Wilson, Byron S.; Vogel, Peter A.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Life Sciences
A survey of the Herpetofauna of the Helshire Hills, Jamaica, including the rediscovery of the blue-tail galliwasp (Celestu duquesneyi Grant)
Caribbean Journal of Science
Date of Publication
Herpetological surveys were conducted from 1992 to 1998 in the interior of the Hellshire Hills - one the largest remaining habitats of primary dry forest in the insular Caribbean. In addition, baseline data from three pitfall trapping grids were obtained in 1997. A total of 18 species (2 frogs, 12 lizards and 4 snakes) were recorded, at least 12 of which are endemic to Jamaica. Eight of the species were not known from the Hellshire Hills, and another eight were known only from the periphery. Specimens of the anguid lizard Celestus duquesneyi Grant indicate a considerable range extension for the species and represent the only records since the species was first collected in the late 1930's. One snake of the genus Tropidophis captured in the south-central portion of the Hills may represent a distinct species endemic to the study site. In terms of reptile diversity, the Hellshire Hills is one of the most important remaining natural areas in Jamaica. The recent declaration of the Portland Bight Protected Area (including the Hellshire Hills) is a promising step towards the conservation of this unique ecosystem.....