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Center for Comparative Genomics 

April 9, 2012

Snakes, caecilians, mosses, lichens, but no limpets

We have traveled to most of the accessible parts of the island and still no signs of limpets.


We have found a few reptiles and amphibians and many mosses, liverworts, hornworts and lichens. Jim Shevock has collected more than a hundred species of mosses and discovered two new families of mosses to sao tome. Miko Nadel has collected over a hundred lichens so far.

Jim Shevock


Miko Nadel


I found a few more Cobra bobos (new photos below), but while hunting them, I had a frightening encounter with the tail of a black Cobra (a real cobra introduced to the island).  As one does when looking for reptiles and amphibians, I was flipping rotten logs lying on the jungle floor. One particular flip produced the flash of a big black shiny tail that slithered away into the brush. The tail was no more than a foot from my hand. On  São Tomé , a black shiny tail can only belong to the black Cobra.  Fortunately, the business end of the cobra was pointing in the opposite direction of my hands.


Man selling black cobra skins


On Satuday, April 7, 2012 Bob Drewes, Tomio Iwamoto, Rayna Bell, Pedro Pio and I hiked up to the ridge overlooking Lagoa Amelia on a 3 hour reconassaince trek identifying the best spots to find tree frogs for a future night time collecting trips.


In between collecting sites we visit small villages and the ruins of coco and coffee plantations.  São Tomé and Principe were once known as the “Chocolate islands” (more on the history of  São Tomé and Principe on a later post). The people in the small villages seem not to mind our invasions and the children flock to us in excitement.


Once again, no limpets to be found :(
(photo: Andrew Stanbridge)


Filed under: Expeditions — brian @ 12:35 am

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for continuing to update the blog – it’s really interesting to follow along. Glad your cobra encounter ended well :)

    Comment by Corlis — April 9, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

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