Cyprus 2015

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Cyprus 2015

Postby Rémon ter Harmsel » Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:52 pm

In Oktober I spent a week on the island of Cyprus with my family. Though primarily a family-holiday I cannot lie on a sunbed all day, knowing there are herps to be found in the area, which I know most of you will relate to ;) So I got a rental car and explored the Greek side of the island with my girlfriend. I had never been to Cyprus before and while my family was planning the holiday location I made quite a few hints about Cyprus and what a great family holiday location it would be! Which paid off, because on Oktober 6th our plane touched down on Cyprus :mrgreen:

My main goal was to find some (or all) of the endemics, which include Hierophis cypriensis, Pelophylax cypriensis, Phoenicolacerta troodica and the Cypriotic subspecies of the grass snake, Natrix natrix cypriaca. The grass snake is very close to extinction on the island, due to a history of pesticide use, habitat destruction and man-made alterations in creek and river flows. Of course, Macrovipera lebetina was also high on my wish-lise, as well as Eumeces schneiderii, which is the rarest skink on the island. Schreiber's fringe-fingered lizard, Acanthodactylus schreiberi, the rarest lizard on the island, was also a species to look out for.

As it was the end of the dry season, even in Oktober temperatures where still soaring towards mid 30's at the end of the morning already, which made exploring the island a hot and dusty adventure. Water was very limited, and most rivers and creeks were now dry riverbeds. Especially snakes proved to be very, very hard to find, during all times of the day, including while doing some nightcruising. I did not find a single trace of a viper, which is suposed to be widespread across the island.
Biggest highlight was finding a grass snake out foraging in a ditch in a further all but completely dried out habitat!

Cyprus is a great island, but next visit will have to be a lot earlier in the season :roll:

Total list, including DOR:

1 Laudakia stellio
2 Chamaeleo chamaeleon (DOR)
3 Cyrtopodion kotschyi
4 Hemidactylus turcicus
5 Acanthodactylus schreiberi
6 Ophisops elegans
7 Phoenicolacerta troodica
8 Ablepharus budaki
9 Chalcides ocellatus
10 Dolichophis jugularis
11 Malpolon insignitus (DOR)
12 Natrix natrix cypriaca
13 Pelophylax cypriensis

Some pictures below.

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Acanthodactylus schreiberi


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Cape Greko


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Sea caves


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Hemidactylus turcicus


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Paphos archeological site


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Ablepharus budaki


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Cyrtopodion kotschyi


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Cyrtopodion kotschyi


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Hemidactylus turcicus


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Ophisops elegans


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Phoenicolacerta troodica


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Akamas Peninsula National Park


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Mesobuthus cyprius


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Ablepharus budaki


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Laudakia stellio


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Acanthodactylus schreiberi


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Acanthodactylus schreiberi


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Acanthodactylus schreiberi habitat


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Troodos mountains


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Pelophylax cypriensis


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Dolichophis jugularis


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Naxtrix natrix cypriaca


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Hemiechinus auritus


@ Mario: I think I blew up the server (again) yesterday while uploading pictures :oops:

And since it is newyears day now; all the best wishes!! May there be many more herp-related adventures in 2016!
Rémon ter Harmsel
 
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Re: Cyprus 2015

Postby Andre Schmid » Fri Jan 01, 2016 1:46 pm

Congrats on the Grass Snake and thanks for sharing this nice pictures !

Happy Herping 2016 :)
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Re: Cyprus 2015

Postby Mario Schweiger » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:25 pm

Rémon ter Harmsel wrote:@ Mario: I think I blew up the server (again) yesterday while uploading pictures :oops:

Nice pictures. The Natrix in situ looks great.
Why you should have blown the server?
Normally I can see, if someones post wasnt uploaded - but nothing!
Mario (Admin)

Please visit also my personal Herp-site vipersgarden.at
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Mario Schweiger
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Re: Cyprus 2015

Postby Frédéric Seyffarth » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:31 pm

I really like the Dolichophis!
And i think it is more difficult than the Natrix to spoting and photographing before it flew ;-)

Happy herping for 2016!!
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Re: Cyprus 2015

Postby Rémon ter Harmsel » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:43 pm

Thanks guys!
Yes the Dolichophis was indeed more of a challenge to photograph before it decided to make a move :) They are a common species however, while the Natrix is limited to only two small areas in very low numbers.

Mario: second time now while uploading a lot of pictures in a short time the connection gets lost. Couldn't get on the forum for about half a day.
Rémon ter Harmsel
 
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