Hunting for herpetiles

by Kate C
Publish date
11 November 2011
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During the recent Prom Bioscan biodiversity survey of Wilsons Promontory, Dr Joanna Sumner led the herpetology (reptiles and amphibians) group. She and her troops - Katie Smith, Claire Keely, Susi Maldonado, Maggie Haines and Parks Victoria's Steve Wright – used a combination of trapping and active searching to find nine skink species, three elapid snake species and five frog species over several survey sites.

  Claire and Susi doing fieldwork Claire and Susi checking funnel traps opposite Lilly Pilly Gully carpark.
Image: Jo Sumner
Source: Museum Victoria

Reported Jo,

We captured, tissue sampled and released 59 individual reptiles and amphibians. Tissue samples will be put in our frozen tissue collection and used in research on species identification of some these groups. The overall diversity of reptile species in the Prom is very low compared to other areas in Australia. We sighted all three snakes previously recorded, 50% of known frog species and 75% of skinks known to the area. We did not record any of threatened species previously recorded on the Prom however, such as Litoria raniformis and Egernia coventryi.


If you're ever wondered what herpetology fieldwork looks like, here's a video from Wilsons Prom where Jo explains how she traps skinks and takes tissue samples.


Watch this video with a transcript

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.