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 Post subject: Madagascar Part 6: Ankanin'ny Nofy
PostPosted: July 25th, 2017, 8:10 am 
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Joined: June 25th, 2014, 10:34 am
Posts: 62
Location: Huntington, West Virginia
Before I discuss Ankanin'ny Nofy I will show you some scenery and some lizards we came across at stops while driving between Ranomafana and Antsirabe.


The Malagasy have removed much of their forests for agriculture and charcoal production. The valleys are converted into rice fields.

ImageMAD_9057 by mitchberk, on Flickr

The hills are terraced for planting as seen on the right side of the photo.
ImageRural Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr

We made a stop at this rocky, hilly region along the road. The vehicle in the photo is a taxi-brousse loaded with passengers and their belongings.

ImageMAD_9102 by mitchberk, on Flickr

This chameleon was identified as Furcifer minor by our guides. It is a male as denoted by the pair of rostral appendages.

ImageFurcifer minor by mitchberk, on Flickr


The female Furcifer minor lacks the rostral appendages of the male.

ImageFurcifer minor, female by mitchberk, on Flickr


Trachylepis vato was readily found posing upon the rocks.

ImageTrachylepis vato by mitchberk, on Flickr

Another stop was at this small patch of woods on the left side of the highway. As you can see in the picture the Malagasy people have a labor intensive way of life.

ImageUntitled by mitchberk, on Flickr


The female Furcifer lateralis can most aptly be described as drop dead gorgeous.

ImageFurcifer lateralis by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageFurcifer lateralis by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageFurcifer lateralis by mitchberk, on Flickr


This Calumma nasutum has a uniquely blue colored rostral appendage and some patches of blue scales on the dorsum of its head.

ImageCalumma nasutum by mitchberk, on Flickr


Male Calumma brevicorne have a rostral appendage which is not found in the female.

ImageCalumma brevicorne, male by mitchberk, on Flickr


Ptychadena mascareniensis

ImagePtychadena mascareniensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Frog species? Maybe Heterixalus sp.?

ImageFrog ID? by mitchberk, on Flickr


We had lunch al fresco at an excellent hotel restaurant in Antsirabe. But I could not just sit there when possible new herps could be lurking in the vegetation of the garden or around the hotel. My searching paid off handsomely with two new species of native geckos under my belt.

Phelsuma quadriocellata quadriocellata with its black spot surrounded by a rim of blue just caudal to the forelimbs. A second black spot is just rostral to the hindlimb but obscured in this photo.

ImagePhelsuma quadriocellata quadriocellata by mitchberk, on Flickr


Lygodactylus pictus found the rock walls and foundation of the cottages to its liking.

ImageLygodactylus pictus by mitchberk, on Flickr


Preying mantis

ImagePreying Mantis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Dragonfly

ImageDragonfly by mitchberk, on Flickr


Now off to Ankanin'ny Nofy, which is located on the Pangalanes Canal just inland to the east coast of Madagascar. Our hotel can only be reached by boat.

ImageUntitled by mitchberk, on Flickr


It took two hours to travel by our motor boat to the hotel but a dugout canoe would have taken much, much longer.

ImageDugout canoe in Pangalane Canal by mitchberk, on Flickr

The chameleon du jour at Ankanin'ny Nofy is Furcifer pardalis, which is one of the largest and most colorful chameleons.

ImageFurcifer pardalis by mitchberk, on Flickr

Furcifer pardalis

ImageFurcifer pardalis, male by mitchberk, on Flickr


Furcifer pardalis, male

ImageFurcifer pardalis, male by mitchberk, on Flickr


Furcifer pardalis, male

ImageFurcifer pardalis, male by mitchberk, on Flickr


Female Furcifer pardalis are not as colorful as the males.

ImageFurcifer pardalis, female by mitchberk, on Flickr


Juvenile Furcifer pardalis

ImageFurcifer pardalis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Enough with the chameleons!

Geckos:


Here is a different species of day gecko, Phelsuma laticauda on the wall of the restaurant. Love the blue ring around the eye.

ImagePhelsuma laticauda by mitchberk, on Flickr


Keep those eyes moist Phelsuma laticauda!

ImagePhelsuma laticauda at Hotel Palmarium by mitchberk, on Flickr


Phelsuma laticauda

ImagePhelsuma laticauda by mitchberk, on Flickr


The large day gecko, Phelsuma madagascariensis in the garden.

ImagePhelsuma madagascariensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


A gravid Lygodactylus miops photographed during a night walk.

ImageLygodactylus miops at Ankanin'ny Nofy, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


Ebenavia inunguis found during a night walk.

ImageEbenavia inunguis at Ankanin'ny Nofy, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


The fish-scale gecko Geckolepis maculata on the ceiling of our bungalow. This is another example of the genus Geckolepis that can shed its scales in response to danger. Tail breakage is a good escape mechanism but leaving scales in the predator's jaws while the prey scurries away from danger is not bad either. Geckolepis has both defense mechanisms. This individual has a regenerated tail.

ImageGeckolepis maculata by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageGeckolepis maculata by mitchberk, on Flickr


Iguanids:

A population of spiny-tail Oplurus cuvieri were located along a stretch of beach and in the garden area.

ImageOplurus cuvieri by mitchberk, on Flickr


Oplurus cuvieri can be differentiated from the similar appearing Oplurus cyclurus by the presence on the tail of a ring of small scales intercalated between rings of large spiny scales. Only large spiny scales are found on the tail of Oplurus cyclurus.


ImageOplurus cuvieri tail by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageOplurus cuvieri by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageOplurus cuvieri by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageOplurus cuvieri by mitchberk, on Flickr

Snakes:

Stenophis arctifasciatus

ImageStenophis arctifasciatus by mitchberk, on Flickr


Madagascarophis colubrinus

ImageMadagascarophis colubrinus by mitchberk, on Flickr


Acrantophis madagascariensis

ImageAcrantophis madagascariensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Much to my utter delight , this female Langaha madagascariensis was found on the hotel property by Torsten of Tanala Horizon tour company . Unbelievable find! The female has a spiny rostral appendage whereas the male has a spear-like rostral appendage. Male snake next trip?

ImageLangaha madagascariensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageLangaha madagascariensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageLangaha madagascariensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Leioheterodon madagascariensis

ImageLeioheterodon madagascariensis by mitchberk, on Flickr

Lucas Bustamante of Tropical Herping holding Leioheterodon madagascariensis.

ImageLeioheterodon madagascariensis by mitchberk, on Flickr


Turtle:

Radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) are kept captive on the hotel grounds. It would have been wonderful to have seen them in the wild. The pet trade and Malagasy desire for dinner makes that highly unlikely.

ImageRadiated tortoise by mitchberk, on Flickr


Frogs:

Heterixalus punctatus

ImageHeterixalus punctatus by mitchberk, on Flickr


Heterixalus betsileo

ImageHeterixalus betsileo by mitchberk, on Flickr


Guibemantis species?

ImageGuibemantis species? by mitchberk, on Flickr



Lemurs: Ankanin'ny Nofy has many species of free ranging lemurs habituated to humans.


Black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) was my favorite lemur species because of its antics. What a bunch of characters.

ImageBlack and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageBlack and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) by mitchberk, on Flickr


Black and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) howling. What a sound!

ImageBlack and white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageBlack and white ruffed lemur by mitchberk, on Flickr


Common Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus)

ImageCommon Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus) by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageCommon Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus) by mitchberk, on Flickr


Red-bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer), female

ImageRed-bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer), female by mitchberk, on Flickr


The male Red-bellied Lemur (Eulemur rubriventer) has a white tear-drop patch of fur ventromedial to its eye.

ImageRed-bellied Lemur, male (Eulemur rubriventer) by mitchberk, on Flickr


Cockerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli)

ImageCockerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageCockerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageCockerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) by mitchberk, on Flickr


Crowned lemur (Eulemur coronatus)

ImageCrowned lemur (Eulemur coronatus) by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageCrowned lemur (Eulemur coronatus) by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageCrowned lemur (Eulemur coronatus) by mitchberk, on Flickr


Indri

ImageIndri indri by mitchberk, on Flickr


Indri

ImageIndri indri by mitchberk, on Flickr


Black Lemur (Eulemur macaco), female. The color of the black lemur is certainly sexually dimorphic!

ImageBlack Lemur (Eulemur macaco), female by mitchberk, on Flickr


This lemur hybrid has gorgeous fur color.

ImageLemur hybrid by mitchberk, on Flickr


ImageHybrid lemur by mitchberk, on Flickr


Hands down the ugliest and most unusual lemur is awarded to the aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis). These fellows are very shy and nocturnal and are secluded on an island. It looks like something from a Star Wars movie.

ImageAye-aye by mitchberk, on Flickr



Invertebrates:


Cyligramma disturbans moth

ImageCyligramma disturbans moth by mitchberk, on Flickr


Pair of moths (species?) making love.

ImageMoths mating at at Ankanin'ny Nofy, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


Butterfly (species?)

ImageButterfly at Ankanin'ny Nofy, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr

Butterfly (species?)

ImageButterfly by mitchberk, on Flickr


Dragonfly (species?)

ImageDragonfly by mitchberk, on Flickr


Spider

ImageSpider at Ankanin'ny Nofy, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


Large snail

ImageSnail at Ankanin'ny Nofy, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


Bluish-colored mushroom

ImageBlue mushroom by mitchberk, on Flickr


Vibrant red-colored mushroom

ImageMushroom by mitchberk, on Flickr


Sunset over the lake.

ImageSunset, Ankanin'ny Nofy, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr

Time to head back out on the Pangalanes Canal to go to our next stop, Andasibe National Park. We used the boat and not the dugout canoe.

ImageDugout canoe at Ankanin'ny Nofy, Madagascar by mitchberk, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Madagascar Part 6: Ankanin'ny Nofy
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 5:25 am 
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Joined: June 16th, 2010, 7:09 am
Posts: 634
Location: Santa Cruz Co. California
Absolutely amazing series. Great photos and mind-blowing that you were able to ID everything. Thank you for the posts!


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 Post subject: Re: Madagascar Part 6: Ankanin'ny Nofy
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 7:25 am 
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Joined: November 10th, 2013, 12:14 pm
Posts: 93
Location: Pacific Northwest (Oregon) U.S.
Simply amazing post, Mitch! Not only did you see some spectacular animals, but your photography is outstanding. Seeing a Langaha in the wild is really a treat! I really enjoyed all your lemur photos, especially the sifakas, but photographing an Aye-aye in the wild is just mind blowing. And you saw a really nice representation of snakes as well (by the way, I'm guessing you meant to list Acrantophis madagascariensis, and not Sanzinia madagascariensis). Thanks for bringing back some great memories!
-Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Madagascar Part 6: Ankanin'ny Nofy
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 12:11 pm 
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Joined: June 25th, 2014, 10:34 am
Posts: 62
Location: Huntington, West Virginia
Paul,

Thanks much for the compliments. I put in so many hours shooting and reviewing my photos that it is nice to know that they are appreciated.

I checked out the pictures of the boa and I agree with you that it is Acrantophis maadagascariensis. Hey, that makes one more species to add to my trip list!


Paul Freed wrote:
Simply amazing post, Mitch! Not only did you see some spectacular animals, but your photography is outstanding. Seeing a Langaha in the wild is really a treat! I really enjoyed all your lemur photos, especially the sifakas, but photographing an Aye-aye in the wild is just mind blowing. And you saw a really nice representation of snakes as well (by the way,
Quote:
I'm guessing you meant to list Acrantophis madagascariensis, and not Sanzinia madagascariensis).
Thanks for bringing back some great memories!
-Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Madagascar Part 6: Ankanin'ny Nofy
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 9:08 am 
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Joined: November 10th, 2013, 12:14 pm
Posts: 93
Location: Pacific Northwest (Oregon) U.S.
Mitch,
You can also add another species of mammal to your list, the first and second photos of the 'Black Lemur', are actually an Indri (the third photo of the female is a Black Lemur).
-Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Madagascar Part 6: Ankanin'ny Nofy
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 11:26 am 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
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Location: San Francisco, California
What a Beautiful Treat thank you for sharing, I enjoyed the prosimians as much as the herps.

Sifakas trip me out.


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 Post subject: Re: Madagascar Part 6: Ankanin'ny Nofy
PostPosted: July 31st, 2017, 4:51 am 
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Joined: June 25th, 2014, 10:34 am
Posts: 62
Location: Huntington, West Virginia
Paul Freed wrote:
Mitch,
You can also add another species of mammal to your list, the first and second photos of the 'Black Lemur', are actually an Indri (the third photo of the female is a Black Lemur).
-Paul



Paul,

You are correct once again. The black lemur with some whitish regions are Indri.


Here are some different Indri pictures taken at Andasibe and a male black lemur for comparison.

ImageIndri indri by mitchberk, on Flickr

ImageIndri indri by mitchberk, on Flickr

Here is a definitive male black lemur
ImageBlack Lemur (Eulemur macaco), male by mitchberk, on Flickr

Thanks for your good eye. I have corrected the photo labeling.
Mitch


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 Post subject: Re: Madagascar Part 6: Ankanin'ny Nofy
PostPosted: July 31st, 2017, 8:58 pm 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 9:28 am
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Location: Monterey Peninsula, CA
Wow, Stenophis, Langaha, and an Aye-aye all in the same area! Just fantastic. Was the Aye-aye lured to a particular location with food, or did you just happen to see one?

John


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