Monday, August 13, 2012

Herpetofauna of Amboli, Western Ghats

Just back from another amazing trip to Amboli with Nature India. This was my second trip to explore the amazing Herpeto-fauna of this quaint hill station in southern Maharashtra.

Over 3 days and 2 nights Adesh Shivkar, Mandar Khadilkar and world renowned Indian Herpetologist Varad Giri spotted and explained to a small group of enthusiasts the myriad forms and characteristics of Amphibians and Reptiles that are found in Amboli and in this wider region known ad the Western Ghats. Interestingly this region was recently declared a World Natural Heritage site by UNESCO of its rich biodiversity.
 Other than showing us various animals (including some rarely seen Ceacilian species) in the field our expert guide - Varad Giri - was also kind enough to give us two extensive slide show lectures where he explained the diversity and significance of these lesser known creatures.
Varad Giri
Below are a few photo highlights from the trip:
Pied-belly Shieldtail Melanophidium punctatum
Snake skink/ Lined writhing skink Lygosoma lineata
Caecilian - Ichthyophis davidi
Centipede (Scolopendra sp.) guarding its eggs
White banded ground gecko Geckoella albofasciatus
Malabar Pit Viper Trimeriesurus malabaricus
Dwarf Gecko Cnemaspis sp
Here's a listing of the Reptiles/Amphibian species we spotted in Amboli during this trip:

  1. Pied-belly Shieldtail Melanophidium punctatum
  2. Green Vine Snake Oxybelis fulgidus
  3. Malabar Pit Viper Trimeriesurus malabaricus
  4. Travancore Wolf Snake Lycodon travancoricus
  5. Dwarf Gecko Cnemaspis sp
  6. Bombay Leaf-toed Gecko Hemidactylus prashadi
  7. White banded ground gecko Geckoella albofasciatus
  8. Indian Garden Lizard Calotes versicolor
  9. Roux's Forest Calotes Calotes rouxii
  10. Snake skink/ Lined writhing skink Lygosoma lineata

1.       Malabar Flying Frog Rhacophorus malabaricus
2.       Common Indian Toad Duttaphrynus melanostictus
3.       Indian Bull frog Hoplobatrachus tigerinus
4.       Bombay cricket frog/ Bombay bubble-nest frog  Raorchestes bombayensis
5.       Amboli Bush Frog Pseudophilautus amboli
6.       Amboli toad/ Yellow Tiger Toad Xanthophryne tigerina
7.       Narrow mouthed frog – Ramanella sp.
8.       Indirana sp. frog
9.       Caecilian - Ichthyophis davidi
10.   Caecilian - Gegeneophis sp.

I would highly recommend this trip to all those who are curious about the world of frogs and snakes but never knew whom to ask. Find details of this trip and itinerary from Nature India's blog at this link:

You can view a larger collection of photos from this trip in the slideshow below or at this online album:

Many thanks Nature India for yet another amazingly well planned and executed trip to Amboli! :-D


Rajesh Sen said...

This is one of the best travel Blog I have ever encountered.
Amboli is a name which is not much popular among tourist fraternity. However this biodiversity hot-spot is all set to mesmerize you by its awesome beauty. For all the latest and up-to-date information on Amboli Tour just log on to:

Pratiksha Jadhav said...

Glad I found this post. It’s really awesome. Thanks for your information about amboli trip. Amboli sightseeing consists of different tourist spots.

Chidanand Dawalar said...

Great info thanks....!!!

Chidanand Dawalar said...

Great info thanks....!!!

dimpy roy said...

Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing. A heady eclectic cultural cocktail of Maharashtrian, Goan, and Kannada traditions, Belgaum (Belagavi) lies far up in the Western Ghats. The place seamlessly blends the quiet dignified grace of the British cantonment area with the pulsating energy of the old town inhabited by cotton and silk traders. Check out Belgaum tourist places also.