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Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 2:03 pm
by Ruggero Morimando
Here are a few of the many babies we took away from the roads, probably (I would say surely in most cases) saving their lives... :|

A nice tris of the old "Elaphe" species... :lol:

baby4.jpg
In situ: baby fourlined, Melo's shoes and my VW Tiguan

baby4bis.jpg
Same baby

situlino.jpg
In situ: a bus was coming behind us!

saettino.jpg
Baby longissimus, found on a dirty road

Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 2:53 pm
by Will Atkins
I'm always glad with Aesculapians, given their generally similar colouration, that they have such variable head scalation - especially the supralabial scales. I use this with the London snakes to ID them - something that can usually be done in situ as they tend to remain in position if approached slowly (not always, but often). So I guess even if one of your black individuals had not had a damaged tail you would still have known they were not one and the same animal!

Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 6:40 pm
by Jeroen Speybroeck
Good stuff, Ruggero, many thanks!

Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 12:13 pm
by Ruggero Morimando
Thanks Will and Jeroen! :)

For those interested in aesculapians, I will try to post here most of the pictures I have of adult/subadult longissima specimens I've found in Cres.
I've found on my PC a total of 24 different specimens (23 living + 1 dead found): each picture depicts a different specimen.
As you can notice, around 50% of the specimens (13 specimens on a total of 24) have a melanistic and or a melanistic/aberrant (in the "calico" direction) colour. The other specimens have a "normal" rather uniform brown colour or (2-3 cases) a brown colour with a faint yellowish striping and a brown/yellow neck and head region.

0.jpg
Male specimen found resting on a dirty road in the woods (picture in situ available)

1.jpg
Very big "melanic-calico" male found "en accordeon" on a dirty road (picture in situ available)

20.jpg
Very big male found in activity among ruins

2.jpg
Female specimen found in movement near a stone wall

3.jpg
Specimen (male) found among ruins

4 deformed tail.jpg
Specimen (male) with deformed tail, found at the edges of a dirty road, rolled-up among stones and branches

5.jpg
Male with "truncated" tail observed for many minutes in activity in a scrub and stone walls sunny area (many pictures in situ available, both before as well as after the "capture": in fact it continued for a long time to crawl around me even after having been released...)

6.jpg
Beautiful melanic male, found a few seconds after the capture of the fourlined snake, in the same place of the specimen posted above: both the fourlined and the aesculapian were crossing the dirty road

7.jpg
Female found rolled-up among stones and branches at the edge of the dirty road visible in the picture

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Specimen (female) found at the edges of a trail in the woods (picture in situ available)

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Male found in the wood at the edge of a trail, near a stone wall (picture in situ available)

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Beautiful black male which crossed our trail in front of us

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Beautiful yellowish and striped male found among ruins (picture in situ available)

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Young male found resting on a trail (picture in situ available)

13.jpg
Big male found in activity among ruins

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Female found in the woods among stone walls

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Small female found on a stone wall

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Young female found near a ruin

17.jpg
Male found over stones and branches near a stone wall at the edge of a dirty road

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Found on a dirty road: female with two strange "wart like" formations near a scar on the other side of the neck. Maybe brocken neck ribs covered by the regrown skin? Or simply abnormal tissue recovery?

19.jpg
Female found resting on a trail in the woods: in situ

21.jpg
Male found rolled-up among ruins

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Normally coloured female in situ (no picture in hand available)

dor.jpg
Normally coloured specimen found dead in the woods at the edge of a dirty road

Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 8:25 pm
by Ruggero Morimando
P.s. It was not easy, but very probably I've written now the correct sex determination of all the aesculapians above: in part using my memory, in part reading my old posts, in part watching carefully my pictures... An useful work? I don't know... :|

Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 7:11 am
by Will Atkins
Thanks for posting more Aesculapians, Ruggero! a feast of snakes. I wish we had a few melanistic ones in the feral London population, but as you can guess the gene pool is limited, given the small number of founders. Some of our snakes grow to 1.5m, but yours look generally much larger and healthier - to be expected, given that they shouldn't be up here in the UK.

Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 10:47 am
by Jeroen Speybroeck
Good stuff!

Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 2:53 pm
by Tomas Klacek
Great pictures and finds, love it! Aesculapian snakes are very rare here so it´s always nice to see some. I´ve never seen a snake longer than 150-160cm, some of yours looks massive!

Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 4:59 pm
by Ruggero Morimando
Tomas Klacek wrote:Great pictures and finds, love it! Aesculapian snakes are very rare here so it´s always nice to see some. I´ve never seen a snake longer than 150-160cm, some of yours looks massive!


Thanks Tomas!
The question about the size of the aesculapians is very good, but unfortunately I'm not used to measure the snakes... and this is a bad habit. :(
When I was younger, I found a DOR aesculapian near my hometown, which I judged as being huge. It was in fact a very big male (I think to remember so. However males are the only ones that can attain these sizes... or am I wrong?), and that was one of the rare times I measured a snake, bringing it home: it was just a little above 150 cm... Less than I supposed to be by sight, but the snake looked anyway impressive!

Then, years later, I found another huge DOR aesculapian in the northern Apennines: it was not very "thick", but extremely long. It was at the border of a trafficked road, and I didn't measure it... who knows how long it actually was... :?:

I never measured the aesculapians in Cres, but I can tell you that the biggest ones were almost surely these two snakes.

big.jpg
First specimen: in situ

big1.jpg
First specimen: in hand

melo1.jpg
Second specimen: notice the thickness

melo2.jpg
Second specimen: notice the length


How long could they be?
I don't know, but I would say that a length between 150 and 170 cm could be a reasonable one... :lol:

Re: Some pictures from the Cres-Lošinj archipelago

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 12:18 pm
by Mario Schweiger
nice to see these grey to black specimen from Cres island