Sunday, 28 September 2014

What reptiles and amphibians?

 It's been a quiet weekend yet again. I am starting to doubt my ability to find critters to photograph these days. Hopefully it's just me and a bit of bad timing because I would hate to think that animal numbers are declining to the point where even the more commonly recorded species are difficult to locate even in relatively undisturbed areas. I spent a few hours in a heath section of a National Park well inland from the coast where in previous years I have photographed quite a few different reptiles and amphibians. The conditions were good, rainfall the night before and warm sunny skies with some cloud cover but it was strangely devoid of life except for the odd bird here and there. Does anyone remember when you couldn't walk along a bush track without disturbing numerous skinks and small dragons which would scuttle away making a racket in the leaf litter. Not sure exactly what's happening now but those days seem to be long gone. Is it just me? I don't know, I certainly hope it is.

 This spent Banksia cone caught my eye.

And these carnivorous plants were common in the moist sandy soil especially in areas where surface water collected in shallow pools.

 On the way home I stopped in at the Maddock wetlands a man made wetland area just off the main road near the Ewen Maddock Catchment. This small Yellow faced Whip snake was the only reptile recorded in an area that was once home to numerous critters ranging from small Carlia skinks up to Lacies and the odd large Elapid and Carpet Python. This little fella was no more than about thirty centimetres in length and just about to slough.

 The waterway itself was completely stuffed with huge areas of dead and dying vegetation and vast pools of putrid water and dry connecting creek beds despite the recent substantial rain events of the past six weeks or so. It was quite a disturbing sight considering how good it had looked the last time I visited a few years back.

 Enough of the doom and gloom. I think I'll finish off tonight by posting a few photographs of some of the feathered critters that regularly visit my home.

A stunning Dusky Honeyeater.

 These Lewin's Honeyeaters are one of the most common birds we record here.

 A male Scarlet Honeyeater - awesome check out that tongue.

 We have a small bird bath positioned in a protected corner of our house yard and many bird visitors use the bathing facilities every day especially in the dryer spells. A female Grey Shrike Thrush.

 And her partner.

 A male and a female Scarlet Honeyeater who were happy to get a drink despite the fact that I had been slack and forgot to top it up.

Sorry for the lack of reptile or amphibian photos I will do my best to rectify the situation next weekend.

Cheers thanks for visiting again, hope you enjoyed your stay.


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Still waiting for it to warm up

 This weekend was a right off. Laid up at home with minor health issues but as it turned out  the weather wasn't that flash either so the timing couldn't have been better.
I am planning a weekend away in the next few weeks so hopefully I will be able to report some interesting finds including some of the critters that I need photos of to finish the project.
Worst case scenario at least I should have some fresh reptile and amphibian photos to post.
Once again just to keep some continuity up to the blog I am attaching a couple of reptile photographs from the past year or so, hope you enjoy them.
I will also add another list at the end, this time of the remaining frog calls that I need to record to add to interactive computer program which will complement the book when it comes out.
This Carpet Python was photographed in my backyard a while back.
An unusually coloured Common Tree Snake with a heap of brown mixed in with the more common green colouration.
 A specky juvenile Eastern Brown Snake - beautiful animal.
Major Skink, one of my favourites again.
A gravid Jacky Dragon.

A local Murray's Skink another spectacular animal.

A Southern Leaf-tailed Gecko. A forest dwelling master of camouflage.
And finally a local Southern Angle-headed Dragon, another spectacular resident
of our sub tropical rainforests.
To finish off just another boring list of frog calls that I hope to record this spring.
Green-striped Frog (Litoria albogutta)
Green-thighed Frog (Litoria brevipalmata)
Superb Collared Frog (Litoria brevipes)
Southern Orange-eyed Tree Frog (Litoria chloris)
Cooloola Sedge Frog (Litoria cooloolensis)
Bleating Tree Frog (Litoria dentata)
Whirring Tree Frog (Litoria revelata)
Rough Collared Frog (Litoria verrucosa)
Stoney Creek Frog (Litoria wilcoxi)
Black-soled Frog (Lechriodus fletcheri)

Eastern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii)

Barking Frog (limnodynastes fletcheri)

Salmon-striped Frog (Limnodynastes salmini)

Spotted Marsh Frog (Lymnodynastes tasmaniensis)

Scarlet-sided Pobblebonk (Limnodynastes terraereginae)

Painted Burrowing Frog (Neobatrachus sudellae)

Ornate Burrowing Frog (Platyplectrum ornatum)

Red and Yellow Mountain Frog (Philoria kundagungan)

Loveridge's Frog (Philoria loveridgei)

Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayii)

Red-backed Brood Frog (Pseudophryne coriaces)

Great Brown Broodfrog (Pseudophryne major)

Eastern Gungan (Uperoleia laevigata)

Chubby Gungan (Uperoleia rugosa)

Once again, thanks for joining me. Cheers and I'll talk to you soon.
Mike Donovan.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A lazy Sunday morning recharging in nature

I stuck to the coast today and although I don't have too many animal photographs to show for my time it was a great day weather wise and the activity of the wildlife was encouraging compared with the results of the past few weeks. As well as the Copper-tailed skink and the Frilled Lizard there were numerous Elegant Snake-eyed skinks active and a largish though relatively shy Lace Monitor which stayed well concealed in the undergrowth making a decent photo impossible.
The Copper-tailed Skink. A beautiful and quite inquisitive critter who made his presence known by rustling around the dry leaf litter hunting for bugs.
A bit of an aussie icon as far as reptiles go, the Frilled Lizard. he was already half way up the tree when I spotted him so the photo has been severely cropped by the zoom and isn't the best. All the same it is great to see these guys again as for a while they were extremely rare in the South East.
Once again to fill in the post and make it worth reading I have attached a few photographs of other critters taken in the region
A Martin's Skink, looking a little intrigued as to what I was up to.
Carpet Python, one of the most commonly recorded snakes in South East Queensland.
One of my favourite frogs the Giant Barred Frog, and a stunning specimen at that.
A Spotted Black Snake found only in the far western and south western limits of the region.

Cheers, talk to you in week or so.


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Please give wildlife a fair go!

Springtime is a vibrant wonderful time of the year. Frogs become active just before, during and after rain with males competing against one another to see who can create the loudest din and male reptiles in particular are on the move looking for a mate. Unfortunately all that activity brings them into contact with people more often than normal and in a lot of cases the  reptiles especially, come off second best from these encounters. In the past four days I have seen one large Bluetongue, one Carpet Python, one Common Tree Snake, two other un-identifiable snakes (un-identifiable because they were mashed into the road) and one large Eastern Water Dragon dead on the roads within a few kilometres of my home. I know that a lot of the time it's very difficult, even impossible to avoid hitting an animal with your vehicle but I also know that there are quite a few arseholes out there who either deliberately run down or make no effort to avoid wildlife especially snakes. If you are one of them please accept this gift of my middle finger, to everyone else keep up the good work and please do your best to avoid wildlife on our roads especially over the next few months.
I took an early morning walk this morning and once again the reptiles were few and far between. This little Elegant Snake-eyed Skink was quite obliging though.
This one was a bit more wary but check out the colouration on his legs. Very light for this species.

In the past few weeks I have been fiddling around with textures in my photography and also trying to make a scene out of quite a small patch of ground. Below is a few examples from this morning. I actually have an idea to use these types of photos for something and once I get my book website up and running I will explain that in more detail. I'll post a link soon.

That was it for reptiles and amphibians today although I did see many birds and managed to photograph a few although not all that well. Considering this is a blog about reptiles and amphibians I guess I had better throw in a couple of photos of them otherwise you won't bother visiting in the future. Below is a large Robust Blind Snake photographed earlier this year. As far as Blind Snakes go it was particularly easy to photograph.

A Bandy Bandy, one of my all time favourite Elapids.

The ubiquitous Cane Toad. These guys don't have too many friends and rightly so I guess but you can not deny that they are an amazing looking animal. Check out that eye.

An unusually coloured and patterned Eastern Sedge Frog.

A cheeky Eastern Water Skink.

A Stunning Spotted Python.

A Keelback, one of the few animals capable of consuming the Cane Toad with few to no ill effects.
You can clearly see where they get their common name in this photograph.

A Leaden Delma photographed in the dunes of a South East Queensland beach.

And finally a Yellow Spotted Monitor, spotted peering out from behind a tree.

Hopefully that's enough pics to keep you guys interested until I can find a few more critters to photograph. As I said in an earlier post I have about twenty five animals that I haven't been able to locate to date that I need to photograph in order to complete the book. Some of them will probably be quite commonly recorded by some of you depending upon where you are, but for me they have so far proven elusive. Hopefully in the next few months I can tick a few of these off and bring them to you here on my blog. The animals in question are:


RED-EARED SLIDER (Trachemys scripta elegans)

OLIVE DELMA (Delma inornata)

COLLARED DELMA (Delma torquata)

FIVE-CLAWED WORM SKINK (Anomolopus mackayii)

ARCANE CTENOTUS (Ctenotus arcanus)


TRYON'S SKINK (Eulamprus tryoni) This genus name has changed TBA

EASTERN MULCH SLIDER (Lerista fragilis)

YOLK BELLIED SNAKE-SKINK  (Ophioscincus ophioscincus)

CONDAMINE EARLESS DRAGON (Tympanocryptis condaminensis)

PROXIMUS BLIND SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops proximus)

COOLOOLA BLIND SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops silvia)

BROWN-SNOUTED BLIND SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops wiedii)

GREY SNAKE (Hemiaspis damelii)

DUNMALL'S SNAKE (Furina dunmalli)

SUPERB COLLARED FROG (Litoria brevipes)

COOLOOLA SEDGE FROG (litoria cooloolensis)

WHIRRING TREE FROG (Litoria revelata)

EASTERN BANJO FROG (Limnodynastes dumerilii)

RED AND YELLOW MOUNTAIN FROG (Philoria kundagungan)

LOVERIDGE'S FROG (Philoria loveridgei)

FLEAY'S BARRED FROG (Mixophyes fleayi)

RED-BACKED BROOD FROG (Pseudophryne coriacea)

EASTERN GUNGAN (Uperoleia laevigata)

Once again thanks for reading and if you have any questions or anything to add please don't hesitate to ask or to do so.






Thursday, 11 September 2014

A quiet week

Tusked frog
I spent most of last week out and about looking for critters and using up the last of my free time (during the week) before starting full time work again this week. Unfortunately the weather wasn't on my side with very cold nights by Sunshine Coast standards for this time of the year and windy cool days. Apart from a few small skinks and the odd frog it was very quite on the photography front. I did manage to get a few habitat shots which is something that I usually forget to do when there are more interesting subjects to photograph so it certainly wasn't wasted time. In fact I think it's physically impossible to waste time when you are out enjoying nature.
Diamond-shielded Sunskink


 Below is a list of the one hundred and sixty seven species of reptiles and amphibians that I believe currently exist within the boundaries of South East Queensland not including the marine species as discussed earlier. The area as I have defined it is bounded by the Sunshine Coast region in the north, the Gold Coast region in the south and all of the coast and islands in between. The scenic rim region is the southern border, and the Lockyer, Toowoomba and Somerset regions form the western border.

I would really appreciate some feedback as to the authenticity of my list i.e. do you think I have missed any that should have been included? Do you think that I have included animals that should not be on the list? Any comments would be most welcome and appreciated.

The list is as follows:



EASTERN LONG-NECKED TURTLE (Chelodina longicollis)

BROAD-SHELLED TURTLE (Macrochelodina expansa)


MARY RIVER TURTLE (Elusor macrurus)

KREFFT’S TURTLE (Emydura macquarii krefftii)

MACQUARIE TURTLE (Emydura macquarii macquarii)

SOUTHERN SAW-SHELLED TURTLE (Wollumbinia latisternum)


RED-EARED SLIDER (Trachemys scripta elegans)






CLOUDED GECKO (Amalosia jacovae)

EASTERN STONE GECKO (Diplodactylus vittatus)

ROBUST VELVET GECKO (Nebulifera robusta)



DUBIOUS DTELLA (Gehyra dubia)

ASIAN HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus frenatus)

BYNOE’S GECKO (Heteronotia binoei)



OLIVE DELMA (Delma inornata)

LEADEN DELMA (Delma plebeia)

EXCITABLE DELMA (Delma tincta)

COLLARED DELMA (Delma torquata)

BURTONS SNAKE-LIZARD (Lialis burtonis)

COMMON SCALY-FOOT (Pygopus lepidopodus)



TWO-CLAWED WORM SKINK (Anomalopus leuckartii)

FIVE-CLAWED WORM SKINK (Anomalopus mackayi)

VERREAUX’S SKINK (Anomalopus verreauxii)

MAJOR SKINK (Bellatorias frerei)

LAND MULLET (Bellatorias major)

CONE-EARED CALYPTOTIS (Calyptotis lepidorostrum)

SCUTE-SNOUTED CALYPTOTIS (Calyptotis scutirostrum)


OPEN-LITTER RAINBOW SKINK (Carlia pectoralis pectoralis)

ROBUST RAINBOW SKINK (Carlia schmeltzii)

SOUTHERN RAINBOW SKINK (Carlia tetradactyla)


THREE-TOED SNAKE-TOOTHED SKINK (Coeranoscincus reticulatus)

MARTIN’S SKINK (Concinnia martini)

BARRED-SIDED SKINK (Concinnia tenuis)

ELEGANT SNAKE-EYED SKINK (Cryptoblepharus pulcher pulcher)

ARCANE CTENOTUS (Ctenotus arcanus)


EASTERN STRIPED SKINK (Ctenotus robustus)

COPPER-TAILED SKINK (Ctenotus taeniolatus)

PINK-TONGUED SKINK (Cyclodomorphus gerrardii)

CUNNINGHAM’S SKINK (Egernia cunninghami)


TREE SKINK (Egernia striolata)

BROAD-BANDED SAND-SWIMMER (Eremiascincus richardsonii)

ELF SKINK (Eroticoscincus graciloides)

MURRAY’S SKINK (Eulamprus murrayi)

EASTERN WATER SKINK (Eulamprus quoyii)

TRYON’S SKINK (Eulamprus tryoni)

RAINFOREST COOL-SKINK (Harrisoniascincus zia)


FRIENDLY SUNSKINK (Lampropholis amicula)

PLAIN-BACKED SUNSKINK (Lampropholis couperi)

GARDEN SKINK (Lampropholis delicata)

GRASS SKINK (Lampropholis guichenoti)

EASTERN MULCH-SLIDER (Lerista fragilis)

TIMID SLIDER (Lerista timida)


WHITE’S SKINK (Liopholis whitii)

TREE BASE LITTER SKINK (Lygisaurus foliorum)


EASTERN FIRE-TAILED SKINK(Morethia taeniopleura)

YOLK-BELLIED SNAKE-SKINK (Ophioscincus ophioscincus)

 SHORT-LIMBED SNAKE-SKINK (Ophioscincus truncates)

THREE-TOED SKINK (Saiphos equalis)

ORANGE-TAILED SHADE SKINK (Saproscincus challengeri)

 ROSE’S SHADE SKINK (Saproscincus rosei)

PALE-LIPPED SHADE SKINK (Saproscincus spectabilis)

EASTERN BLUE-TONGUE SKINK (Tiliqua scincoides)



JACKY DRAGON (Amphibolurus muricatus)

FRILLED LIZARD (Chlamydosaurus kingii)

TOMMY ROUNDHEAD (Diporiphora australis)

 NOBBI DRAGON (Diporiphora nobbi)


OR RAINFOREST DRAGON (Hypsilurus spinipes)

EASTERN WATER DRAGON (Intellagama lesueurii)


EYREAN EARLESS DRAGON (Tympanocryptis tetraporophora)



SAND MONITOR (Varanus gouldii)


LACE MONITOR (Varanus varius)




SMALL-HEADED BLIND SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops affinis)

FLOWERPOT SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops braminus)

ROBUST BLIND SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops ligatus)

BLACKISH BLIND SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops nigrescens)

PROXIMUS BLIND SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops proximus)

COOLOOLA BLIND SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops silvia)

BROWN-SNOUTED BLIND SNAKE (Ramphotyphlops wiedii)



SPOTTED PYTHON (Antaresia maculosa)

CARPET PYTON (Morelia spilota mcdowelli)



BROWN TREE SNAKE (Boiga irregularis)

COMMON TREE SNAKE (Dendrelaphis punctulata)




COMMON DEATH ADDER (Acanthophis antarcticus)

AUSTRALIAN CORAL SNAKE (Brachyurophis australis)

WHITE-CROWNED SNAKE (Cacophis harriettae)

DWARF CROWNED SNAKE (Cacophis kreffti)

GOLDEN-CROWNED SNAKE (Cacophis squamulosus)

CARPENTARIA SNAKE (Cryptophis boschmai)

EASTERN SMALL-EYED SNAKE (Cryptophis nigrescens)
YELLOW-FACED WHIP SNAKE (Demansia psammophis psammophis)
LESSER BLACK WHIP SNAKE (Demansia vestigiata)

RED-NAPED SNAKE (Furina diadema)

GREY SNAKE (Hemiaspis damelii)

DUNMALL’S SNAKE (Furina dunmalli)

MARSH SNAKE (Hemiaspis signata)

STEPHENS’ BANDED SNAKE (Hoplocephalus stephensii)

PALE-HEADED SNAKE (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)

EASTERN TIGER SNAKE (Notechis scutatus)

COASTAL TAIPAN (Oxyuranus scutellatus)

DWYER’S SNAKE (Parasuta dwyeri)

SPOTTED BLACK SNAKE (Pseudechis guttatus)

RED-BELLIED BLACK SNAKE (Pseudechis porphyriacus)

EASTERN BROWN SNAKE (Pseudonaja textilis)

CURL SNAKE (Suta suta)


ROUGH-SCALED SNAKE (Tropidechis carinatus)


BANDY BANDY (Vermicella annulata)



CANE TOAD (Rhinella marina)


GREEN-STRIPED FROG (Litoria alboguttata)

GREEN-THIGHED FROG (Litoria brevipalmata)

SUPERB COLLARED FROG (Litoria brevipes)

GREEN TREE FROG (Litoria caerulea)


COOLOOLA SEDGE FROG (Litoria cooloolensis)

BLEATING TREE FROG ( Litoria dentata)

EASTERN SEDGE FROG (Litoria fallax)

WALLUM ROCKET FROG (Litoria freycineti)

GRACEFUL TREE FROG (Litoria gracilenta)

BROAD-PALMED FROG (Litoria latopalmata)

STRIPED ROCKET FROG (Litoria nasuta)

WALLUM SEDGE FROG (Litoria olongburensis)

CASCADE TREE FROG (Litoria pearsoniana)


WHIRRING TREE FROG (Litoria revelata)

NAKED TREE FROG (Litoria rubella)


WHISTLING TREE FROG (Litoria verreauxii verreauxii)

ROUGH COLLARED FROG (Litoria verrucosa)

STONEY CREEK FROG (Litoria wilcoxi)


TUSKED FROG (Adelotus brevis)

BLACK-SOLED FROG (Lechriodus fletcheri)

EASTERN BANJO FROG (Limnodynastes dumerilii)

BARKING FROG (Limnodynastes fletcheri)

STRIPED MARSH FROG (Limnodynastes peroni)

SALMON-STRIPED FROG (Limnodynastes salmini)

SPOTTED MARSH FROG (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis)

SCARLET-SIDED POBBLEBONK (Limnodynastes terraereginae)

PAINTED BURROWING FROG (Neobatrachus sudellae)

ORNATE BURROWING FROG (Platyplectrum ornatum)

RED AND YELLOW MOUNTAIN FROG (Philoria kundagungan)

LOVERIDGE’S FROG (Philoria loveridgei)


POUCHED FROG (Assa darlingtoni)

BEEPING FROGLET (Crinia parinsignifera)

CLICKING FROGLET (Crinia signifera)

WALLUM FROGLET (Crinia tinnula)

GREAT BARRED FROG (Mixophyes fasciolatus)

FLEAY’S BARRED FROG (Mixophyes fleayi)

GIANT BARRED FROG (Mixophyes iteratus)

RED-BACKED BROODFROG (Pseudophryne coriacea)

GREAT BROWN BROODFROG (Pseudophryne major)

COPPER-BACKED BROOD FROG (Pseudophryne raveni)

DUSKY GUNGAN (Uperoleia fusca)

EASTERN GUNGAN (Uperoleia laevigata)

CHUBBY GUNGAN (Uperoleia rugosa)


 That's my list, what do you reckon?