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 Post subject: Madagascar Part 3: Isalo National Park-Herps only
PostPosted: July 21st, 2017, 9:17 am 
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Joined: June 25th, 2014, 10:34 am
Posts: 62
Location: Huntington, West Virginia
Isalo National Park contains a range of mountains that are surrounded by savanna. The scenery is spectacular.

ImageIsalo National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageIsalo National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageIsalo National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr

There are a number of canyons with creeks although the surrounding grassy savanna is much drier. The water flow from the creeks provides water for the adjacent rice fields.
ImageIsalo National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr

Okay, I promised you boas so I won't put them off to the end of the narrative like I did with the other snakes in Parts 1 and 2. What do you expect from a lizard guy?
Our national park guide went off on his own into the forest looking for good herps for me to shoot while I looked for "stuff" along a creek. He didn't disappoint as he soon found an impressive Madagascar Tree Boa, Sanzinia madagascariensis volontany.

ImageSanzinia madagascariensis volontany by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageSanzinia madagascariensis volontany by mitchberk, on Flickr

But wait, there's more! If the fantastic Tree Boa wasn't good enough we also came across a ground boa, Acrantophis dumerili, in the road as we were leaving the park at nightfall.

ImageAcrantophis dumerili by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageAcrantophis dumerili by mitchberk, on Flickr

Now that I got the big snakes out of the way here is a look at the smaller but equally impressive snakes seen in Isalo. Madagascarophis colubrinus was well-behaved for the photo session and didn't attempt to turn tail and run.

ImageMadagascarophis colubrinus by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageMadagascarophis colubrinus by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageMadagascarophis colubrinus by mitchberk, on Flickr

I only photographed on other species of snake, the obligatory Mimophis mahfalensis.

ImageMimophis mahfalensis by mitchberk, on Flickr

As to chameleons, Furcifer oustaleti were found on trees at the interface between the mountains and the savanna as we walked back to our car.

ImageFurcifer oustaleti by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageFurcifer oustaleti by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageFurcifer oustaleti by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageFurcifer oustaleti by mitchberk, on Flickr

Male Furcifer lateralis are green with a whitish lateral stripe. The casque is much smaller than F. oustaleti.

ImageFurcifer lateralis by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageFurcifer lateralis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Female Furcifer lateralis are strikingly colored compared to the drab green males.

ImageFurcifer lateralis, female by mitchberk, on Flickr

Nocturnal Geckos:
Paroedura bastardi which is easily distinguished by the presence of two transverse bands from P. picta, which has four diagonal bands on its body.

ImageParoedura bastardi by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageParoedura bastardi by mitchberk, on Flickr

Paroedura picta

ImageParoedura picta by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageParoedura picta by mitchberk, on Flickr

I am not sure of this species of Lygodactylus. My best informed opinion is L. tuberosus.

ImageLygodactylus tuberosus? by mitchberk, on Flickr

Day geckos:
Phelsuma hielsheri has a limited distribution which includes Isalo national Park. Unfortunately this individual never brightened up from its subdued dark coloration.

ImagePhelsuma hielscheri by mitchberk, on Flickr

Phelsuma mutabilis was found at the beginning of the trail leading into a canyon.

ImagePhelsuma mutabilis by mitchberk, on Flickr

I got lucky and found a member of the Gerrhosauridae family, Zonosaurus ornatus near a creek. It is a particularly colorful species with two yellow dorsolateral stripes bordered on each side by two black stripes.

ImageZonosaurus ornatus by mitchberk, on Flickr

Skinks:
Trachylepis gravenhorstii is a common skink that I found at many of the locations that we visited in Madagascar. It has a wide black stripe bordered ventrally by a white stripe on its flanks.

ImageTrachylepis gravenhorstii by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageTrachylepis gravenhorstii by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageTrachylepis gravenhorstii by mitchberk, on Flickr

Iguanids:
Oplurus cyclurus

ImageOplurus cyclurus by mitchberk, on Flickr

Hey, what about the frogs? As I mentioned above, creeks in the canyons and irrigated rice fields at the base of the mountains provide water. Just add frogs. I must admit I had great difficulty in identifying many of the specimens that we encountered. Please inform me if I have made mistakes.

Heterixalus luteostriatus. Don't you just love those blue eyes?

ImageHeterixalus luteostriatus by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageHeterixalus luteostrialis by mitchberk, on Flickr

Boophis doulioti

ImageBoophis doulioti by mitchberk, on Flickr

Boophis occidentalis

ImageBoophis occidentalis by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageBoophis occidentalis by mitchberk, on Flickr

Mantidactylus species??

ImageMantidactylus species?? by mitchberk, on Flickr

Mantidactylus sp. aff. ulcerosus "Isalo" ?

ImageMantidactylus sp. aff. ulcerosus "Isalo" by mitchberk, on Flickr

Frog Identification??

ImageFrog species?? by mitchberk, on Flickr

Frog identification??

ImageFrog ID? by mitchberk, on Flickr

Laliostoma labrosum

ImageLaliostoma labrosum by mitchberk, on Flickr

That's all for the herps of Isalo National Park. I will post pics of the invertebrates, lemurs, and birds in a separate post for those interested. Some of the insects are incredible.


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 Post subject: Re: Madagascar Part 3: Isalo National Park-Herps only
PostPosted: July 31st, 2017, 8:30 pm 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 9:28 am
Posts: 572
Location: Monterey Peninsula, CA
Isalo looks fantastic for both its scenery and animals. That's one whopping huge tree boa! Do you have the Glaw & Vences 3rd edition field guide to amphibians and reptiles of Madagascar? (I don't know how you have any hope of identifying Madagascar herps without it.) I might be able to help with frog IDs in a few days when I'm back home with my books.

What a sensory flood all of those Madagascar herps are!

John


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