An Ameiva Capture and Dominican Basketball?

Dominican ameiva’s (Ameiva fuscata) are a large lizard species in the family of Teiidae which also includes several other extremely fast lizards such as the tegu’s, and other whiptail species. We have seen several on our trip thus far, but as all members of the Teiidae family which are known for their speed they have until today eluded our capture.

We went back to Batalie Beach today where we got our introduction to the Dominican fisheries. We were going to do some actual scientific marine surveys while we were snorkeling. As soon as we got there, we saw several nice sized ameivas scurry off. Mark and I (Clayton) dove out of the truck (Big Bubba) and began chasing them around like crazed madmen. I saw 2 of them dash into a small closet/building, where I had hoped they where trapped, and didn’t have a secret escape route. Before entering I summoned my faithful herp catching steed Mark, and Karen came over to assist as well. They blocked the door, while I overturned some metal roofing stacked inside. I could still hear them scurrying around under the metal roofing, even over my pounding heart. All of the sudden one of them makes a mad dash by Karen, she makes a grab and misses. The next one dashes towards Mark, he frantically grabs for the slender powerful turquise body of the ameiva. He got it!!!


After much hard work, and many disappointing chases a Dominican ameiva was finally captured. Much to our surprise he was a wounded individual and we felt very sad for him, even though we had nothing to do with the injury. One of his rear feet was very torn up, and most of his toes were hanging on by threads. It was a previous injury, possibly from another individual or even a bird or other predator. He most likely will lose all his toes on that foot, but will still be plenty mobile with a stump. Even after the sadness of discovering his injury we (Mark and I) were happy to complete one of our goals of the trip. We got some nice photos and released him back into the wild.

We then went snorkeling and compiled some quantitative data out on the reefs. Which we then brought back to the ITME hacienda (home base) analyzed our data and wrote up presentations of the data. After completing our data analysis and preparing a presentation we decided to take a nice a stroll into the town of Mahaut. The people everywhere are very friendly and enjoy just chatting with foreigners like us. We talked to several very nice people who asked how we liked the island and invited us into their stores, or restaurants. Obviously they consider most tourists as consumers, and most of them probably are. Most of the money that comes into this island comes from the outside, and it is very obvious.

Basketball in Dominica

On our way back we (Bryan, Mark, and I) asked if we could join a game of basketball with some middle aged teenage Dominican boys. They excitedly agreed, and a quick game of 3 on 3 began. We tried to keep Bryan from using his mad sick basketball skills, but he just wouldn’t listen. We played for a good 10 minutes or so, but unfortunately we had to leave to do our presentations. It was a very awesome cultural barrier crossing experience, I think for all parties involved, and of course lots of fun.


After that we got attacked by the cutest little vicious puppy who tail waggingly excited ran out onto the road to greet us. Everyones hearts melted as only a puppy can do, and they dove to the ground to greet him with open arms. We tried to get him back onto his property but he kept trying to follow us. Finally we were able to run off without him following.

We got back and everyone gave their presentations of the data they collected, their methods, and a conclusion of the data they collected. The presentations were thoroughly constructively critiqued by the audience (mainly Demian, and Sascha). It was good for all involved and we learned lots of valuable information.

Another day ended fantastically, with a perfect balance of education and fun, or maybe just maybe they might be exactly the same thing here in Dominica.


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