Peloponnese, spring 2015

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Peloponnese, spring 2015

Postby Noah Meier » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:29 am

Hi guys
As there is no activity in the field for us European herpetologists I finally got time to make a collection of our Peloponnese trip from April 2015. May this pictures help you hibernating our winter season...
I hope you enjoy it :)

We arrived in Athen at the 3th of April. Our journey started in the Agolid Peninsula. On road to the Peninsula of Methana and the island Poros we found the first C.kotschyi, A.kitaibelli, L.trilineata and plenty of Ophrys lutea.

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Agolid peninsula

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Cyrtopodion kotschyi
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Scolopendra cingulata (I assume)
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Ablepharus kitaibelli

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A.kitaibelli

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Ophrys lutea


Arriving at Methana everybody who hasn't known before smells that it must be a vulcano island. At Methana we found some "reptile hotspots", our first Chalcides occelatus and Ophiomorus punctatissimus.

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Methana landscape
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Reptile hotspot
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Chalcides occelatus

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Chalcides occelatus - family
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Ophiomorus punctatissimus

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H.gemonensis
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H.gemonensis

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L.trilineata juvenile


In the evening we searched for snakes on the road and found unfortunately a L.trilineata that was hit by a car and some nice Bufotes viridis.

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Bufotes viridis


The next day we took the ferry to the island of Poros. We really enjoyed this island as we found two new snake species for us: Platyceps najadum and Zamenis situla. Interesting was also a hill full with big rocks and euphorbia and between the rocks we found about 5-7 marginated tortoises (Testudo marginata).

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Ferry to Poros
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Testudo marginata
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Platyceps najadum
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P.najadum
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Zamenis situla
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Z.situla

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Habitat of P.najadum

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P.najadum

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Empusa fasciata
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Empusa fasciata

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Algyroides moreoticus

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P.najadum


Over night we made the long drive over Sparta in the south of Peloponnese - the Mani. Starting at the west coast we stucked in the some wine areas. But we still found some T.marginata, A. kitaibelli and one of the coolest orthoptera species: Acrida ungarica (I think).

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Acrida ungarica (probably)

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Mesobuthus gibbosus


As the weather turned cloudy and it started raining for some hours we used to change to the west coast of the peloponnesian middle finger. Of course we didn't find any herps during the rain. So we started flipping stones soon as the rain stopped and found another O.punctatissimus. It took some more hours until the sun came back and the wet, cloudy landscape turned into a paradise! First we found a big Malpolon insignitus male (we called him the "king of the hill"), then another smaller female which used to stay hidden in a bush. In the same habitat we found at this day: T.marginata, H.turcicus, C.kotchyi, X.vermicularis, P.apodus, L.trilineata, H. graeca P.peloponnesiascus, as wells as the biggest scorpion I've ever seen in nature - Iurus dufoueirus (thick like my thumb).

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Habitat of M.insignitus, T.marginata, H.turcicus, P.apodus, X.vermicularis, P. peloponnesiascus, L.trilineata, H.graeca and O.punctatissimus and C.kotschyi
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Malpolon insignitus
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M.insignitus
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M.insignitus
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Lacerta trilineata
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L.trilineata
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P.peloponnesiascus
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Pseudopus apodus
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X.vermicularis

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Hellenolacerta graeca

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Iurus dufoureius

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T.marginata


A few kilometers further we stopped at a pond looking for natrix species, unfortunately without success. Instead we found many Hellenolacerta greaca, Podarcis peloponnesiascus and a tiny Saga hellenica. Along of some (for herpetologists) attracting stone walls we suddenly found a juvenile Vipera ammodytes meridionalis, about 10 more specimens followed.

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Podarcis peloponnesiascus

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Saga hellenica
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Vipera ammodytes meridionalis
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V.ammodytes
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V.ammodytes
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V.ammodytes
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V.ammodytes
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V.ammodytes
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V.ammodytes

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Probably reason for many snake bites...


Right at the parking place of a restaurant in the surroundings we disturbed a Upupa epops hunting insects. We made it only for this one picture through the front glass ... On our way back in the northern direction me made a stop close to Kalamata and found some H.gemonensis and plenty of Anguis cephallonica.

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Upupa epops

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Anguis cephallonica

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Hierophis gemonensis


My conclusion from this few days...
Peloponnese is one of the greatest places in Europe for fieldherping and I'll definitely go back there as soon as I can. ;)
Have a nice time.
Roger and Noah
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Re: Peloponnese, spring 2015

Postby Mario Schweiger » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:16 am

must have been a very successful trip ;)
great serie of pictures!
Thanks for sharing
Mario (Admin)

Please visit also my personal Herp-site vipersgarden.at
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Re: Peloponnese, spring 2015

Postby Noah Meier » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:29 pm

Mario Schweiger wrote:must have been a very successful trip ;)
great serie of pictures!
Thanks for sharing


Thanks Mario!
Indeed, it was one of the best trips we did so far :D

Noah
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