In India I’ve been able to replicate the urban herping that I had perfected in Bangkok. In fact, next to Bangkok, Kolkata is my favorite place in Asia for city herping.
Like any city, some geckos and frogs can survive in any niche they find. Huge house geckos were on the walls everywhere.
On occasion I found a smaller house gecko species under rocks and artificial cover in the parks. This used to be known as “Brooke’s House Gecko”, but a recent study revealed that to be a complex of different species.
You would think the water might be too polluted for amphibians, but there are hardy frogs that can be found even in the middle of the city. Some alleyways had moister stone piles that revealed toads:
A drainage area had Indian Bullfrogs at night.
And these cricket frogs were breeding in rain puddles.
More diversity came when I visited the Maidan, the huge open space in the middle of Kolkata. First I found an above-ground outlet with bullfrogs on the surface
And then a pond where early in the morning, a resident snake lay basking.
A gardened area of the park had a young juvenile of the same species under a board:
One less-frequented edge of the park had a basking lizard:
My favorite find came as I was looking under rocks in front of a goat herder. Under one rock I lucked upon a wolf snake!
At a guesthouse in another part of the city I found a few more lizard species:
The next few times I went to Kolkata, I stayed in a little ashram on the outskirts of the city. And THAT is where the snake finds got really crazy.
(click on Page 2 to see which EIGHT snake species I found there)