Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

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Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

Postby Daniel Kane » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:49 pm

Hello everyone

I recently returned from a family holiday to Turkey. We stayed in Side, near the town of Manavgat. This is roughly half way between the cities of Antalya and Alanya. Temperatures here were about 20-25*C for the whole week, which made seeing reptiles quite easy in the morning and later afternoon. In total 2 species of amphibians and 14 species of reptiles were seen (9 lizards, 2 snakes, 2 chelonia and 1 amphisbaenian). All four visits combined it's 3 amphibians and 17 reptiles, so a good place for herping by anyone's standards.

This is the 4th time I have been to this area in Turkey, and being limited to mainly walk-able distances from the accommodation, I have been able to explore most places in quite good detail. From what I understand, there could be 3 more lizard species (Chameleon, Anatolacerta danfordi and Anatolacerta oertzeni in the mountains above Manavgat) and 5 species of snakes (Typhlops, Eryx, Eirenis, N. tessellata and Telescopus) near the coast and Malpolon, M. xanthina (many miles west) and M. lebetina (many miles east) which should be found in the mountains in this region of Turkey.

Anyway, here are some photos I took last week. Some more can be seen on my personal website and on Flickr.

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Just metamorphosised Green Toad
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Adult Green Toad
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Levant Water frog
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The Hatay Lizards are an introduction to the Side/Manavagt area, although they have spread further west up the coast to places like Colakli. They are natives of south eastern Turkey, not surprisingly the Hatay province.
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Female Hatay Lizard

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Male Hatay Lizard
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Kotschy's Gecko
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Ocellated Skink
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The Pamphylian Green Lizards are only found in Antalya province. They can be seen in field edges around the Side Area.In the breeding season males develop a bright blue head, yellow belly and green backs. Females are generally more brown and green.
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Male Pamphylian Green Lizard
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Snake-eyed Lizard
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Male Starred Agama
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Striped Skink
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In this part of Turkey sitting down by water not for long can result in seeing some beautiful animals. People sit down by rivers in England for a week to photograph one of these!
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Turkish Gecko
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Spur-thighed Tortoise
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Anatolian Worm-lizard
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Interesting caterpillars can be seen in the sand dunes to the west of Manavgat river:
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And now some snakes!
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Black Whipsnake
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Black Whipsnake
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Dahl's Whipsnakes are extremely fast. For those of you who have not seen them in the wild, you can be lucky to see them for a second before they disappear, they really are super-quick. I was in some Roman ruins and between two walls I saw this snake basking next to a bush. I thought about taking an in-situ photo, but decided against it as that had resulted in no photos of this species all the other times I had tried it. This is the first time I had caught this species, and the books are right, it doesn't hiss!
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Dahl's Whipsnake
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Finally, at quarter past five on the last day of the holiday I saw this beauty. I had been watching terrapins and frogs in a wider section of a stream fr about half an hour, with dragonflies and kingfishers flying around. I don't know why, but often when I find a snake I just have a feeling that I should look somewhere, and it usually works! This black whipsnake was lying out in the sun about 1m away from the greem lizard a few days earlier. There was also a hatay lizard about 50cms from the snakes head. It is the biggest snake I've seen in the wild, probably about 1.7m+.
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Black Whipsnake
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Great way to end the holiday!
Daniel Kane
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Re: Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

Postby Mario Schweiger » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:08 pm

Daniel, good findings and very good shots!
The pictures of the young Dolichophis jugularis and of the spotless najadum are great.
Thanks for sharing!

Mario (Admin)

Please visit also my personal Herp-site
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Re: Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

Postby Daniel Kane » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:56 pm

Thank you Mario!
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Re: Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

Postby Mourits Løvholt » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:33 pm

Nice pics!
Especially the one of Cyrtopodion kotschyi :)

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Re: Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

Postby Tony Palmer » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:52 pm

Hi Daniel,
I have really enjoyed looking through your pictures! :) I went on a non-herping holiday to Alanya Turkey three years ago in June, the average day temp was 45-52C. night 35-40C. So as you can imagine I saw very few herps. :(
it’s a place I would love to visit again though and April sounds ideal!
Is the manavgat river next to Alanya, I’m sure I have visited it?

Oops just had a look on Google Earth, it was the Manavgat Market I visited and the river next to Alanya is the Dim.. something :lol:

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Re: Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

Postby Daniel Kane » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:53 pm

Cheers Mourits. Tony, Alanya seems to be a very good area for reptiles. Strange how an extra 60kms east of Manavgat allows such species as Hyla savigny, Testudo anamurensis and Macrovipera lebetina to be seen. I would like to have a look in this area of Turkey one day. I am glad you enjoyed looking at the photos I took. I enjoyed taking them!
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Re: Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

Postby Peter Oefinger » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:20 am

Great! Wonderful lizards and impressive shot of Blanus. It looks like a very pale specimen?
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Re: Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:00 pm

Great shots!!!

btw. I hope to get also a Kingfisher one day!
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Re: Southern Turkish Reptiles 2

Postby Daniel Kane » Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:58 pm

Thanks Peter. You make very nice lizard pictures! The Blanus was not a particularly pale individual, many of the specimens I have found have a whitish snout. I think it might be something to do with the light in the photo which makes it look brighter. Jürgen, I'm glad you like the pictures I take. I have waited a while to get a kingfisher photo. Saw some in Turkey last year and one in Bulgaria last summer, but they never seem to stay in one place for more than a few seconds. This one was on the other side of a pool, about 30m away. Thankfully my tripod was already set up!
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