Eungella and Finch Hatton

Driving back from work last month, a colleague and I decided to drop into Eungella National Park, a few hours west of Mackay on the central Queensland coast. Eungella is a mountainous rainforest environment with a number of endemic species. We were after two in particular, a skink (Eulamprus luteilateralis – “the lute”) and a honeyeater. We had some hot info on where to find both of them, so after wending our way up the winding woad we headed straight for our target location (stopping only to look at a couple of dead snakes on the road).

We got out of the car and immediately saw a bunch of small skinks running around the place. Closer inspection revealed them to be Lampropholis adonis. While not one of our targets, this was still a new species for me. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get any decent photos and didn’t want to waste too much time on this BS (=brown skink).

Lampropholis adonis
Lampropholis adonis

We knew that the lute liked to hang out in log piles, so we approached likely areas with caution hoping to see one out in the open. It didn’t take long before we got lucky. We spied this young skink on a mossy log.

Eulamprus luteilateralis
Eulamprus luteilateralis

One down, one to go. We kept walking for a bit, hoping to find a larger, more colourful version of the lute. While we had no success on this front, it didn’t take long before my colleague heard our target bird. We saw it flitting around the branches above our heads and I managed to snap this awesome picture.

Eungella honeyeater (Lichenostomus hindwoodi)
Eungella honeyeater (Lichenostomus hindwoodi) – note the stick that has been deliberately placed in front of the bird’s face for artistic reasons

Two for two, plus one new BS. We were feeling pretty chuffed, but the best chuffing was still to come. As the evening drew on we stumbled across the first and only live snake of our Eungella expedition, a golden-crowned snake (Cacophis squamulosus).

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

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

We were both keen to find the endemic leaf-tail known from up in these mountains, but figured we’d have to save that for another trip as we were short on time. But the herp Gods were smiling on us that day, and we found the gecko on a large tree by the road.

Eungella leaf-tailed gecko (Phyllurus nepthys)
Eungella broad-tailed gecko (Phyllurus nepthys)

Eungella leaf-tailed gecko (Phyllurus nepthys)
Eungella broad-tailed gecko (Phyllurus nepthys)

Eungella leaf-tailed gecko (Phyllurus nepthys)
Eungella broad-tailed gecko (Phyllurus nepthys)

We also spent an hour or so in Finch Hatton Gorge, at the bottom of the mountain range. We wanted to find Carlia rhomboidalis and Eulamprus amplus. There was no shortage of either, but due to time constraints I only managed to get a couple of less than impressive photos. Just another reason to go back at some stage.

Carlia rhomboidalis
Carlia rhomboidalis

Eulamprus amplus
Eulamprus amplus

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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3 Responses to Eungella and Finch Hatton

  1. Warren says:

    1. Nice profile of the golden-crowned.
    2. Nice profile of the broad-tailed. This is what I was talking about – getting away from the 45 degree angle field-guide shot.
    3. As for brown skinks, here in Canada we’re surrounded by BS with nary a lizard to be seen! Very peculiar.
    4. There is no four; I’m just on a roll and I can’t stop.

  2. neil says:

    Fantastic photos of some intersting herps :)

  3. Pingback: The Eungella Honeyeater Survey Begins | Before it's gone...