catching up - 3 summer reports

Portugal, Spain, Andorra

catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:59 pm

It doesn't really fit all in this subforum, but what the heck.

Here’s an early Christmas present: catching up with reports of trips to northwestern Spain, Lorraine and the Pyrenees.

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Fire Salamander Salamandra salamandra - northwestern Spain, July 2017

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Western Whip Snake Hierophis viridiflavus – Lorraine, August 2017

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Pyrenean Stream Frog Rana pyrenaica - Pyrenees, August 2017
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Re: catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Niklas Ban » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:10 am

The Lorraine report is my favourite, always worth a visit.
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Re: catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Kevin Byrnes » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:46 am

Great reports Jeroen and nice to see some pics of the family.
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Re: catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Ilian Velikov » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:43 am

Very nice! Well done. Is that photo of Chioglossa up a tree in-situ?
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Re: catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:38 am

Ilian Velikov wrote:Is that photo of Chioglossa up a tree in-situ?

Yes. Poorly known, but not too unusual.
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Re: catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Bobby Bok » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:40 am

Awesome in-situ shots :shock:
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Re: catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Ilian Velikov » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:51 am

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Yes. Poorly known


Indeed! That's interesting. You know what's the reason behind it? Hunting? And if yes, what prey is there that can't be found on the ground? Or is it something else..?
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Re: catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:27 pm

It seems to be one of several ways in which Chioglossa shows convergence with some American Plethodontidae (next to body shape, lung reduction, speed, ...). It is the only salamandrid of which it is known. It doesn't have any features to facilitate climbing (e.g. toe pads, ventral skin with that weird texture Hyla and Pelodytes have, ...), but its body proportions seem to help.

Why they do it? Maybe the question should be: why not, if they are able to use their habitat to the fullest? Why do Bolitoglossa species climb? Because they can ;) . Predation avoidance comes to mind as one potential driver. Maybe at certain moments, moisture can be captured more readily higher up as well.
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Re: catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Ilian Velikov » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:57 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Why they do it? Maybe the question should be: why not, if they are able to use their habitat to the fullest? Why do Bolitoglossa species climb? Because they can

I don't disagree but we both know "to the fullest" is quite subjective to the species. Just because an animal can do something it doesn't mean it needs to or that it has any survival value (e.g. all snakes can climb but not all do), unless they do it just for fun but although I'm very open-minded in regard to this and that studies in animal cognition are advancing rapidly in recent years and discovering amazing stuff I don't think any play behavior was recorded for Caudata...yet. So apart from "because they can" I was wondering what the "driver" was as you put it.

These two make sense:
Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Predation avoidance comes to mind as one potential driver. Maybe at certain moments, moisture can be captured more readily higher up as well.


Would be nice to know more about it.
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Re: catching up - 3 summer reports

Postby Ilian Velikov » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:08 pm

Can't find much about it but apparently T.marmoratus, S.salamandra and L.helveticus also exhibit climbing behavior.

Can you recall at roughly what height from the ground was the one you found on the tree? It might be a new record ;)
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