Guadeloupe 2018

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

Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Robin Duborget » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:20 pm

Hello,

It's been a while since I have done a trip report. The last year has been very busy (baby, house, work), and Sardinia in april 2017 was the last true nature trip (far too long for me and my partner).
So this trip in Guadeloupe, a lesser antilles island that we already know, was highly anticipated.

We haven't been disappointed !

This trip was far better than the last in 2014, more species, more fun, more food ( ;) ).

We stayed, in Bouillante, a small town in the Basse-Terre island (Guadeloupe is in fact two island, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre) for three weeks. Basse-Terre is less populated, and home to the national park of the same name. It's a volcanic island (Grand-Terre is reefal and flat) :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadeloupe
We also spent three days in Terre-de-Bas, an island of the Saintes archipelago.

Here you have more photos (with also landscapes, flora etc..) :
https://www.flickr.com/gp/141135600@N04/SxP69T

And now for the herps :

In Guadeloupe there is some species you can't miss.
Eleutherodactylus jonhstonei and Eleutherodactylus martinicensis are one of these. Three was lot of them in the garden of the house we rent, and there distinctive calls were heard all the nights.

Eleutherodactylus johnstonei :
ImageEleutherodactylus johnstonei by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

ImageEleutherodactylus jonhstonei by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

It's a invasive species, living mostly in disturbed habitats, near roads, houses, etc.

ImageEleutherodactylus jonhstonei by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

ImageEleutherodactylus jonhstonei by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

Eleutherodactylus martinicensis :
ImageEleutherodactylus martinicensis by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

ImageEleutherodactylus martinicensis by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

ImageEleutherodactylus martinicensis by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

ImageEleutherodactylus martinicensis by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

ImageEleutherodactylus martinicensis by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

A local one (but also present in Martinique and other Antilles islands)., very common, even in disturbed habitats, but also in the heart of the old growth forest.

There is also two other species of Eleutherodactylus, all of them are endemic from Basse-Terre. Eleutherodactylus barlagnei is very rare, maybe extinct and there isn't any data since at least ten years. It's the only stream breeding species of the Guadeloupe Eleutherodactylus (so maybe more affected by Chytrid).
We search for him but didn't find it.

The last one is Eleutherodactylus pinchoni, a species that we missed last time. Before the trip, we asked local naturalists (a very rare thing in Antilles !) where to find them (they become very rare in lowland area). They gave us very good advices !
We find them in the highest areas of Guadeloupe, in the clood forests and the lands around the Soufrière (1500 m) :
The first, a female :
ImageEleutherodactylus pinchoni by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
And the 2nd, a male :
ImageEleutherodactylus pinchoni by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

ImageEleutherodactylus pinchoni by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageEleutherodactylus pinchoni by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

We go to this place two times, one for only two hours, and second (me, alone) for a longer time, but with disastrous weather (rain, rain, and thunder ...).

Another amphibiens is, as usual in neotropics, the cane toad (everywhere!) : ImageRhinella marina by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

Another interesting thing is Antilles is the number of species and subspecies of Anolis. Last time, didn't know why, but we didin't photographied a lot of them.

In Basse-Terre, with have five/six subspecies of Anolis marmoratus.
First, at Bouillante, where we stayed : subsp. girafus :
ImageAnolis marmoratus subsp. girafus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageAnolis marmoratus subsp. girafus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

In old growth forests, in the heart of the island : subsp. alliaceus :
ImageAnolis marmoratus subsp. alliaceus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageAnolis marmoratus subsp. alliaceus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

North, near Deshaies, subsp. inornatus :
ImageAnolis marmoratus subsp. inornatus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

South-east of Basse-Terre, at Capesterre-Belle-Eau, subsp. marmoratus (the most beautiful of all, for me) :
ImageAnolis marmoratus subsp. marmoratus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageAnolis marmoratus subsp. marmoratus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

An not yet described subspecies, endemic from the small islets of "Ilets Pigeon", subsp. pigeonnensis :
ImageAnolis marmoratus pigeonnensis by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageAnolis marmoratus pigeonnensis by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

In Grande-Terre, subsp. speciosus (the old male can have all the head blue) :
ImageAnolis marmoratus subsp. speciosus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

Here two interesting and recent publications about them :
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... asse_Terre
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... _Kahouanne

All around the island we found Sphaerodactylus fantasticus, a very small gecko, always foraginf on the leaf litter (more common along littoral forests) :
ImageSphaerodactylus fantasticus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageSphaerodactylus fantasticus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

Invasive Iguana iguana are also everywhere, and sadly they took the place of Iguana delicatissima on the main islands (we saw them in 2014, in the islet of Désirade) :
ImageIguana iguana by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

And now, go to the archipelago of Saintes, at the south of Basse-Terre. We stayed three days at Terre-de-Bas (a mongoose free island). The main goal was to find the Alsophis sanctonum. As mongoose haven't been introduced to the Saintes, Alsophis are still common here (nearly extinct on Guadeloupe).

ImageArchipel des Saintes by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

Terre-de-Bas is not touristic, so life is very calm and slow here. Habitats are also very different from Basse-Terre, more dry :
ImageGrande Anse by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageTrace de l'étang by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageNaturaliste(s) by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

The Saintes have their species of Anolis, Anolis terrealtae caryae :
ImageAnolis terraealtae subsp. caryae by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageAnolis terraealtae subsp. caryae by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

And molokoi turtles Trachemys stejnejeri (introduced, from a long time, maybe by arawak people) :
ImageTrachemys stejnejeri by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

And, at last (we found only one individual, after a long walk in the dry forest) :
ImageAlsophis sanctonum subsp. danforthi by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageAlsophis sanctonum subsp. danforthi by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

The habitat : ImageTrace de l'Etang by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

It's a long snake, hard to miss, but quick to escape ...

During our stay in the Saintes we sympathize with a sailer from Saint-Marteen. During our last day in Guadeloupe He take us to Kahouanne, a desert islet, near Deshaies (North of Basse-Terre). Here we have the chance to meet our last species of Anolis, Anolis kahouannensis :
ImageAnolis kahouannensis by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageAnolis kahouannensis by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

Kahouanne :
ImageIlet à Kahouanne by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
Anolis habitat :
ImageIlet à Kahouanne by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

That's all of the herp ! But we can't resume Guadeloupe only with them, they is also tens of interesting species. For example one the most noisy katytid of the world (110 dB), Karukerana aguilari :
ImageKarukerana aguilari by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
Tens of Xerophyllopteryx fumosa :
ImageXerophyllopteryx fumosa by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
Beautiful butterflies (with scale !) :
ImageUrania leilus by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
Crabs ! :
ImageGecarcinus ruricola by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
And tropical landscapes :
ImagePremière et deuxième chutes du Carbet by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImageGrand étang by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr
ImagePlage de Grande Anse by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

And the food :P :
ImageMarché de Basse-Terre by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

In the field we were always with Marcel, our one year child :
ImageNaturaliste(s) by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

Even when looking for frogs at night (18h-21h) :
ImageNaturaliste(s) by Robin Duborget, sur Flickr

The guy who invented the baby bag is a genius !

If you want to see pictures of landscapes, insects, flora etc .. here my flickr album of our trip (in chronogical order) :
https://www.flickr.com/gp/141135600@N04/6te5NQ
and the last from 2014 :
https://www.flickr.com/gp/141135600@N04/KspxBS

Robin
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Re: Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:07 pm

You make great use of your lenses Robin! However why did you chose to visit that island for 2nd time?
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Re: Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Gerald Ochsenhofer » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:42 pm

Cool pictures! The diversity in coloration of the Anolis species' is great :-)

The guy who invented the baby bag is a genius !
:mrgreen:
Haha, I also thought this seems like a great purchase.
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Re: Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Robin Duborget » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:44 pm

Michal Szkudlarek wrote:You make great use of your lenses Robin! However why did you chose to visit that island for 2nd time?


Third time in fact, first was for studying geology in Master. Because we didn't see all the thing first (miss Xerophyllopteryx, some Anolis subspecies, Eleutherodactylus pinchoni etc.), because we love the Guadeloupe (and antilles) atmosphere, way of living, food, people etc ... And also, it's pretty safe with a baby !
And we will return (while visiting another island, Dominique, maybe in february 2020), it's definitely not the last time ;)

Gerald Ochsenhofer wrote:Cool pictures! The diversity in coloration of the Anolis species' is great :-)

The guy who invented the baby bag is a genius !
:mrgreen:
Haha, I also thought this seems like a great purchase.


Thanks ! And yes a great purchase, we do not regret buying it.
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Re: Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:04 pm

Nice tropical candy, Robin, even though there's not enough species for my usual appetite ;) Cool-looking Anolis and snake, in any case.
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Re: Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Robin Duborget » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:23 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Nice tropical candy, Robin, even though there's not enough species for my usual appetite ;) Cool-looking Anolis and snake, in any case.


At least more species than Belgium, no ? ;)

If you count all the anolis subspecies, you can make a nice list.

Robin

ps : and food is better than anywhere on earth !
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Re: Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:53 pm

Robin Duborget wrote:
Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Nice tropical candy, Robin, even though there's not enough species for my usual appetite ;) Cool-looking Anolis and snake, in any case.


At least more species than Belgium, no ? ;)

If you count all the anolis subspecies, you can make a nice list.

Robin

ps : and food is better than anywhere on earth !


I don't have to pay a sh$tload of money to go to Belgium, subspecies are for crazy people, and food is just fuel. :P
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Re: Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Bobby Bok » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:49 pm

Nothing beats tropical island herping although I prefer the Seychelles, probably has something to do with chameleons I guess... ;) Very cool to see some high quality pictures of Alsophis!
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Re: Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Robin Duborget » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:49 pm

Bobby Bok wrote:Nothing beats tropical island herping although I prefer the Seychelles, probably has something to do with chameleons I guess... ;) Very cool to see some high quality pictures of Alsophis!


I will me be able to compare, as you know we will be in Seychelles in February !

Here list of the species encountered during the two trip (2014 and 2018, although in 2014, there is only more the Desirade islet species) :

Eleutherodactylus pinchoni
Eleutherodactylus martinicensis
Eleutherodactylus jonhstonei
Rhinella marina

Anolis desiradei
Anolis kahouannensis
Anolis terraealtae subsp. caryae
Anolis marmoratus subsp. girafus
Anolis marmoratus subsp. marmoratus
Anolis marmoratus subsp. alliaceus
Anolis marmoratus subsp. inornatus
Anolis marmoratus subsp. speciosus
Anolis marmoratus subsp. setosus


Iguana iguana
Iguana delicatissima

Alsophis sanctonum subsp. danforthi

Hemidactylus mabouya
Thecadactylus rapicauda
Sphaerodactylus fantasticus

Trachemys stejnejeri
Eretmochelys imbricata
Chelonia mydas

We miss some invasive species (Scinax sp. for example, or Lepidodactylus lugubris) and the maybe extinct Eleutherodactylus barlagnei.
If going to Marie-Galante (we didn't, for idleness) you can see Anolis ferreus, the bigger of lesser antilles anolis.

Robin

ps : Jeroen I can't agree with you with the fuel food !!! Food is life and life is food ;) !
ps2 : Ah yes chameleons are a pretty bonus for the Seychelles, hope to see them soon !
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Re: Guadeloupe 2018

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:04 pm

Robin Duborget wrote:ps : Jeroen I can't agree with you with the fuel food !!! Food is life and life is food ;) !

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke
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