Around Town

In addition to venturing further afield, I’ve been poking around some local areas of late. Living in Townsville puts me close to a variety of interesting biomes, such as the Barrier Reef, the brigalow belt, the wet tropics, and the Mitchell grass downs (not that there’s anything interesting out there).

But sometimes one only needs to look as far as one’s lounge room to see something new and exciting. While sitting on the couch and chatting to a mate recently, I noticed an Asian house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) running around the wall. Being common, I thought nothing of it. But my mate (who apparently doesn’t read my blog) wanted to move it outside, so he grabbed it. I’m glad he did, because it turned out to be a mourning gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris), and reptick 351 for me. I often use the phrase ‘armchair tick’ to denote a reptick that I’ve made without leaving my house. This is generally because a species has been split, and I’ve seen both the old species and the new one. But sitting on the couch and getting a reptick brings new meaning to the phrase!

Mourning gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris)
Mourning gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris)

I’ve also spent a couple of nights driving about an hour out of town to see what I can find. Turns out I can find a few things, including reptick 352, the northern velvet gecko (Oedura castelnaui).

Northern velvet gecko (Oedura castelnaui)
Northern velvet gecko (Oedura castelnaui)

Eastern hooded scaly-foot (Pygopus schraderi)
Eastern hooded scaly-foot (Pygopus schraderi)

Poking around in local backyards has yielded a few interesting creatures, including a skink, a snake and butterfly.

Fine-spotted mulch-skink (Glaphyromorphus punctulatus)
Fine-spotted mulch-skink (Glaphyromorphus punctulatus)

Lesser black whipsnake (Demansia vestigiata)
Lesser black whipsnake (Demansia vestigiata)

Lesser black whipsnake (Demansia vestigiata)
Lesser black whipsnake (Demansia vestigiata)

Lesser black whipsnake (Demansia vestigiata)
Lesser black whipsnake (Demansia vestigiata)

Cairns birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion)
Cairns birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion)

Cairns birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion)
Cairns birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion)

Cairns birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion)
Cairns birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion)

One local I’ve been wanting to see is the stripe-tailed delma, Delma labialis. The closest I’ve come so far is photographing an injured animal that was brought into care by a friend of mine. I’m still on the lookout for a wild (and preferably complete) individual.

Stripe-tailed delma (Delma labialis)
Stripe-tailed delma (Delma labialis)

Stripe-tailed delma (Delma labialis)
Stripe-tailed delma (Delma labialis)

One hardly needs an excuse to head over to the strangely attractive Magnetic Island, but a friend’s birthday celebrations saw me island-bound. The festivities were the main reason I was there, but I couldn’t help but have a poke around for some things. I didn’t find the two main skinks I was chasing (yet another reason to return), but I did get to photograph an unusually coloured Carlia pectoralis.

Carlia pectoralis
Carlia pectoralis

Running total: 352

Repticks:
Lepidodactylus lugubris
Oedura castelnaui

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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4 Responses to Around Town

  1. DAvid King says:

    I enjoyed this Stewart – esp having lived 20 years in T’ville

  2. warren says:

    great blog and pictures, looking forward to reading more. happy 2012

  3. Paul says:

    Great pics as always mate. Take care.