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The herpetofauna of Timor-Leste: a first report

Kaiser, Hinrich, Carvalho, Venancio L., Ceballos, Jester, Freed, Paul, Heacox, Scott, Lester, Barbara, Richards, Stephen J., Trainor, Colin R., Sanchez, Caitlin and O’Shea, Mark (2011). The herpetofauna of Timor-Leste: a first report. ZooKeys,109:19-86.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title The herpetofauna of Timor-Leste: a first report
Author Kaiser, Hinrich
Carvalho, Venancio L.
Ceballos, Jester
Freed, Paul
Heacox, Scott
Lester, Barbara
Richards, Stephen J.
Trainor, Colin R.
Sanchez, Caitlin
O’Shea, Mark
Journal Name ZooKeys
Publication Date 2011
Volume Number 109
ISSN 1313-2989   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-79960042328
Start Page 19
End Page 86
Total Pages 68
Place of Publication Bulgaria
Publisher Pensoft Publishers
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Fieldwork conducted throughout Timor-Leste in September 2004 and July 2009 resulted in a collection or recording of 263 herpetological specimens (100 amphibians, 163 reptiles), comprising at least seven species of frogs and toads, 20 species of lizards, seven species of snakes, two species of turtles, and one species of crocodile. Among the amphibians, the most frequently encountered species were toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), rice paddy frogs (genus Fejervarya), and rhacophorid treefrogs (Polypedates cf. leucomystax). All three variants of rice paddy frogs encountered represent undescribed species similar to Fejervarya verruculosa from neighboring Wetar Island. Records of Fejervarya cancrivora and Fejervarya limnocharis for Timor Island are apparently errors based on misidentification. We obtained voucher specimens for a total of 147 lizards and voucher photographs only for four specimens of Varanus timorensis. Aside from geckos frequently associated with human habitations (e.g., Gehyra mutilata, Gekko gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus, Hemidactylus platyurus), we discovered an as yet undescribed species of bent-toed gecko, genus Cyrtodactylus, in the Same valley. Our specimens of Hemidactylus platyurus are the first record of this species from Timor-Leste. Commonly encountered skinks included four-fingered skinks (genus Carlia), wedge skinks (genus Sphenomorphus), and night skinks (genus Eremiascincus). Notable among the 15 snakes collected was the frequency of pitvipers (Cryptelytrops insularis), which amounted to over 25% of all snakes. Our specimen of the wolfsnake Lycodon subcinctus is the first record of this species for Timor-Leste. Based on these findings, it appears that the biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles in this remote corner of Wallacea is much greater than previously thought, particularly with respect to scincid lizards. The detail we provide in the species accounts is designed to allow the use of this report as a preliminary field guide to the amphibians and reptiles of Timor-Leste. However, survey work is ongoing.

Keywords herpetofauna
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