Israel 2013

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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:53 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Wait a minute... Have you been cheating, GJ, putting Eryx and Daboia in the list of what you found? :twisted:


What`s wrong with that? We found the snakes in two boxes in Aviad`s Garden! ;)


Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:The Cerastes night sounds a great experience. I know there has been a lot of talk about this already, but with this added experience, Jürgen, would you say you can have results in these Old World deserts that resemble cruising a night in certain areas in the US? No? I still don't get why that is...


I don`t know, but my guess is (not only for the desert), that the high activity in the night is a way/strategy to survive.

As you know the US deserts don`t have many night active lizards, that means not much food is on the way at night. Also the other food, the rats and mice, are active at night (in both areas).
So there are also more night active Snake species in the near Middle East area than in the US.

In the US you don`t have that many Day active predators as you have in the near Middle east.
The near Middle East, where Africa hits Asia, is also the Bird highway to their Hibernation places. Not only the Birds from north and middle Europe, but also the Birds from West/North Asia take that route to Africa.
Last year in spring we saw hundreds of white Storks every Day, this year in fall we saw some white and some black storks and a Marabu (my first!). Also many eagles and Buzzards take that way.
Better to be night active!
But as I wrote, just a guess.
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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:00 am

OK, but I meant: what causes that you can find so much more snakes by roadcruising at night in the US :?
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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Mario Schweiger » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:22 am

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:OK, but I meant: what causes that you can find so much more snakes by roadcruising at night in the US :?


Thats a really good - and until now unanswered - question ;)
You should get the Nobel Prize in Biology (they should create that) for the right answer!

From my experience in the US (only the humid SE states), everything is out during dark, even species you wouldnt expect, like Pantherophis guttatus, P. alleghaniensis, Thamnophis, Heterodon.
Also in Europe there are some places, where you may find hundreds of "day active" species in the dark. Like Natrix sp. around Skadar lake in Montenegro, but we also found there Elaphe quatuorlineata and Z. situla around midnight on roads.
In contrast, in Morocco you seldom find snakes active during night hours on roads, even night active species like Spalerosophis dolichospilus, Daboia, Cerastes.
But, for example, Cerastes vipera must be out in the hot summer month. The dunes are full of tracks in the morning hours, before the got lost due the wind.

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Please visit also my personal Herp-site vipersgarden.at
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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Matthijs Hollanders » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:20 pm

Nice. Looks like you really enjoyed herpes-heaven.
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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Lucas Schmeißing » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:24 pm

Mario Schweiger wrote:Also in Europe there are some places, where you may find hundreds of "day active" species in the dark. Like Natrix sp. around Skadar lake in Montenegro, but we also found there Elaphe quatuorlineata and Z. situla around midnight on roads.

I can confirm this, in MNE near Ulcinj I found Natrix n. persa while searching for Telescopus fallax at night at a stonewall about 3 - 4 kilometers away from any waters.

BTW, nice report with fantastic pictures! ;)

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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:12 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:OK, but I meant: what causes that you can find so much more snakes by roadcruising at night in the US :?


Sometimes you can do alright in Israel as well: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=774 ;)

Of course a further ten hours / five nights of road cruising in Israel have produced just one live snake for me (plus a couple of DOR's and a few other herps) :?
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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:15 pm

My best road cruising night in Israel was 3 different Species (5 Snakes) in 90 min.

I know I repeat but the best example fo me is Oman.
Herpetofauna.at Team no Snakes at night.
Spain – German Team no Snakes at night.
Carranza Team 14 Snakes in one night.

I remember a night cruising in Southwest Texas
A 6 hour Drive along the famous River road , a perfect night, no wind, no full moon and
No Snakes!

It`s always the same game, right time - right place and everything is possible!
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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Tomas Mazuch » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:52 pm

In Oman we found almost all snakes at night, with the highest activity at dusk and short time after that. Not to much snakes were found at night in later hours.

Echis - all four species
"Coluber" thomasi
Atractaspis
Telescopus
Eryx
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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:37 pm

Tomas Mazuch wrote:In Oman we found almost all snakes at night, with the highest activity at dusk and short time after that. Not to much snakes were found at night in later hours.

Echis - all four species
"Coluber" thomasi
Atractaspis
Telescopus
Eryx


We found also "our" three Echis species, Bitis, Atractaspis and Platyceps rhodorachis at night, but no snakes on the road.
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Re: Israel 2013

Postby Daniel Kane » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:43 pm

Awesome photos Jürgen! GertJan, yours too :) Seems you had a great trip! Love the variety of geckos. Needless to say that the vipers (and elapid) were also highlights of mine.
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