys got stuck in removing ticks from its nostrils & ears, there where so many it must have had difficulty breathing!

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Alison then gave it a drink of water before we released him up a tree.

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Smaug vandami - Van Dam's Girdled Lizard.

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Trahylepis margaritifera - Rainbow Skink

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Pseudocordylus melanotus - Drakensberg Crag Lizard

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Chondrodactylus turneri - Turners Gecko

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Lygodactylus ocellatus - Dwarf Spotted Gecko

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Homopholis walbergii - Whalberg's Velvet Gecko

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Scelotes bidigittatus - Lowveld Dwarf Burrowing Skink

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And lastly a couple amphibians also, most of which I never got around to photographing...

Amietia fuscigula - Cape River Frog

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Pyxicephalus edulis - Edible Bullfrog

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Breviceps adspersus - Bushveld Rain Frog

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All these gems in a mere 3 days! Thanks for looking!

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Dean Boshoff

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Ribbit
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Ribbit »

Three days? Fantastic! A wonderful assortment of rarely-seen (at least by me) herps. That Megatyphlops schlegelii in particular is one weird-looking dude.

John

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Greg Huston
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Greg Huston »

Epic! Especially the landscapes

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Rich in Reptiles »

Wow!! I was also shocked to hear all those species were found within 3 DAYS!! Atractasphis is such a fascinating genus, it's good to see some of those in this post. Also, the beaked blind snake is mind blowing!!

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Dr. Dark
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Dr. Dark »

Great assortment of herps and great photos! 3 days?! Awesome!

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justinm
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by justinm »

The snake diversity was awesome, looks like you did very well for 3 days out. Congrats on the finds. Some of these pics were just stellar, very very well done post I really appreciated it. So is this a productive time of year for you normally?

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Kevin Messenger
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Kevin Messenger »

super incredible!! I was in the Hoedspruit area from 14-28 October but it was WAY too cold. Overcast, windy, highs of about 17 C...

I am super jealous of this post. It's just like how I hoped my time would have gone. Awesome job!

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Nshepard
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Nshepard »

Awesome! For three days that is incredible, wow!

For me, Telescopus and Gonionotophis would've been sadisfied me 100%. Two of my favorite SA species. But the real gem of that trip looks like Megatyphlops schlegelii too me, given I don't know how common they are.

Jeff Teel
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Jeff Teel »

Wow :beer: That was awesome. Such good quality pics made it even better! Great post.

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moloch
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by moloch »

Fantastic, Dean. I always enjoy your posts. You found so many species in such a short period of time. The scenery shots were also spectacular.

Regards,
David

Durban Keeper
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Joined: August 29th, 2011, 10:26 pm

Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Durban Keeper »

Being my first trip to the region I cant really say which is the best time of year, but as this is springtime/early summer its definitely a productive time of year.

A lot of these where lifers for me. I must admit when we found the Megatyphlops schlegelii I did a little happy dance! I have always wanted to see one. Some people refer to them as 'music snakes' as the markings resemble sheet music. They are not rare, but are seldom encountered due to their fossorial nature. These are also the largest of the African blind snakes & can grow to be well over a meter in length.

I always find it odd that people find Atractaspis interesting. Those small snakes really keep most South African herpers on their toes. Interestingly enough they are responsible for the majority of medically important snakebite cases in SA.

Thanks you everyone for the interest & kind words. I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding these reptiles!
Regards.
Dean

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Cole Grover
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Re: Limpopo Bushveld, November 2013

Post by Cole Grover »

Whoa - awesome post. Not sure how I missed this until now, but I'm glad I found it!

The habitat/landscape shots are stellar. I'm a huge Boaedon fan, so it's always fun to see you guys who encounter them in the wild share that experience with us. You guys rocked it for such a short trip. Thanks for posting!

-Cole

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