Herping UAE

For your reports/images, made outside Europe and the "Mediterranean" countries. Not to be too narrow minded and limited to our European/Mediterranean herps.

Re: Herping UAE

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:52 pm

There is great difference between sandy deserts. Sands may be coarse grained or fine grained, there may be areas of compressed sand where only vague marks - if any - are left. In other words, in some areas, it's easy, in others, less so.

Likewise, there is difference between species. Lytorhynchus tracks, as shown above, are very "clean" making it quite conspicuous where the sand is piled up. It may be less conspicuous with other species.

On the whole, I'd say that while losing the trail entirely is a very real concern, discerning the direction of movement - even if it takes a few seconds to figure it out every now and then - very rarely, if ever, is.

I'm sure Jürgen & GJ have more to add on this topic, as they've both tracked more species in more desert habitats than I have.
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Re: Herping UAE

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:24 am

Kristian, thanks for that! I'm however confused, because with Crotalus cerastes I thought that the curly end is the 'offset' of the tailtip...
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Re: Herping UAE

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:44 am

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Kristian, thanks for that! I'm however confused, because with Crotalus cerastes I thought that the curly end is the 'offset' of the tailtip...

The curly end is the impression of the head. This is almost always clearly visible. At the tail end there is more of a sharp kink which, dependent on conditions, is not always as pronounced. In my picture you can just barely make it out in a couple of places but I found an online pic where it is very clear.

http://s59.photobucket.com/user/HeyPugs ... d.jpg.html
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Re: Herping UAE

Postby Matthijs Hollanders » Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:54 pm

Do any of you guys have the Gardner (2013) book on the herps of Oman and UAE? I just ordered it on Amazon, can't wait to have some preparatory fun for some upcoming trips! Good stuff Jürgen and GJ!
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Re: Herping UAE

Postby Gabriel Martínez » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:52 pm

Jürgen Gebhart wrote:
Niklas Ban wrote:For sure the Pseudocerastes is great! But I have a question, how do you search in
the desert? I think the "hunt" must be completely different from the european way of herping.

Niklas in case of Reptiles for sure, totally different.
The night Trip starts in the morning, you go into the Desert to look for boring Herps, like Lizards for example, but you also look for tracks of night active snakes. If there some you come back after sunset, walk around with your torch, ran into some Geckos and hope to find some fresh snake tracks to follow at the end of the track you will find the snake or a borrow (or nothing). Some Guys are really great in that like GJ or Gabri, some not, like me or of course Pauli.

Aviad Bar is the best following tracks! I am not very good. If GertJan follow tracks in sand with the same hability that he finds Vipera monticola he must be also a very good sandy-herper!

BTW, in Morocco the snake hunters (Aissaoua people) also follow tracks to find Bitis, Daboia, Malpolon and Naja. But in most part of Moroccan range of these snakes there are no sand "dunes", just sandy areas between rocks and bushes. So usually the track disappear when the sand disappear and it´s more difficult than in sand dunes. Then they usually prefer to search around big rivers (oueds) where the ground is more sandy and is easier to find tracks. In South Africa, Aviad also found in Kalahari a track of a baby Bitis caudalis that disappear when the sand disappear, also a big Naja nivea track that ends in a huge mammal burrow (we didn´t dig it because it was huge and also because we had captured a nivea before...) and finally he got a Psammophis sleeping in a hole after follow its tracks. Follow tracks is as fun as flip stones, but the result with snakes, in my opinion, is much better!
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Re: Herping UAE

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:20 pm

@Kristian - good Job, can`t explain it better

@Matthijs - I like the book, there are also some Track-pics inside

@Gabri- Si claro, Aviad is the best!
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Re: Herping UAE

Postby miguel santos » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:21 am

Great stuff guys, I will keep on pratcicing. So far I only had very limited succes..... Meaning that I twice found a snake but had no idea if it was the one I was tracking .
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Re: Herping UAE

Postby GertJan Verspui » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:07 pm

Haha, nice to read all this, I am just an average snake finder who likes to track them and this far luck was on my side. This time tracking the Cerastes was not that difficult, In Israel I found one after more then 700 m, this time one was around 400 m and the other 2 were less then 50m.
Almost all the sand species we found were found by tracking them, we saw some active Scincus and some other snake food lizards, even the worm lizard is very easy to track down...(once you find out which way it was going)

I will start with my photos very soon.
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Re: Herping UAE

Postby Mario Schweiger » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:12 pm


the same like at Gert Jan.
your Asaccus caudivolvulus is A. margaritae now!
Easy to distinguish from caudivolvulus: no tubercles on upper arm.
PDF here:
Arnold, E.N. & A.S. Gardner (1994): A Review of the Middle Eastern Leaf-toed Geckoes (Gekkonidae: Asaccus) with Descriptions of Two New Species from Oman -- Fauna of Saudi Arabia 14: 424-441
already had more morphs of their new A. caudivolvulus, one with no tubercles on upper arm!
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Please visit also my personal Herp-site vipersgarden.at
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