It is May and the snakes are hatching all over the country. Where I live here in Southern Thailand we have some of the best herping in the country, and the world. I have to be reminded of that occasionally because I start to take it for granted sometimes.
I’ve been seeing hatchling and very juvenile, even neonate, C. rhodostoma and C. radiata on the roads fairly often. Those are the two I usually see as the snake herping season begins in Thailand. I’ve seen my usual share of rat snakes – P. korros primarily, and everywhere, and just one big P. carinatus at the top of a small mountain on top of a pile of fallen branches.
Frogs are out in full-force already. We’ve had one really good rain since the rainy season began back on Thai New Years (early May), and a number of smaller, spotty rains. They all help to get the frogs reproducing.
The hills are alive with the sound of Calotes emma scampering around the mostly dry leaves in the rainforest. I have definitely seen more this year than any year previously at this time. I’m taking that as a good sign. Flying lizards too. They seem to be everywhere I look, as abundant as house geckos on the outside of our home at night.
I spied one big tokay at head level and about one foot from my face stuck to a wall at the top of a Buddhist temple shrine on a mountain. It was kind enough to stick around while I studied its fascinating pattern. If you’ve never really looked intently at it – it’s mesmerizing!
This year I’ve decided to really expand my focus to include other wildlife that I didn’t pay much attention to – Tokays and other geckos, flying lizards – Draco, frogs, centipedes, scorpions, tarantulas, and bugs – insects of all kinds. Really opening it up, right? I guess I I get a bit bored mid- and late-season while just focusing on snakes. I tend to catch the same species’ over and over and it does get monotonous at times. If I had some more fauna to focus on, I’d be less bored. So this will be a new beginning for me.
So, needless to state it, but I’m wildly optimistic about this 2015 Reptile and Amphibian Herping Season. I’ve got a couple of field trips planned now. Sisaket in the Northeast of Thailand is my next stop. I even have to make a trip out to Laos, so I’ll take a look around while I’m out there and see if anything jumps out at me. Malaysia is on the calendar – Langkawi, and possibly Penang.
I’ll be in Isaan next, so, if you’re in Ubon, Sisaket, Savannakhet, or Mukdahan and know where the snakes are – let me know!