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 Post subject: Madagascar Part 5: Ranomafana National Park
PostPosted: July 23rd, 2017, 5:58 am 
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Joined: June 25th, 2014, 10:34 am
Posts: 62
Location: Huntington, West Virginia
Well to catch-up there have been four Madagascar posts previous to this one from the arid south and west.

Madagascar Part 1: Ifaty and Reniala National Forest

Madagascar Part 2: Arboretum d'Antsokay

Madagascar Part 3: Isalo National Park-Herps only

Madagascar Part 3: Isalo National Park-Invertebrates, lemurs

Madagascar Part 4: Anjay Community Park

Now let's head for the wet rainforests of the eastern mountains in Madagascar Part 5: Ranomafana National Park.


Rainforest at town of Ranomafana and Ranomafana River

ImageRanomafana, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageRanomafana by mitchberk, on Flickr


Zebu (cattle) drive through the town of Ranomafana on way to market on the east coast.

ImageCattle drive through Ranomafana, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


Carts are used extensively in Madagascar to transport goods and in this case people.

ImageMode of transportation in Ranomafana by mitchberk, on Flickr


River coursing through the beginning of the path into Ranomafana National Park.

ImageRiver, Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Waterfall within Ranomafana National Park

ImageUntitled by mitchberk, on Flickr


Geckos:

The day gecko Phelsuma lineata lineata could be readily found within its usual habitat, which was the restaurant of our hotel.

ImagePhelsuma lineata lineata by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImagePhelsuma lineata lineata by mitchberk, on Flickr


The non-native gecko, Hemidactylus mercatorius, provided a nightly "wall show" instead of a floor show while we dined.

ImageHemidactylus mercatorius by mitchberk, on Flickr


Geckos were also found in the national park. The expert eye of the park guide caught sight of Uroplatus phantasticus sitting on a leaf. Its leaf like tail lies over the gecko's body.

ImageUroplatus phantasticus as first spotted on leaf by mitchberk, on Flickr


Here is the same lizard posed on a tree trunk.
ImageUroplatus phantasticus by mitchberk, on Flickr


This is another Uroplatus phantasticus shot as discovered in the tree branches.

ImageUroplatus phantasticus by mitchberk, on Flickr


Chameleons:

Night hikes are not allowed in the national park even with a guide but you are permitted to walk at night along the road adjacent to the park. The smaller chameleons reminded me of Christmas ornaments hanging from the branches of a Christmas tree.

Calumma gastronemia asleep while hanging from a leaf.

ImageCalumma gastrotaenia by mitchberk, on Flickr


Female Calumma nasutum can be differentiated from the males by the lack of vertebral spines (also called dorsal crest).

ImageCalumma nasutum, female by mitchberk, on Flickr


An impressive rostral appendage on this female Calumma nasutum.

ImageCalumma nasutum, female by mitchberk, on Flickr


Male Calumma nasutum with its dorsal crest but rather underwhelming in stature compared to other chameleon species. Don't you just love that rostral appendage.

ImageCalumma nasutum, male by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageCalumma nasutum, male by mitchberk, on Flickr


A juvenile Calumma crypticum is perfectly matched to its habitat. Camouflage well done. Dorsal crest of spines continue onto the tail.

ImageCalumma crypticum by mitchberk, on Flickr


An adult female Calumma crypticum hanging onto a bunch of fruits. The female lacks the rostral appendage which is found in males.

ImageCalumma crypticum by mitchberk, on Flickr


The parietal lobe, which is indicated by the red arrow in the picture below, is clearly evident in this female Calumma crypticum. When stressed, the chameleon can wave these lobes laterally reminiscent of the flapping ears of an elephant.

ImageCalumma crypticum by mitchberk, on Flickr


This juvenile Calumma oshaughnessyi will be dramatically transformed into an adult.

ImageCalumma oshaughnessyi, juvenile by mitchberk, on Flickr


Adult Calumma oshaughnessyi are quite large, have some large scales mixed in with the smaller ones on its sides. They have a characteristic turquoise strip along its lower jaw. This male demonstrates its dual rostral appendage.

ImageCalumma oshaughnessyi, male by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageCalumma oshaughnessyi, male by mitchberk, on Flickr


A female Calumma oshaughnessyi lacks the rostral appendage of the male and has a green spot on its occipital lobe which makes differentiation of the sexes a snap.

ImageCalumma oshaughnessyi, female by mitchberk, on Flickr


A not very attractive Calumma glawi shedding its skin but it is another chameleon species for the life list.

ImageCalumma glawi by mitchberk, on Flickr


If you want an attractive chameleon than just take a look at this gorgeous female Furcifer balteatus. The diagonal white stripe is a key feature and also makes for one beautiful animal. The male of the species has a paired rostral appendage unlike the female. Unfortunately we did not come across a male.

ImageFurcifer balteatus, female by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageFurcifer balteatus, female by mitchberk, on Flickr


In some individuals the diagonal stripe on the flank is reddish-brown instead of white as shown in this individual.

ImageFurcifer balteatus, female by mitchberk, on Flickr


Male yellow-lipped morph of Calumma parsoni was a magnificent looking chameleon. It was located east of Ranomafana.

ImageCalumma parsoni (yellow-lipped) by mitchberk, on Flickr


You have now seen the large and small chameleons so now its appropriate to demonstrate the really small genus Brookesia. Some how our guide found this Brookesia supercilliaris in the branches of a tree during the morning hours. B. supercilliaris is common in the rainforests of Madagascar. It has a row of later-vertebral spines along its flanks.

ImageBrookesia supercilliaris by mitchberk, on Flickr


Brookesia supercilliaris can also be found on the ground as was this one in the footpath.

ImageBrookesia supercilliaris by mitchberk, on Flickr


Our guide was very pleased to find the much different looking Brookesia nasus along the road. It has a pair of short tubercles projecting from its snout and lacks the latero-vertebral spines of B. supercilliaris along its flanks. Unlike B. supercilliaris it has a relatively limited distribution.

ImageBrookesia nasus by mitchberk, on Flickr


Slinks:

Ranomafana was the only site that we found the little skink Madascinus melanopleura although it has a wide distribution in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar.

ImageMadascinus melanopleura by mitchberk, on Flickr


Snakes:

Oddly enough the two snakes that I photographed were found around the hotel and not in the park. This very nice Madagascarophis colubrinus slithered past my wife and I as we headed to our cottage after dinner.

ImageMadagascarophis colubrinus by mitchberk, on Flickr

The second snake, Typhlops domerguei, was found by Ale of Tropical Herping on the hotel grounds. It is only found in Ranomafana. It was amazing that he spotted it in the night.

ImageTyphlops domerguei by mitchberk, on Flickr


Frogs:


Gephyromantis tschenki

ImageGephyromantis tschenki by mitchberk, on Flickr


Boophis marojezensis

ImageBoophis marojezensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Mantidactylus melanopleura

ImageMantidactylus melanopleura by mitchberk, on Flickr


Frog ID?

ImageFrog ID? by mitchberk, on Flickr


Frog ID?.

ImageFrog ID? by mitchberk, on Flickr


Boophis madagascariensis

ImageBoophis madagascariensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageBoophis madagascariensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Mantidactylus cowanii "small"

ImageMantidactylus cowanii "small" by mitchberk, on Flickr

Mantidactylus cowanii "small"

ImageMantidactylus cowanii "small" by mitchberk, on Flickr


Frog ID??

ImageFrog ID? Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Frog ID?

ImageFrog ID? by mitchberk, on Flickr


Invertebrates:


Grasshopper that does a really good Pinocchio imitation.

ImageGrasshopper, Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Love the stripes on this grasshopper.

ImageGrasshopper, Ranomafana NationalPark by mitchberk, on Flickr


Who knew that a cricket could look so cool.

ImageCricket, Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Preying mantis

ImagePreying mantis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Caterpillar

ImageCaterpillar, Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Caterpillar

ImageCaterpillar, Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Caterpillar

ImageCaterpillar at Ranomafana, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


Butterfly

ImageButterfly at Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Butterfly

ImageButterfly, Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Butterfly

ImageButterfly, Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


The eye of this moth is incredible.

ImageButterfly, Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Butterfly in front of hotel in town of Ranomafana.

ImageButterfly, Ranomafana, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


Butterfly in front of hotel in town of Ranomafana.

ImageButterfly, Ranomafana, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


Butterfly

ImageMoth at Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Insect

ImageInsect at Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Iridescent green beetle

ImageInsect in Ranomafana National Park by mitchberk, on Flickr


Dragonfly in front of hotel in Ranomafana.

ImageDragonfly, Ranomafana, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


Spider on a tightrope of silk munching on a snack.

ImageSpider by mitchberk, on Flickr


What's for dinner? Food is wrapped up for later.

ImageSpider with prey wrapped up by mitchberk, on Flickr


Red-legged golden orb-web spider (Nephilia inaurata)

ImageRed-legged golden orb-web spider (Nephilia inaurata) by mitchberk, on Flickr


This flatworm was alongside the road during a rainy evening. Not colorful but the hammerhead is different.

ImagePlanarium by mitchberk, on Flickr


Vertebrates:

Blue Coua (Coua caerulea)

ImageBlue Coua by mitchberk, on Flickr


Madagascar Red Fody (Foudia madagascariensis)

ImageMadagascar Red Fody (Foudia madagascariensis) by mitchberk, on Flickr


Madagascar Wagtail (Motacilla flaviventris)

ImageMadagascar Wagtail (Motacilla flaviventris) by mitchberk, on Flickr


Ring-tailed Mongoose (Galidia elegans) is much better looking than the small Asian mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) exported to the Caribbean Islands and Hawaii.

ImageRing-tailed Mongoose (Galidia elegans) by mitchberk, on Flickr


Golden Bamboo Lemur (Hapalemur aureus), which was discovered in the 1980's. Its presence was the rationale for establishing Ranomafana National Park in 1991. Let's thank this lemur for preserving this piece of rainforest! As its name suggests it does feed on bamboo.

ImageGolden Bamboo Lemur by mitchberk, on Flickr

Next stop is Ankanin'ny Nofy near the east coast in post Madagascar Part 6.


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 Post subject: Re: Madagascar Part 5: Ranomafana National Park
PostPosted: July 31st, 2017, 8:52 pm 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 9:28 am
Posts: 572
Location: Monterey Peninsula, CA
Uroplatus phantasticus is not only one of the best lizards in the world, but also has one of the best names. And that first one with its tail over its head, amazing!

That first Furcifer balteatus is unbelievable. And that second one is the most circular chameleon I've ever seen. I also really like that weird-looking Brookesia nasus.

Did the guides identify the species as you went along, or did you have to figure them all out yourself afterwards? (And if the guides did ID the species, why are there so many un-ID'ed frogs?)

I think your "cool cricket" is a juvenile katydid -- related, but not exactly a cricket.

John


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