HSSSlither 2022

With the lifting of certain restrictions and relaxation of others, the HSS decided to organise a physical event for its members, the HSS Slither.

Modelled after the style of frog and bird races, the HSSSlither comprised several teams that went herping over 24 hours. Since it was the event’s first run, we decided to keep it as an exclusive members-only event; with luck, it might be open to the public for future runs.

In addition to letting our members run wild in the great outdoors, this event also aimed to boost the appreciation, awareness and conservation of reptiles and amphibians in Singapore and give our newer members a chance to get to know the society better.

HSSSlither 2022 was held from 14 – 15 May with 20 participants from HSS; over the 24 hours, the participants made 65 observations of 38 different species.

And, what even is a competitive event without categories to excel in and prizes to win? The categories we decided on were ‘Most Species Seen’, ‘Best Photograph’, and ‘Coolest Observation’, and our teams did their best to excel in all these categories!

The ‘Most Species Seen’ title was clinched by Team 4, who saw a whopping 29 species! Congrats to Team 4 (Sankar, Dhanushri, Drima, and Jerome).

Entries for ‘Best Photograph’ comprised some stunning herps, but Emmanuel’s photo of the copper-cheeked frog with its large catchy bested all others!

Copper-cheeked frog (Hylarana chalconota) by Emmanuel Goh

The ‘Coolest Observation’ category was hoping to cover rarely seen species or unique herp interactions, and we were not disappointed. The winner for this category was Team Cloudies, who observed a changeable lizard (Calotes versicolor) predating on a Bowring’s supple skink (Lygosoma bowringii).

After our morning herp session, we walked along the road when Angelina spotted a changeable lizard with a Bowring’s supple skink in its mouth! The skink was still alive and wriggling at the start. We dropped our bags, took out our cameras and started snapping away. It was right beside a traffic light so we had a lot of confused drivers who were trying to see why three girls were armed with DSLRs and taking photos of a tree, with one driver even rolling down his window to try and get a better look. A pretty cool record of the changeable lizard’s diet and the potential impact it has on native species! – Photo by Dayna and write-up by Team Cloudies.

Other entries included a dog-toothed cat snake (Boiga cynodon) while road cruising and a napping red-tailed racer (Gonyosoma oxycephalum).

And in addition to having fun, the participating members contributed a lot of important feedback and suggestions which would help us further streamline further HSSSlithers and make it conducive for participants of all ages and herping experiences.

A huge thank you to all the members who participated and here’s to the next (and hopefully bigger) HSSSlither!

Published by Scribbles of a Zoology Student

Zoology Graduate. Full-Time Teaching Assistant. HerpSocSG's Scientific Officer. Freelance Photographer. Passionate Culinarian. Avid Bibliophile. Dinosaur Aficionado. Armed with an iPhone 12S and/or Canon 60D. Bearded.

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