a new V. berus locality in Oberbayern (Bavaria, Germany)

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a new V. berus locality in Oberbayern (Bavaria, Germany)

Postby Mario Schweiger » Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:07 pm

I have to start with a short story ;)
Last sunday afternoon I´ve got an information on a long nose viper, Vipera ammodytes, seen in upper Bavaria, just a few miles across the Austrian border.
The woman saw it while picking black berries.
Ok, I was sure, it wasn´t an ammodytes (but maybe an escaped or released one), but also Vipera berus was unknown from that area. There wasn´t even an (very) old record from there.
So what it could have been? A Coronella?
But the woman wrote, the snake had a very distinctive zig-zag band along the dorsal.
So we made an appointment for this morning (7:30) and went to that place.
After 5 minutes walk I was sure - it "smelled" extremely on berus.

DSC_1675.jpg
the area

a sunny forest with large open parts, overgrown with Calluna and black berries.
And short after, I found the first sign of herps occuring there.

zoot_haut.jpg
shedding of Zootoca vivipara

unfortunately it was 80% or even a bit more cloudy and quite cool.
So I made a half hours rest, waiting for the sun to come out a bit more.
Around 9:00 a.m. I saw the first Zootocas between the bushes, but couldn´t grap one.
A few minutes later - there it was :D
A large, a bit more than 70 cm long Vipera berus female. But in full shedding stage.

DSC_1648.jpg
Vipera berus female


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Occasionally the sun came out for some minutes

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habitat in the sunlight

and also the vipers. Shi...., I had missed another two :evil:
But again, a nice, freshly shed female was basking

DSC_1723.jpg
V. berus female, approx. 45 to 50 cm


DSC_1730.jpg


One minute later the next one, an about one year old female

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and again, I missed two vipers.

My way back I went on a forest road with ditches on each side.
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forest road with small ditches beside


DSC_1765.jpg
baby Natrix natrix. look at the track on the Lemna carpet it left behind. There is another track from a 2nd baby, crossing the ditch one minute earlier.


I hope, you watched the road picture carefully ;)
DSC_1781.jpg
Pelophylax sp.


Close to my car there was this wood pile
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At least 8 Zootoca have been basking on it, when I came close.
Two of them have been out again 3 minutes later
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Zootoca vivipara


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I left the area short after 11:00 a.m.
So a very good morning:
7 Vipera berus (all females) seen in a new unknown area, at least 25 kms north of the next known place (allready in the hills).
x Zootoca
x Pelophylax
5 Natrix natrix (all babies hatched this year).
I´m sure Coronella and Anguis will occur there too. So this place will be visited soon again ;)

Mario
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Re: a new Vipera berus locality in Niederbayern (Bavaria, German

Postby Daniel Bohle » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:00 pm

what a waste of time, no ammodytes :(
hehehe :D
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Re: a new Vipera berus locality in Niederbayern (Bavaria, German

Postby Ilian Velikov » Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:18 pm

I love that first berus shot with the habitat! :)
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Re: a new Vipera berus locality in Niederbayern (Bavaria, German

Postby Mario Schweiger » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:16 pm

Yes, I love those pictures too ;)
But nearly impossible in that habitat. Complete plain with dense Callunna and blackberries bushes, up to 50 cm high. So I had to find a log very close nearby, to make the pictures - and to release the viper within its homerange again ;)
... and I have forgotten: In the roadside ditches, surface free of Lemna, I saw a lot of very big larvas of Triturus cristatus!

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Re: a new V. berus locality in Oberbayern (Bavaria, Germany)

Postby Mario Schweiger » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:30 pm

Sorry, this locality is in Obernbayern, I´ve changed now :shock:
But the distance to the next known locality is ok.
Sorry for my not existing knowledge of the biogeographical regions of the "Weißwurst"-State ;)

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