Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

For your reports/images, made outside Europe and the "Mediterranean" countries. Not to be too narrow minded and limited to our European/Mediterranean herps.

Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby Tyrone Ping » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:26 pm

Over the last few weeks I've made a couple of trips around the country for only a day or two at a time. So here's a combined look at some of the animals I've seen/caught and photographed in South Africa.
From the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Interior. A vast array of habitats along with a few really special finds along the way.

Thanks for looking, you can see more on my site http://www.tyroneping.co.za

I headed down to Port St John's in the Eastern Cape - affectionately known as the "Wild Coast" by locals. The sole aim for this trip was to survey a piece of potential land to establish a conservancy in for the Transkei Dwarf Chameleon which is under threat by the expansive farming and housing development in Port St John's.

After three days of extreme torrential rain, which made progress and survey work slow and very damp I managed to record some 40 unique individuals which was a greta success.
Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleon.
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After a break in the weather, I managed to find these two animals mating in some overhanging branches where I had seen a female a few days prior.
Bradypodion caffer - Transkei Dwarf Chameleons mating.
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For more images:
http://www.tyroneping.co.za/chameleons/bradypodion-caffer/

Following the Eastern Cape I headed to the Western Cape Winelands in search of a few more Bradypodion (Dwarf Chameleons)
Strongylopus grayii - Clicking Stream Frog
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Amietia fuscigula - Cape River Frog
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Crotaphopeltis-hotamboeia - Herald Snake.
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Crotaphopeltis-hotamboeia - Herald Snake.
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Sclerophrys capensis[i/] Racous Toad.
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Welcome to the Winelands
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An undescribed species of Dwarf Chameleon - Bradypodion sp "Grootvaderbosch"
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A beautiful [i]Naja nivea
- Cape Cobra.
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Naja nivea - Cape Cobra.
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The goal of the trip Bradypodion gutturale - Little Karoo Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion gutturale - Little Karoo Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion gutturale - Little Karoo Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion gutturale - Little Karoo Dwarf Chameleon.
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A rather rare find was this Bitis armata - Southern Adder. After a few hours of searching produced this.
Bitis armata - Southern Adder in situ.
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Bitis armata - Southern Adder.
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Bitis armata - Southern Adder
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Bitis armata - Southern Adder
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Bitis armata - Southern Adder
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A few finds from in-between specific trips:
Causus Rhombeatus -Rhombic Night Adder. An exceptionally small specimen of not more than 12cm
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Naja -annulifera - Snouted Cobra. Not the prettiest example but as they typically do stand nicely for photographs.
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Prosymna stuhlmannii - East African Shovel Snout. A small harmless snake that feeds exclusively on hard-shelled gecko eggs.
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Boaedon capensis - Brown House Snake. These snakes are excpetionally common in urban enviroments.
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Ramphotyphlops-braminus Flower Post Snake. One fo the only invasive species of reptiles in South Africa.
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Bradypdion melanocephalum - Kwa Zulu Dwarf Chameleon. A relatively small dward chameleon which is common in the surburns where I live, I do find these chameleosn in my yard from time to time.
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Bradypdion melanocephalum - Kwa Zulu Dwarf Chameleon.
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A returned to the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands for a quick stint in winter for some field herping, nothing out of the ordinary in terms of species but numbers made up for that.
Aparallactus capensis - Black-headed-centipede eater. A small elapid that feeds exclusively on centipedes and can be incredibly abundant in some parts.
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Aparallactus capensis - Black-headed-centipede eater.
http://www.tyroneping.co.za/wp-content/ ... 17WM-2.jpg

Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia Herald Snake. In incredibly variable snake that is common throughout much of South Africa and feeds mainly on toads and small lizards.
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Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia Herald Snake showing typical aggressive posture.
http://www.tyroneping.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Crotaphopeltis-hotamboeia_Herald-Snake_%C2%A9_Tyrone_Ping_2017WM-3.jpg

Dasypeltis scabra - Rhombic Egg Eater. Common in the grasslands where it feeds exclusively on bird eggs.
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Dasypeltis scabra - Rhombic Egg Eater.
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Dasypeltis scabra - Rhombic Egg Eater.
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Dasypeltis scabra - Rhombic Egg Eater.
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Lycophidion capense - Cape Wolf Snake. A shy fossorial snake that often hunts skinks whilst they sleep in burrows and rock cracks.
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Lycophidion capense - Cape Wolf Snake.
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Bradypodion thamnobates - Natal Midlands Dwarf Chameleon. One of the largest dwarf chameleons in South Africa. They're a cryptic bunch with a few populations within the Kwa-Zulu Natal interior thought to be a different species.
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Bradypodion thamnobates - Natal Midlands Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion thamnobates - Natal Midlands Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion thamnobates - Natal Midlands Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion thamnobates - Natal Midlands Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion thamnobates - Natal Midlands Dwarf Chameleon.
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Bradypodion thamnobates - Natal Midlands Dwarf Chameleon.
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Lycophidion capense - Cape Wolf Snake another large specimen.
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Amblyodipsas polylepis - Common Purple Gloss Snake. A large powerful fossorial snake that feeds mostly on legless skinks.
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Thanks for looking and hope you enjoyed the post.
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You can see more from my field trips and image here: http://www.tyroneping.co.za/
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Re: Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby Evgeny Kotelevsky » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:41 pm

Your chameleons are great :) thanks for sharing
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Re: Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby Pablo Deschepper » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:31 pm

Beautiful pics! I especially like the Naja nivea shots :shock: . Very cool! Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby GertJan Verspui » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:05 pm

Great post Tyrone, that Bitis armata is damn nice!
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Re: Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby Tyrone Ping » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:34 am

Evgeny Kotelevsky wrote:Your chameleons are great :) thanks for sharing


Thanks for looking Evgeny!
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Re: Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby Tyrone Ping » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:35 am

GertJan Verspui wrote:Great post Tyrone, that Bitis armata is damn nice!


A first for me and believe me I was rather excited nothing beats seeing wild dwarf Bitis.
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Re: Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby Tyrone Ping » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:37 am

Pablo Deschepper wrote:Beautiful pics! I especially like the Naja nivea shots :shock: . Very cool! Thanks for sharing!



Thank you Pablo, glad you enjoyed them.
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Re: Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby Daniel Kane » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:00 pm

How cool are those chameleons?! I love the variety you've shown us here. It's interesting hearing a little bit about species not well-represented on this forum, too. Thank you for that :)
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Re: Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby Kevin Esser » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:25 pm

Stunning pictures... just like Pablo I like the Naja nivea shots the best!
And the beautiful chameleons for sure :-) Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Field Herping - South Africa [Photo heavy]

Postby Tyrone Ping » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:34 pm

Daniel Kane wrote:How cool are those chameleons?! I love the variety you've shown us here. It's interesting hearing a little bit about species not well-represented on this forum, too. Thank you for that :)


Thanks Daniel, Bradypodion are a real special group of animals for me.

Appreciate you taking the time to check out the thread and comment too.
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