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 Post subject: Sierra Leone Herps - Identifications Needed
PostPosted: June 25th, 2017, 7:50 pm 

Joined: February 13th, 2016, 10:49 am
Posts: 21
Location: Columbus, OH
I went on a trip to Sierra Leone this December, visiting two sites: Gola National Park and Tiwai Island. I was there primarily to search for mammals, and Pygmy Hippo in particular. I sadly missed my top target, though I heard one jump into the water while I was staking out a river. Nevertheless, I very much enjoyed my time in Sierra Leone. My best observations included two Tree Pangolins, the rare and beautiful Pohle's Fruit Bat, Rufous Fishing Owl, and White-necked Picathartes. I photographed several herps, most of which I have been unable to identify. Any help on that front would be very much appreciated!

My photos of other taxa are on my website at http://www.tremarctos.com/category/sierra-leone/ I hope to find time to write up a trip report with logistical details later this summer.

Here are the reptiles:


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This skink was low on at tree trunk during the daytime. Googling various possibilities led me to a very tentative identification as Tropical Mabuya (Trachylepis polytropis).




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I found this gecko while walking at night at Tiwai. I have no idea on the identification.





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This beautiful Agama (Agama africana) is apparently quite common in disturbed habitats, but I only saw it once when I went to town to make a phone call.

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A female of the same species.

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Another shot of the female.





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I saw two of these snakes while looking for Hippos by boat at Tiwai. I think they are Smyth's African Water Snake (Grayia smythii), based on GS Cansdale's 1961 book "West African Snakes."

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Here's the other water snake.





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I saw this beautiful green snake in the lodge clearing at Tiwai Island. Wolfgang Wüster suggested it belonged to the genus Dipsadoboa on iNaturalist.

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A closeup of the head of the previous snake.





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This one was too close for my lens to focus. Paul Freed identified it as Central-African Egg-eating Snake (Dasypeltis fasciata) on iNaturalist.


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 Post subject: Re: Sierra Leone Herps - Identifications Needed
PostPosted: June 25th, 2017, 8:37 pm 

Joined: February 13th, 2016, 10:49 am
Posts: 21
Location: Columbus, OH
Here are the frogs. All identifications are thanks to Paul Freed and Jakob Fahr on iNaturalist.


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Paul Freed identified this one as Leptopelis spiritusnoctis.




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A Leptopelis at Tiwai.





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Another Leptopelis at Tiwai. I should have gotten out of the boat for a better photo.





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A hiding Leptopelis at Gola.





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This one was pretty high up a tree next to the Mahoi River at Gola. I photographed it from a bridge that I staked out for Pygmy Hippo.





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Amnirana albolabris at Gola.






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Crowned Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus occipitalis) at Tiwai.





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A toad of the genus Amietophrynus at Tiwai.





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Another toad, this one at Gola. Perhaps the same species?


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 Post subject: Re: Sierra Leone Herps - Identifications Needed
PostPosted: June 26th, 2017, 9:46 am 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 6:19 pm
Posts: 476
I cannot help with the frogs and lizards for now, but I can identify your snakes easily. The first species you identified as Grayia smithii are Blanding's Tree Snakes Toxicodryas blandingii. The second species is most likely Dipsadoboa underwoodi. If you counted scales, it may be easier to identify that one but based on the shape of the head and where you found it I am relatively comfortable with that ID. The Dasypeltis is correct.

Later on I will try to give the other taxa a shot.

Good finds!

– Justin


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 Post subject: Re: Sierra Leone Herps - Identifications Needed
PostPosted: June 26th, 2017, 7:58 pm 

Joined: February 13th, 2016, 10:49 am
Posts: 21
Location: Columbus, OH
intermedius wrote:
I cannot help with the frogs and lizards for now, but I can identify your snakes easily. The first species you identified as Grayia smithii are Blanding's Tree Snakes Toxicodryas blandingii. The second species is most likely Dipsadoboa underwoodi. If you counted scales, it may be easier to identify that one but based on the shape of the head and where you found it I am relatively comfortable with that ID. The Dasypeltis is correct.

Later on I will try to give the other taxa a shot.

Good finds!

– Justin


Thanks very much, Justin! I think I'd be able to count the dorsal scales of the Dipsadoboa from my other photos. Would that be helpful? I'll be away from my external harddrive for a while, but I can take a look next month.

Ben


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 Post subject: Re: Sierra Leone Herps - Identifications Needed
PostPosted: June 27th, 2017, 11:21 am 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 6:19 pm
Posts: 476
Maybe it would be more helpful to consult this guide – "Les serpents d’Afrique occidentale et centrale" by Jean Philippe Chippaux. You should be able to key the species out, even though it is in french.

https://senegalwildlife.files.wordpress ... 047725.pdf

– Justin


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 Post subject: Re: Sierra Leone Herps - Identifications Needed
PostPosted: June 29th, 2017, 11:35 am 

Joined: July 24th, 2015, 8:48 am
Posts: 17
Location: New York
great shots, one of my favorites are dasypeltis. Love seeing photos of them in the wild and wish your lens had cooperated!


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