Lamington plateau

The other weekend I went up to the Lamington Plateau with a friend of mine. We were hoping to find a bunch of Coeranoscincus reticulatus (after my extraordinary luck with them last time). Sadly, no coeranoscincids were to be found. But we did see a bunch of other stuff.

Saproscincus rosei
Saproscincus rosei

Saproscincus rosei
Saproscincus rosei

We walked down to a creek/waterfall. We found a feisty Lamington spiny cray (Euastacus sulcatus) moving from a small pool to the main creek.

Lamington spiny cray (Euastacus sulcatus)
Lamington spiny cray (Euastacus sulcatus). We found her as she was moving from this small pool of water to the main creek.

Lamington spiny cray (Euastacus sulcatus)
Close up of her head. That’s a Temnocephalan on her carapace.

Lamington spiny cray (Euastacus sulcatus)
She maintained this threat display the entire way…

Lamington spiny cray (Euastacus sulcatus)
…as she slowly backed towards the creek…

Lamington spiny cray (Euastacus sulcatus)
…over some rocks…

Lamington spiny cray (Euastacus sulcatus)
…and to the safety of the water.

Eulamprus murrayi
Eulamprus murrayi

We hung around at the creek until the Sun started to go down. This seems to be the best time to find Coeranoscincus. We then started walking back up the path, but failed to find any of our target skinks. In fact, we failed to find pretty much anything, until we came across a golden-crowned snake (Cacophis squamulosus) sitting on the path.

Golden-crowned snake (Cacophis squamulosus)
Golden-crowned snake (Cacophis squamulosus)

We made it back to the car, cooked some food, then started driving back home. Along the way we found a Stephens’ banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii), my first for the Lamington Region. We followed him as he moved off the road and into a tree.

Stephens' banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii)
Stephens’ banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii)

Stephens' banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii)

Stephens' banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii)

Stephens' banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii)

Stephens' banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii)
He started to gape at us, so we took the hint and left him alone. In this pic you can see the small fangs at the front of his mouth.

Stephens' banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii)
An angry Stephens’ banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii).

We left the snake alone, and continued on to some large trees either side of the road. This looked like great habitat for southern leaf-tailed geckos (Saltuarius swaini), so we got out to have a poke around. We soon found one. I also got up close and personal with another rainforest inhabitant.

Southern leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius swaini)
Southern leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius swaini)

Southern leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius swaini)

Southern leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius swaini)

Southern leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius swaini)
Southern leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius swaini)

Stinging tree
Stinging tree. They don’t sting, they friggin’ KILL! I was looking for geckos on the large tree in the background. I noticed the stinging tree when I walked up to the tree, but I evidently have the memory of a goldfish because I walked straight into the stinger when I walked away. The guy I was with thought it was very amusing. After about 15 minutes of me hobbling around and muttering obsenities under my breath, the pain started to subside. Apparently I was let off quite easily, because the stings can be quite serious.

As we continued down the mountain, we stopped at some ponds. We heard Litoria revelata calling, but failed to see any of them. Back on the road we found another golden-crowned snake and an eastern small-eyed snake (Cryptophis nigrescens).

About Stewart Macdonald

I'm a wildlife ecologist living and working in Queensland, Australia. I spend most of my time in the bush finding and photographing wildlife.
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5 Responses to Lamington plateau

  1. Ken says:

    I assume clothing protected you from the worst of the stinging tree. Even a brush through clothing gives me an inflamed patch of skin for a few days. Something to be wary of.

  2. Stewart says:

    Hi Ken,

    Yep, my shorts bore the brunt of the attack. I had considered putting on long pants, but decided that I really couldn’t be bothered. I think long pants will definitely be the clothing of choice next time I’m blundering around in the rainforest at night.

    Stewart

  3. Warren says:

    Nice post, Stew. Those blue yabbies don’t seem real. In my books they’re one of the neatest animals around. Thanks for the Temnocephalan link too; I learned something today. I didn’t know there were commensal protozoans (although it makes sense) – all the little critters that seek out living beings seem evil to me (how anthropomorphic can I get!).

    Nice fang shots too. You probably saw my post at http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=22948 – I made a Stewart-style funny. That could be a bad sign but my vitals are still normal.

    Cheers,

    Warren

  4. Lee says:

    Stephens’ and leafies….. I hate you, Uncie Stew. Oh yes I do.

  5. T says:

    You are a highly gifted photographer. I Admire looking at your work allot. Keep it up! :-)