Trimeresurus macrops

Firstly, this post will be different since it’s the first one dedicated to animals which aren’t Birds. I was doing some dedicated Herping in the past few days due to the iNaturalist City Challenge, the challenge itself is another story. It destroyed my mind – mainly due to going to all the spots, taking all the pictures and then the workload of processing 300+ images in 3 days. Though, I was able to learn a lot about reptiles in my garden and beyond. From the geckos, to the amphibians and finally, my main target, Trimeresurus macrops. Right now I can’t see the positives since I’ve been overwhelmed by the strain of my efforts.

Invasive African Giant Snail. 1st May 2022.

Starting with the Geckos, I found 3 species of House Gecko (Hemidactylus), I learnt their identifying features and it was interesting to see all the colour variations. Here they are below:

Asian House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus). 30th April 2022.
Spotted House Gecko (Hemidactylus parvimaculatus). 1st May 2022.
Flat-tailed House Gecko (Hemidactylus platyurus). 30th April 2022.

The challenge overloaded me in more ways than one, I couldn’t find some of the photos since there’s a flood of them. They can be found on my iNaturalist though. Alongside the House Geckos, I found a spectacular looking Common Four-clawed Gecko.

Common Four-clawed Gecko (Gehyra mutilata). 1st May 2022.

Alongside the Geckos, I familiarised myself with our resident Toads. One particular individual I found each night. I really enjoy how the amphibians aren’t bothered by your presence.

This particular Asian Common Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) is a familiar face. 1st May 2022.

Since being more interested in Reptiles, I’ve been meaning to see more Snakes. In the past it’s only really been Golden Tree Snakes due to their abundance and diurnal nature. I got a location to look for Trimeresurus macrops (also known as Large-eyed Pit Viper or Kramer’s Pit Viper) from a very kind individual. I used the City Nature Challenge as an excuse to go visit the spot.

Two days ago, I visited the spot but left without seeing anything, accept my first Brown Tree Frog. Yesterday, on the last day of the challenge I went for a final check. I saw the same Brown Tree Frog and an Asian Painted Frog. The weather was really cool, I walked 2km along the path but couldn’t find a Snake.

Brown Tree Frog, this one helped me find my first Large-eyed Pit Viper.
2nd May 2022.
Incredibly cute Asian Painted Frog. 2nd May 2022.

I was almost back at the car, I felt a bit sad inside. But upon reaching the Brown Tree Frog and I noticed below, there was a delicate Trimeresurus macrops waiting in ambush! It was so small, it must have been a male. I think I moved my light too much as it got a bit scared and was ready to flee. Luckily I snapped a picture which was sharp on his exit! It was so exciting, to see one for the first time.

Still processing the encounter in my mind, it was amazing to see! I will be back to look for more. 2nd May 2022.

Over the past few days I learnt so much about some of the wildlife which was very unfamiliar to me. Seeing the Large-eyed Pit Viper was a particularly special experience for me and all the effort paid off. I will throw-in some birds to accompany my finishing paragraphs.

A family of Asian Barred Owlets were present at the park yesterday, they were very vocal! 2nd May 2022.

Now, I’m trying to recover my mental health from the challenge. Still checking the local birds as Blue-winged Pitta and Dark-sided Flycatchers are abundant migrants at this time of year.

The Stork-billed Kingfishers were also calling throughout my visit to the park!
2nd May 2022.

Yesterday, I missed a photo of my first sighting of a rare Malayan Night Heron whilst out taking pictures for the challenge. And at the macrops herp spot I think I must have seen a few Barn Owls, they were silhouetted so I couldn’t see if they were white. Not sure if there are bats that huge around here…

Dark-sided Flycatcher. 2nd May 2022.

All images © 2022 hamsambly

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