Turkey- Lycian coast- December- January 2018/2019

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Turkey- Lycian coast- December- January 2018/2019

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:57 pm

Hi
So it is my 4rd day in Turkey. Flight was unpleasant because someone was pushing my seat from behind in a plane and behind me there were very noisy women. The first day was about reaching hotel, filling stomach and going to sleep. On the second day I explored a bit. First hotel grounds. So I spotted 2x Trachemys scripta elegans in an artificial pond which hosted also fish and Pelophylax bedriagae (only heard).

Trachemys scripta elegans
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its habitat
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Then, since it was sunny, I found Hatay Lizard on a palm tree in hotel grounds.
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I left hotel. When I was going along edge of bush there were many Hatay Lizards scurrying to hide away under bush. I reached stony banks of river and I spotted young Platyceps cf. najadum but unfortunately it hid immediately among stone and I was unable to find him again the following day.

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But there were also Hatay Lizards and Starred Agamas. At the opposite bank under trash I found Bufotes variabilis.
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adult Hatay Lizard and young and adult Starred Agamas.
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Then I left city and again heard Pelophylax bedriagae from a river. Tried to flip Lycian salamanders but they don't reach so east it seems.
The following day I tried to find Anatololacerta lizards so i left city and but I failed it seems. But I found tiny empty eggs under a stone. ID needed. EDIT: it is Mediodactylus kotschyi cf. danilewskii
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habitat
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Today I tried to find Lycian salamanders near Kemer, it was slightly raining but I did not find any! :( I only found a killed snake. Is it a Cat Snake? EDIT: it is Telescopus fallax syriacus
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Re: Turkey- Lycian coast- December- January 2018/2019

Postby Mario Schweiger » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:09 am

yes it is a Telescopus.
and the eggs are gecko eggs, probably Mediodactylus, when found on ground under shelter
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Please visit also my personal Herp-site vipersgarden.at
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the 26th of December

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:06 pm

We took a car and drove to Goynuk Canyon.
We crossed river and went along it, I flipped some stones but there was no salamanders under them. In a cave there was a Pelophylax bedriagae.
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After that we drove to Chimaera- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Chimaera but again nothing under stones.
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the 27th of December

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:05 pm

That day we drove to Tahtali. I reached the top by cable car, took some photos and descended by cable car to search for Lyciasalamandra billae yehudahi.

Here a habitat of that subspecies can be seen.
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I searched but found nothing. When flipping stones I was trying to choose the biggest stones I can lift. It was not easy get to that place which was supposed to host L.b. yehudahi.
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However I found subadult and juvenile Anatololacerta pelasgiana ibrahimi nearby even though it was cold.
subadult
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juvenile
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their habitat
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From there we drove to hotel for dinner and then to Phaselis- ruins of an ancient city where I found basking juvenile of Stellagama stellio daani. I hoped to see or at least hear Hyla orientalis in nearby marsh but they probably had not started their breeding season.
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28th of December

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:42 pm

The next day, in the morning, we set off to ruins of an ancient city at Thermessos where I tried to find L. antalyana but it was probably too cold for them to be found under stones- there was frost and ice.
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After hiking among old tombs and ruins of temples, having became hungry, we bought and ate dürüm at outskirts of Antalya, visited bāzār and a waterfall. At bāzār there was a booth of a candidate for a politician where lokma was given out for free so we ate some. :)
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the 29th of December

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:21 pm

This day was dedicated to Antalya- we visited another waterfall and old town. The latter was not interesting. When returning to Kiris we stopped near D-400 road and the first stone to be lifted by me (having climbed up a bit) had something special underneath. It was an adult female of Lyciasalamandra billae billae, it made me very happy event hough there was a lot of trash around. After taking photos of this girl I started lifting other stones in the area but without additional salamanders found. Photos are not perfect because I forgetfully left shoe adaptor at dorm so I could not use external flash, and it was too dark to be successful without a flash.
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its habitat
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the 30th of December

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:26 pm

In the morning we drove south to take a boat to Kekova where I was to find Lyciasalamandra luschani basoglui having seen photos of these salamanders from that island. However boat owner said that we cannot the island! :x Maybe I should have had special permission from authorities? :/

Kekova island
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After this disappointment we visited archeological site at Myra where I found Starred Agama and Anatololacerta pelasgiana finikensis.
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its habitat
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the 31st of December

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:58 pm

At that day I hoped to see Lyciasalamandra billae yehudahi near Kuzdere but I failed. Had I left earlier I would have spent more time on searching so I would have had higher chances of finding them. :( Though I observed Phoenicolacerta laevis (introduced, nearer buildings) and Anatololacerta pelasgiana ibrahimi (native, in woods). Below you can see habitat of the former.
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Anatololacerta pelasgiana ibrahimi
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I also found eggs of Mediodactylus kotschyi cf. danilewskii under a stone, again, but this time one of them was intact. It was shorter than 1cm.Image
Scorpion on the right.
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the first days of January

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:30 am

In the first day of 2019 I walked in rain to Camyuva- little city wich borders with Kiriş. There, next to densely vegetated yet anthropogenic water bodies I played mating calls of
Hyla orientalis
from phone to make potential tree frogs vocalize to detect them. However no frog replied. Then walking through city I flipped board and found small gecko with yellow pigmentation and stripped tail- juvenile of Hemidactylus turcicus. Unfortunately it had fled before I took camera out of bagpack. Moment later I lifted plate of concrete and found adult male Hatay Lizard taking refuge there.
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2nd of January
I took dolmush to Tekirova to go north of the city to try to find Lyciasalamandra billae yehudahi there. Mission failed. :(

3rd of January
I went to Idyros mountain because I havent been there yet and because it was pretty close to the hotel. I haven't found anything interesting.
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4th and 5th of January

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:12 pm

So on the 4th day of January I decided to go another trail in Goynuk. I took dolmush to Kemer and then to Goynuk. When walking uphill to the canyon I noticed a board next to a road and there was a juvenile Lyciasalamandra billae! :D I dont know what subspecies it is member of- whether billae or irfani. Yes, irfani is a subspecies not, not a species any more. The place where I found that juvenile is outside canyon. I emailed professor Gocmen with the question of subspecific identity of that specimen but he has not replied... Maybe it is a hybrid? What do you think?
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Climbing :D
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WLTbSGHs_k

Nearby a male of Anatololacerta pelasgiana ibrahimi was observed.
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his habitat
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Then I entered the canyon and told park rangers about my finding, they called me a fanatic seeing my happiness and my t-shirt with Ilian's drawing of Lyciasalamandra printed on it. :mrgreen: They told me where to look for Lyciasalamandra billae irfani. Passing wooden water tank I slowed down because previous time when I passed it I heard frog jumping into water. And indeed there was a Pelophylax bedriagae, I think it was so dark to absorb more heat from sun (it was not so warm).
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I walked the trail which had been recommended to me and found nothing but I did not give up and I was flipping stones when I was returning too. It was certainly worth it because I found Lyciasalamandra billae irfani female under a stone few steps from trail. :mrgreen:
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idcKYVTdpgI

On the stone under which she was found.
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its habitat
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Later I got to know professor of painting and he gave me a lift to Kemer, there I visited Yoruk Park (open air museum) but it was not worth the money. Finally I took dolmush to Kiris.

On the 5th we had filight to Breslau (Wrocław) so I did not do much herping that day.
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