Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus

Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Jelmer Groen » Fri May 27, 2016 5:01 pm

Here are some pictures taken during my stay in Israel (May 2nd- May 9th). I traveled a lot and saw lots of nice herps, partly thanks to great people like Aviad and Shani who are also members of this message boards.
The focus was mainly on vipers and other snakes, but as the pictures will tell I’m basically interested in everything that moves. I hope you guys don’t mind if I share some pics of non herps too.
It truly was a great trip and I will definitely return one day as there is so much more to see. I’m not much of a trip report writer, but here we go....

Some pictures from the western part of Israel (coastal plain), I spent the first two days of my trip in this area.

Image
Crowned Leafnose Snake (Lytorhynchus diadema)

Image
Rough-Tail Rock Agama (Laudakia stellio)

Image
Lichtenstein's Short-Fingered Gecko (Stenodactylus sthenodactylus)

Image
African Softshell turtle (Trionyx triunguis)

Image
African Softshell turtle (Trionyx triunguis)

Image
A sneaky Western Caspian Turtle (Mauremys bivulata)

Image
Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard (Acanthodactylus schreiberi), female

Image
Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard (Acanthodactylus schreiberi), male

Image
Mediterranean Spur-tighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca)

Image
Palestine Viper (Daboia palaestinae). This snake was relocated and it’s the only live Daboia I have seen during this trip (+ 2 d.o.r.)

Some pictures from the northern Negev. Let me start with some pictures taken during one night off road cruising with Aviad. We found 11 snakes on the road, from six different species. To be precise:

Image
A Roger's Racer (Platyceps rogersi)

Image
A Diadem Snake (Spaleresophis diadema)

Image
Same Diadem Snake (Spaleresophis diadema)

Image
A Sahara Sand Viper (Cerastes vipera), with what seems like a parasite in its eye (?)

We stopped because we saw the Cerastes on the road. After catching the Cerastes we saw this Black Desert Cobra (Walterinnesia aegyptia) lying on the side of the road, just a couple off meters away from where the Cerastes was. What a lucking find!

Image
Black Desert Cobra (Walterinnesia aegyptia)

Image
Black Desert Cobra (Walterinnesia aegyptia)

So there we were, standing next to the road with a viper and an elapid. And if we weren’t already lucky enough, we saw this Crowned Leafnose Snake (Lytorhynchus diadema) digging its way into a burrow, searching for lizards. It’s a shame I only took this quick shot as it was really cool to watch, but we were too busy with the other two snakes and after photograping and releasing both the Walterinnesia and the Cerastes, the Lytorhynchus was gone.

Image
Crowned Leafnose Snake (Lytorhynchus diadema)

The other six snakes were d.o.r.’s. One Daboia, one Platyceps rogersi, 2 Lytorhynchus, one Cerastes vipera, one Cerastes cerastes. The rodent is a Lesser Egyptian jerboa (Jaculus jaculus). Quite a sad sight.

Image



To be continued.....
Jelmer Groen
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:31 pm
Hometown: Leeuwarden
country: Netherlands

Re: Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Jelmer Groen » Fri May 27, 2016 6:50 pm

Some pictures from the desert dunes

Image
Anderson's Short-Fingered Gecko (Stenodactylus petrii), gravid female

Image
Sahara Sand Viper (Cerastes vipera)

Image
Sahara Sand Viper (Cerastes vipera)

Image
Sahara Sand Viper (Cerastes vipera)

Image
Blaps sulcata

Image
Desert Horned Viper (Cerastes cerastes)

Image
Desert Horned Viper (Cerastes cerastes)

Image
Desert Horned Viper (Cerastes cerastes)

Image
Wedge-snouted skink (Chalcides sepsoides)

On the 3rd day, I drove south through the central and southern Negev. The scenery was just amazing!

Image
Ramon Crate

Image
Ramon Crate

In the south we (the composition of the group of herpers was changing all the time) would search for Field's Horned Viper (Pseudocerastes fieldi)

Image
Sunset at habitat Pseudocerastes fieldi

We found tracks from different specimens, but all tracks were old or disappeared into the vegetation. Slowly I was starting to lose hope, off course being well aware of the fact that this species is not easy to find.

Image
Tracks Pseudocerastes fieldi

However it was Aviad who ‘saved the day’ and found this beauty after hours of tracking and searching

Image
Field's Horned Viper (Pseudocerastes fieldi)

Image
Field's Horned Viper (Pseudocerastes fieldi)
Jelmer Groen
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:31 pm
Hometown: Leeuwarden
country: Netherlands

Re: Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Fri May 27, 2016 7:24 pm

Very cool, big Congrats on finding Walter!
I love Daboia!!!

It is time to go back!!!
User avatar
Jürgen Gebhart
 
Posts: 1423
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:17 am
Hometown: Wiedergeltingen Bavaria
country: Germany

Re: Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Jelmer Groen » Fri May 27, 2016 7:32 pm

Some more pictures from the southern part of Israel (southern Negev, Arava and Eilat mountains).

Image
Middle-Eastern Short-Fingered Gecko (Stenodactylus doriae)

Image
Green Bee-Eater (Merops orientalis)

Image
Bosk's Fringe-Fingered Lizard (Acanthodactylus boskianus)

Image
Rough-Tailed Gecko (Cyrtopodion scabrum), saved from a waterhole and in bad shape

Image
Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus), saved from same waterhole

Image
Egyptian Mastigure (Uromastyx aegyptia)

Image
Ornate Mastigure (Uromastyx ornate), female

Image
Ornate Mastigure (Uromastyx ornate), male

Image
Galeodes sp.

Image
Prionotheca coronata

Image
Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana)

Image
Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana)

Image
Spur-Winged Plover (Vanellus spinosus)

Image
Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Image
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)
Jelmer Groen
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:31 pm
Hometown: Leeuwarden
country: Netherlands

Re: Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Peter Engelen » Fri May 27, 2016 8:13 pm

Very nice findings. Daboia is one of my I wanted to see species.
Peter Engelen
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:41 pm
Hometown: Dilsen-Stokkem
country: Belgium

Re: Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Jelmer Groen » Fri May 27, 2016 8:27 pm

We searched one night for Cerastes gasperetti, but didn’t find any. Also, no Echis. I decided to travel north and spend my last days north of the West Bank. Quite a long drive, but again, what a scenery...

Image
I ended up in the Mt. Gilboa region. View from mt. Gilboa.

Some pics from this area.

Image
Bridled Mabuya (Trachylepis vittata)

Image
Snake-Eyed Skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii)

Image
Gecko eggs in an old swallow's nest against the ceiling of an abandoned building. Nice micohabitat!

Image
Mediterranian Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), crossing the road

Image
Palestine Saw-Scaled Viper (Echis coloratus)

Image
Palestine Saw-Scaled Viper (Echis coloratus)

Image
Archispirostreptus syriacus

Image
Predatory Katydid (Saga ornata)

Last but not least; some scorpions from different parts of the country

Image
Orthochirus scrobiculosus

Image
Deathstalker (Leiurus quinquestriatus)

Image
Buthus israelis

List of reptiles;

Ablepharus kitaibelii
Acanthodactylus boskianus
Acanthodactylus schreiberi
Chamaeleo chamaeleon
Chalcides sepsoides
Cyrtopodion scabrum
Hemidactylus turcicus
Laudakia stellio
Stenodactylus doriae
Stenodactylus petrii
Stenodactylus sthenodactylus
Trachylepis vittata
Uromastyx aegyptia
Uromastyx ornate

Mauremys bivulata
Testudo graeca
Trionyx triunguis

Cerastes cerastes
Cerastes vipera
Daboia palaestinae
Echis coloratus
Lytorhynchus diadema
Platyceps rogersi
Pseudocerastes fieldi
Spaleresophis diadema
Walterinnesia aegyptia



Thanks for watching!
Jelmer Groen
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:31 pm
Hometown: Leeuwarden
country: Netherlands

Re: Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Frédéric Seyffarth » Fri May 27, 2016 10:15 pm

Hello Jelmer,

Great findings!
I have to say that i am impressed by the high quality of your pictures.
Congratulations for your trip, and thanks for sharing!
Regards

Fred
Frédéric Seyffarth
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:13 pm
Hometown: Husseren-Wesserling
country: France

Re: Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Sat May 28, 2016 6:17 pm

More landscape and street life pics!
User avatar
Michal Szkudlarek
 
Posts: 1088
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:09 pm
Location: Poland
Hometown: ...
country: Poland

Re: Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Andre Schmid » Sun May 29, 2016 8:52 am

Very nice ! I hope I can visit this country also some day :)
User avatar
Andre Schmid
 
Posts: 651
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:38 pm
Hometown: Rottweil
country: Germany

Re: Israel -- May 2016 -- quite a trip

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon May 30, 2016 10:11 am

Frédéric Seyffarth wrote:I have to say that i am impressed by the high quality of your pictures.

Me too!
Jeroen Speybroeck
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3156
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:18 am
Hometown: Merelbeke
country: Belgium

Next

Return to Near and Middle East

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest