Cyprus

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Cyprus

Postby Daniel Kane » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:47 pm

I've noticed there seems to be quite a lack of information, pictures, or reports about herps from Cyprus. Although the island has only 3 amphibian species and 3 chelonian species, there are 11 lizard species and 10 (in addition Cypriot Eryx jaculus, Natrix tessellata and Zamenis situla are known from single specimens) snake species. The island has an endemic snake species Hierophis cypriensis, and four endemic snake sub-species; Natrix natrix cypriaca, Dolichophis jugularis cypriacus, Telescopus fallax cyprianus and Macrovipera lebetina lebetina. The starred agama is also represented by an endemic sub-species, as are snake-eyed lizard and Kotschy's gecko. Many of these are very rare, restricted in distribution and possibly on the verge of extinction.

Perhaps somebody knows; is Cyprus just poorly visited by the kind of people who would search for and document these animals, and therefore they are poorly known on the island? Or maybe is it that there are more appealing destinations to herpetologists like Northern Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East (Israel, Syria, etc...) so the island gets overlooked as simply a tourist destination? I expect both are somewhat true.

Personally I have been to Cyprus three times, twice a while ago, before I started to get really interested in herpetology, and one April visit in 2007. I was not especially adept at finding reptiles, so my only observations are of Laudakia, Ophisops, Mediodactylus, Acanthodactylus, Chalcides, and a single Dolichophis. I would really like to re-visit in a few years, hopefully finding the best of what Cyprus has to offer!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic, and of course, any photos or stories from Cyprus you may have!

Dan
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Re: Cyprus

Postby André Van Hecke » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:41 pm

Hi Dan,
I have been visiting Cyprus this year in march (with a birdwatchers group) and had a reasonable herping succes.
You can see the foto's on "www.freanonherping.be" in "Fotogalerij" and the report (sorry in Dutch) in "Verslagen".
Greetings, André
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Re: Cyprus

Postby Daniel Kane » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:09 pm

Wow André, excellent photos from all of your trips! And some great destinations there too! I like the photo of the worm snakes from Cyprus. I've looked for this snake around fields and ruins in Turkey, never found one though. I bet that sub-adult jugularis had a brilliant pattern once it had shed!
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Re: Cyprus

Postby Bobby Bok » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:07 pm

Hi Dan,

Maybe you already have it but recently there was a fieldguide published about the herpetofauna of Cyprus, it's an interesting book with some interesting photography and elaborate distribution maps.

Baier. Sparrow, Wiedl.
The Amphibians and Reptiles of Cyprus
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Re: Cyprus

Postby Daniel Kane » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:55 pm

Bobby,

Yes, it does look like a very good book for Cyprus (the same goes for the one on Greece), but I already have field guides and books covering most of the species, and information from PDF's for the rest, so at the moment with no concrete plans to visit the island in place, I'm not going to buy it. Not yet anyway.
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Re: Cyprus

Postby Peter Oefinger » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:11 am

I have contributed to a report about Cyprus herpetofauna some years ago. See here: http://www.lacerta.de/englische-Version ... lisch.html (under "topics" - "trip reports and excursions"). The report is in German langauge only but it shows the complete herpetofauna (as far as I know...)
Regards
Peter
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