Dubious Dtella and
If you know where to look, you can discover an abundance of wildlife around Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
A recent wildlife observation night hosted by Skyrail’s Environment Department and Rangers uncovered some interesting residents in the bushland around the Smithfield terminal.
The first animal to make an appearance was a Slaty-grey Snake (Stegonotus cucullatus). These snakes are very common around the Cairns area and are usually found at night near water. They are non-venomous, but closely resemble the potentially dangerous Eastern Small-eyed Snake (Cryptophis nigrescens). This is an important reminder that it can be difficult to determine whether a snake is venomous or not. As such it’s best that all snakes are left alone.
Another critter caught in the spotlight was the Dubious Dtella (Gehyra dubia), an Australian native gecko. These geckos are commonly seen in houses all over Northern Queensland but are easily confused with the invasive Asian House Gecko. The keen observer can tell the difference by examining the claws on the toes of each gecko. The exotic species will have a claw on every toe, while the native Dtella’s inner-most toe is clawless.
As the night drew to a close, a medium-sized Amethystine Python (Morelia kinghorni) was spotted in the front gardens. None of the Rangers had ever come across this individual before so this was a great find!
With the next observation night planned to occur during the wet-season, who knows what may be uncovered residing in the world’s oldest tropical rainforest.
Australian Tropical rainforest information and Images supplied by Skyrail Environmental Ranger & Wildlife photographer Tim Hackwood
Categories: Nature Diary