Category Archives: Reptiles

Help with Treefrog

Anyone know who this guy is?
Karisia Walking Safaris

Another Herpetologist Needed

We ran into this interesting snake in the Mathews. It moved away fast enough that i only got the following images before it was gone. The closest i could get using the book was a Desert Black-headed Snake. Does that seem about right, snake people? The book suggest that this is an uncommon species with a limited range in Kenya and this is why i hesitate in my ID.snake2snake

Herpetologist Needed

Ran into this murder scene in the Mathews Range. The snake, I’m familiar with. He is a Speckled Sand Snake. The lizard though, seems different. We have southern long-tailed Lizards around common in Laikipia but this guys coloration is so utterly different (as well he seems more stocky). I cant seem to get an ID from the book. Any ideas?
Speckled Sand Snake

Leopard Tortoise Sex Frenzy

Sorry, I couldn’t resist such a tempting headline. It does not look like much but what you have below is a tortoise orgy. Two males (smaller and darker) following and attempting to mate with the much larger female.


Many male turtles and tortoises can be identified by the concavity of their plastron (the underside). You can see a bit of this concavity in this image of one of the males:


And aging tortoises and turtles can also be done by an examination of the plastron. Just like in trees years are denoted in lines which can be counted out from the corner of each scute (square segments that make up the plastron). My counting on the below image is a rough estimate. Some years when a tortoise did not grow much are hard to count so give or take some years this little male chasing the big female is just a bit younger than me (i was born in 1970). The female’s plastron was so worn that i couldn’t read it. I think we can just say that she is definitely not a flower child,, maybe more like a baby boomer.


Northern Stripe-bellied Sandsnake

Found this fellow while digging up an old dam that we want to use to attract Buffalo and Lesser Kudu. The eles will likely dominate it though…


Pancake Tortoise

Finally found a pancake tortoise north of tumaren during a walking safari. what an interesting species.
These guys occupy the cracks between rocks and have soft shells that enable them to wedge deep in crevices for protection.


Are Tortoises in Northern Kenya Dying from Dissease?

I have noticed more and more carapaces of dead tortoises in our area in Laikipia. They range in size from medium to large and show no signs of physical trauma. I’m wondering if there could be a fungus that could be spreading between them that may have originated from captive animals. I understand that tortoises in the states have had problems like this.???

Brook’s Gecko found during construction

We found this nice Brook’s Gecko during some construction on a water tank the other day.



Last week on safari we saw a Blue Headed Tree Agama. This is the first time that we have noticed this spectacular lizard here in Laikipia. We saw a male in full breeding colours. He was bright turquoise under his chin and bright blue all over his body. When we tried to get closer he became duller and almost blended in the with tree becoming a mottled green/brown. Has anyone else seen this lizard in this part of Laikipia? Of course we did not have a camera with us but I will try and photograph him this week.

Odd Agama Lizard

We have been encountering the following Agama lizard on many of our walks around Tumaren. His colour is not right for a Red-Headed Agama and yet there is no other Agama for the area in the book that fills his description. The Mwanza Flat Headed Agama from the Mara and south is the only Agama that resembles it. Ideas???

Agama Unidentified