Israel! Why not?? UPDATE!!!!

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Israel! Why not?? UPDATE!!!!

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:36 am

I never had Israel on my plans for vacation or for a fieldtrip.
But at the End of last year my wife (She is a singer) told me that se want to go with a few member of her Ensemble to the Zimriya, World Assembley of Choirs in Jerusalem/Israel and I can come with her.
The Zimriya is a choir study for choirs around the world (this time for example from Greece, Argentina, USA), it is every third year on the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus in East Jerusalem.
So I thought “Israel why not”? and the next thought was “Ups, Israel” and in my mind came all the things you see and hear in the news about the conflict between the israelian people and Palestinians and I thought better not to leave the campus of the University.
Maybe I have a chance to picture one or two lizard species and on or two gecko species on the campus or in the botanical garden in the neighbourhood.
Then I checked my books and the internet about the occurring herps in Israel.
I found out they have something (later I found out the have a lot!).
Israel is 20.000 square km small, you need about 7 hours from the north to the south and 1,5 hours from east to west.
They have about 100 Reptile-species there!!!
So it was sure that I have to go out in the fields!
We were from the 15th of Augst till the 25th in Jerusalem and till the 29th in Tiberias at Lake Kinneret.
It was hot in Israel, really hot! Between 36 und 39 Degrees during the days and between 25 and 30 Degrees during the nights. We had a few days over 40 Degrees, Humidity was about 80 %!!!!! So when you left a room, made five steps and you start sweating.
Not the best conditions for herping, but I try it a few times.
Here are a few pics.

A shot that every tourist make if he is in Jerusalem, The Dom of Rock.
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Israel has very different areas
In the north and west up to the middle it`s Mediterranean area with some Forests in the west.
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Banyas springs
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In the middle on the east side is the Judean Desert
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In the middle of the west side the Negev Desert begins and go down south till the red sea.
With some sand dunes, rocky areas and mountains.
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Few animal shots
Heron
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Ibex
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Dgoonfly
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Mouse
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Mantis
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Scorpion
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Strange grashopper
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Dursty birds
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Oh I just forgot that this is not a vacationforum, it`s still a herpforum, so here a herpshot.
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Re: Israel! Why not??

Postby Daniel Kane » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:10 pm

Jürgen, I think you found more herps than just that toad! But some cool animal shots anyway.. I like the Ibex.
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Re: Israel! Why not??

Postby Mario Schweiger » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:34 pm

The desert images by themselves awake my travel fever ;)
The "strange grasshopper is Acrida ungarica

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Re: Israel! Why not??

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:19 am

I checked my Israel pics again and was surprised by myself that I found a few reptile pics. :P ;) :D

Snake-eyed Lizard juvenil Ophisops elegans ehrenbergii
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Bridled Skink Trachylepis vittata
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Eyed cylindrical skink Chalcides ocellatus
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Small-Spotted Lizard Mesalina guttulata
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Lebanon Lizard Phoenicolacerta laevis laevis
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Phoenicolacerta kulzeri
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Schreiber’s Fringe-Fingered Lizard Acanthodactylus schreiberi
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European Chamaleon Chamaeleo chamaeleon
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Roughtail rock agama Laudakia stellio
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Mediterranean Spur-Thighed Tortoise Testudo graeca
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Sinai fan-fingered gecko Ptyodactylus guttatus
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Sinai fan-fingered gecko Nest
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Mediterranean Gecko Hemidactylus turcicus
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Hermon Bowfoot Gecko Cyrtodactylus amictopholis
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Red whip snake Platyceps collaris
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Now my little vipera story of this year,
I was one of the latest who found his first Vipera berus (17.04.)
I was in Spring in South Tyrol and looked for V. aspis and V. ammodytes and found nothing.
I planed a trip to Krk in May to look for V. ammodytes and cancelled that about the weather.
I was in Toskany and looked for V. aspis and found nothing.
I was in Israel and my main target was V. palaestinae and found nothing.
A really horrible Vipera year.
The only Vipera`s I found beside V. berus was these two in the Mount Hermon area.

Lebanon Viper Vipera bornmuelleri

Image

Image
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Re: Israel! Why not?? UPDATE!!!!

Postby Mario Schweiger » Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:43 pm

Thats better than aspis, ammodytes and berus or all together! ;)
Great, really great!
Also the other herps, like
Platyceps collaris, Phoenicolacerta kulzeri and/or Ph. laevis :P

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Re: Israel! Why not?? UPDATE!!!!

Postby Ilian Velikov » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:42 pm

:) These are some really great finds!
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Re: Israel! Why not?? UPDATE!!!!

Postby Peter Oefinger » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:51 pm

The vipera looks like all the other boring snakes :twisted:
- but the lizards and Geckos are really great! What an interesting mix of European, Asian and anywhere else herpetofauna...
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Re: Israel! Why not?? UPDATE!!!!

Postby Grégoire Meier » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:52 am

WOW WOW very nice the bornuelleri!!! :shock:
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Re: Israel! Why not?? UPDATE!!!!

Postby Johann.Mols » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:21 am

Agreed, the bornuelleri counts for quite some other vipers
the pic of the Judean desert in the evening is really beautifull and the unhappy chameleon is something I must see by myself.
Great trip from a not so classic place.
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Re: Israel! Why not?? UPDATE!!!!

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:12 am

Peter Oefinger wrote:! What an interesting mix of European, Asian and anywhere else herpetofauna...


Your are right Peter, Israel is THE PLACE for Herpers in the World!!!

what do you mean with "anywhere else"? Maybe Africa? ;)
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