This week in Copenhagen, blue esculentus and alien alpestris

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This week in Copenhagen, blue esculentus and alien alpestris

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Sun Aug 27, 2017 9:01 pm

Copenhagen herping is usually pretty uneventful.

This past week, however, a couple of quite surprising critters showed up.

On Tuesday, reports surfaced of a couple of alpine newts being found in the woods on the grounds of a castle in the northern suburbs. Alpine newts are in Denmark restricted to the extreme southeast of Jutland where the northernmost populations in the world appear so of course this had to be an introduced population.

Nevertheless, I was curious.

Pauline has ballet lessons close by so on Thursday after work I drove her to and from. I spent about an hour searching while she was dancing.

Alongside several of the usual suspects, smooth newts, common toads and ditto frogs, I found three alpine newts under cover on the forest floor.

Pretty as they are, the newts were not the most attractive herps of the day. That prize goes instead to an unusually beautifully coloured and patterned slate gray and orange common toad.

My hasty discount cell phone shots do not do the animals any justice.



The next noteworthy report ticked in Wednesday. A blue edible frog had been found in a lake on the island of Amager.

There was a social event in Gustav's class at a nearby nature center so we decided to stop and see if we couldn't find the frog on our way home.

We had all but given up and were headed back towards the car when suddenly there it was. I don't know how you would label this kind of pigmentation defect but while I often find the freaks of the herp world rather ugly, this was simply gorgeous.




Kristian Munkholm
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Re: This week in Copenhagen, blue esculentus and alien alpes

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:28 pm

Wow. I have never seen patchy blue pigmentation in green frogs before.
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Re: This week in Copenhagen, blue esculentus and alien alpes

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:44 pm

:o Nice one! The blue green frog is awsome but I also love the Bufo.
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Re: This week in Copenhagen, blue esculentus and alien alpes

Postby Tom Hoogesteger » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:42 pm

That esculentus looks crazy and that toad is stunning! :shock:

Alpestris was included in Sven Nilsson's "Skandinavisk fauna" (1842), based on two animals allegedly found near Landskrona, western Skåne. The findings were later, however, interpreted by Gislén & Kauri (1959) as misidentified juvenile Triturus cristatus with unspotted bellies.
This just makes me think, maybe Nilsson wasn't wrong after all? Could there actually be some isolated, natural populations further north than currently known? :|
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