Barcelona - spring is here

Portugal, Spain, Andorra

Re: Barcelona - spring is slowly coming

Postby Ray Hamilton » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:55 pm

Forgot to say - enjoyed the in situ shot of the Montpellier. Great looking snakes!
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Re: Barcelona - spring is slowly coming

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:53 pm

Thanks Ray! Yes, this year has been unusual over here as well. Spring is rather cold-ish and wet and we even had some snowfall, which the locals couldn't believe. I haven't seen much (in terms of herps) after that last Natterjack but birds and orchids keep me going. Last week we found quite a few Early Spider Orchids which were a first for us. I hope you find some interesting stuff down south, and I'm looking forward to photos if you do so.
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Re: Barcelona - spring is slowly coming

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:07 pm

The weather is improving over here and so is the activity of the amphibians and reptiles. During our usual walks with my wife and daughter in three consecutive days, in the same area of just about 200 square meters, I found tens of Tarentolas, a few Psammodromus, one tiny A.fragilis, two more calamitas (both males), one tiny beautiful maura, another large male Malpolon and two Rhinechis (one sub-adult and one large adult). So it’s been quite a happy week for me.

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The second Rhinechis was in a very poor condition. I think I’ve seen a similar looking snake here before but I can’t remember what the diagnosis was. Any idea what is? Badly healed scaring or disease/parasite?

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Re: Barcelona - spring is slowly coming

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:16 pm

Were natterjack toads hidden under stuff?
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Re: Barcelona - spring is slowly coming

Postby Christoph Stenger » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:28 am

Nice.

Did you take any pictures of the Rhinechis?
Cheers

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Re: Barcelona - spring is slowly coming

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:19 am

Michal Szkudlarek wrote:Were natterjack toads hidden under stuff?

Yes, two of them next to each other. Most of the other species were also under stuff.

Christoph Stenger wrote:Did you take any pictures of the Rhinechis?

Yes, the forum crashed before I could post them. I've updated the post now.
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Re: Barcelona - spring is slowly coming

Postby Christoph Stenger » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:34 am

Great - thank you!

Yeah, the second one looks really bad! I think I remember telling me that they have seen a rhinechis population in the South of France a few years ago that was almost 100% in bad shape. But I don’t remember the cause for that either. It might be flesh wound not healing well or somekind of reaction to pesticides.
Cheers

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Re: Barcelona - spring is here

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:52 pm

Nice, Ilian, I bet you don't miss London ;)
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Re: Barcelona - spring is here

Postby Ilian Velikov » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:10 am

Christoph Stenger wrote: It might be flesh wound not healing well or somekind of reaction to pesticides.


There's lots of agricultural land as well as snake predators/dog walkers in this area, so both are possible.

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Nice, Ilian, I bet you don't miss London

Hehe, well, back there where we lived we had, within walking distance, berus, natrix, anguis, zootoca, bufo, temporaria, two species of Lissotriton, and Triturus. So I can't really complain about the herping in London, but no I can't say that I do ;)
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Re: Barcelona - spring is here

Postby Ilian Velikov » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:47 am

I've been doing some research on the condition of that second Rhinechis and it looks a lot like SFD (Snake Fungal Disease) caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. It has a very high mortality rate and has been devastating snake populations in North America for years. It is not well studied but scientist suspect it is transmitted by touch or contaminated environment. I feel bad now because I handled one more Rhinechis with the same gloves I handled this one but also the other snakes I found were very close to where I found this one (one Malpolon under the same stone) and they were fine, so I hope I didn't cause any harm. I'll need to buy new gloves now.
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