After a conference up at Paluma, two friends and I headed north to try our luck at finding some critters. One friend was from Melbourne/Adelaide, so much of Queensland’s habitats and herpetofauna would be new to him. The other friend is a seasoned traveller around Queensland and Australia, but had previously tended to concentrate on reptiles of the feathered variety. Given that virtually everything we found would be new to the other two, we (=I) planned the trip around species I wanted to see. (Note to prospective travel companions: my wishes tend to come first on my trips.) Our trip would eventually take us up to Cooktown, but the first stop for the night was at Tully Gorge.
Robust whistlefrog (Austrochaperina robusta). Male guarding clutch of eggs. Found at Paluma during the 2011 Australian Society of Herpetologists conference.
Tully Gorge is well-known as the home of many Wet Tropics frogs, and to an apparently large population of scrub pythons. I can certainly vouch for the presence of the frogs, but I’ve only seen one live scrub python there. This trip, however, I did get to see a jungle carpet python (Morelia spilota cheynei). We managed to track down all the frogs we wanted (all of which were new to the other guys), and also caught up with some other conference attendees.