Mar 02 2013

Photo essay: Ko Samui animals

Published by at 5:17 am under Ko Samui


Thailand’s Ko Samui might not have wild tigers, elephants or even monkeys for that matter, but that’s not to say you won’t find a few interesting creatures on the island. And the best part is, you won’t need to go on a safari tour, as most of these you’ll see about your resort or just wandering around. We’ve captured a few of the less timid ones here, although there are plenty of other birds, reptiles and insects about.

You'll hear him before you see him.

You’ll hear him before you see him.

The tockay is a personal favourite, and you’ll hear this prehistoric-looking gecko before you see her. The name sounds just like the call, a loud ‘tock-kay’ said several times. They can grow pretty big, with bodies about 25 centimetres without the tail. They come in various colours, always with spots, and their eyes have slits like a cats. They are harmless and won’t ‘attack’ unless provoked — if one does bite your finger, the only way to get him to let go is by immersing your hand in water. Many superstitions surround the tockay; some feel they are good luck and others bad.

I know I'm as cute as a button.

I know I’m as cute as a button.

These little squirrels play in the trees at Chaweng Garden Beach Resort. There are quite a few of them, too cute to watch.

Rub me, I'm good luck.

Rub me, I’m good luck.

This is the little guy that those wooden carved frogs are modelled after, you know, the ones where you’re meant to rub a stick up their backs to imitate the sound of a frog? They are known as money frogs, and are good luck — apparently.

Prince charming hiding out on Samui.

Prince charming hiding out on Samui.

Here’s another night-time singer. There are plenty of different frogs and toads on the island, and one particular toad bellows like a fog horn when it’s raining. They usually hide under decking and terraces, so you don’t get to see them, but you can’t miss the horn.

I'm in hiding.

I’m in hiding.

We saw this lizard at Coral Cove, just before Lamai. He was pretty shy. Unfortunately we’ve never managed to capture a shot of the big monitor lizards, although we’ve seen several around the island, crossing the road or around the rivers.

Watch out, I can fly.

Watch out, I can fly.

Okay, so can you see him? Well we didn’t at first either, and we were lying right under this tree. It’s a paradise flying snake, and they can easily ‘fly’ about 100 metres — we’ve seen it too. Not dangerous though, so don’t worry.

myna

My turn thank you.

Myna birds are everywhere. They’re cheeky and can imitate other bird calls too. They are most certainly not shy, and may attempt to share your lunch — this one went for our coconut. They love taking baths at the edge of the swimming pools, too.

I'm NOT common.

I’m NOT common.

This is the common gecko that you’ll see all over, inside and out. They keep the mosquitos at bay, or at least try to. They are quite territorial, so it’s amusing watching them get into scraps over turf.

Don't touch me.

Don’t touch me.

We’re not sure of the name of this funny little caterpillar, but there are many bizarre bugs about, so bring that macro lens.

No, I'm not a rhino.

No, I’m not a rhino.

Here’s another small critter. In fact, she wasn’t so small, about three centimetres long, and happy to walk on your hand.

Welcome to my parlour said the spider to the fly.

Welcome to my parlour said the spider to the fly.

Arachnophobes beware. This monster left us alone, more invested in a butterfly nearby that he was hoping to lure into his web.

Being in the tropics, there’s plenty of small wildlife to film, so don’t let photo opps pass you by. Happy snapping!

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