Journal article

The herpetofauna of Timor-Leste: a first report

Hinrich Kaiser, Venancio Lopes Carvalho, Jester Ceballos, Paul Freed, Scott Heacox, Barbara Lester, Stephen J Richards, Colin R Trainor, Caitlin Sanchez, Mark O'Shea

ZooKeys | PENSOFT PUBL | Published : 2011

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 ca..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

First and foremost, we wish to acknowledge the tremendous support we received from His Excellency, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of Timor-Leste with whose explicit written permission this research was carried out. Without his intervention, and without the invaluable and consistent help of his advisor Claudia Abate, we would not have been able to start this project. We would also like to thank Manuel Mendes (Director of National Parks) and Augusto Pinto (Director of Environment) for their understanding and patience, and for their support of our research. SJR is grateful to Leonisa Lobato, Vasco Leitao, Jorge Rui de Carvalho Martins (Division of Environment) and Cesar Jose da Cruz (Director General, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries) for their assistance and approval of export permits. For their capable and enduring assistance in the field we thank Margaret Andrews, Kris Helgen, Luis Lemos, Dan Polhemus, Agivedo "Laca" Ribeiro, Zito Afranio, and Annie Suzio-Granett. We thank Francisco da Costa Araujo for presenting us with the specimen of Lycodon capucinus and Paul da Silva for the specimen of Mauremys reevesii. Without the tireless assistance of Pedro Mesquita with transportation, we might have been stranded in Same. Additional logistics support was provided by Anders Hofstee (Bakhita Mission), Paulo Aniceto (Rentlo), Paul da Silva (Albergario Planalto), Jeff Collins (Same), and Austasia Airlines and Turkish Airlines. We particularly thank Roy McDiarmid for facilitating our research by supplying key literature, Steve Gotte for assisting with specimen deposition, and George Zug for sharing his expertise on the genus Carlia. Aaron Bauer helped with the identification of geckos, Mark Auliya assisted with the identification of Mauremys reevesii, and Gernot Vogel identified the Dendrelaphis. Glenn Shea provided some insights into the diversity and taxonomy of Lesser Sunda wedge skinks. Peter Uetz made some very useful comments on the nomenclature of Draco timoriensis, Jimmy McGuire commented on the presence of Draco in the Lesser Sunda Archipelago, and John Murphy shared his expertise and recent research on snakes in the genus Cerberus. Jean Lescure (MNHN) provided some key information regarding the history of explorations in the Lesser Sunda Archipelago. The assistance of Steve Gotte (USNM), Darrel Frost (AMNH), David Kizirian (AMNH), Annemarie Ohler (MNHN), Gunther Kohler (SMF), Pim Arntzen (RMNH), Ronald de Ruiter (RMNH), and Raffael Winkler (NHMB) in allowing HK to examine specimens under their care is acknowledged with much gratitude. Fieldwork was supported by a Tide V Grant to Victor Valley College (VVC), by three VVC Associated Student Body grants to JC, SH, and CS, and by a grant from the American Society of Mammalogists to K. Helgen. This is Communication 4 of the Tropical Research Initiative at Victor Valley College.