Rhodos & Kastellorizo, 12. - 19.03.2011

We had been on Rhodos before but we didn’t find Blanus strauchi so far – hence we wanted to try it again! Furthermore, Rhodos is a good starting point for visiting the Island of Kastellorizo. There we wanted to search for Lyciasalamandra luschani and the local snake-eyed skinks in particular.

  • Linosa, 12.-17.06.2018

    Linosa, 12.-17.06.2018

    The Robinson Crusoe Project

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  • Kastellorizo & Nisyros, 12.-21.05.2018

    Kastellorizo & Nisyros, 12.-21.05.2018

    At the edge of Europe (and beyond)

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  • Milos & Serifos, 14. – 21.04.2018

    Milos & Serifos, 14. – 21.04.2018

    Spring trip to the Western Cyclades

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  • Southeastern Spain, 10.2016 – 11.2017

    Southeastern Spain, 10.2016 – 11.2017

    Betic lizards – a photo documentation

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  • Northwestern Spain, 16.-23.9.2017

    Northwestern Spain, 16.-23.9.2017

    Reptile Rallye on the Iberian Peninsula

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  • Ionian Islands, 25.5.-5.6.2017

    Ionian Islands, 25.5.-5.6.2017

    Cruising through Ulysses’ homeland

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  • Portugal, 14. – 21.4.2017

    Portugal, 14. – 21.4.2017

    Lizard safari at the Atlantic coast

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  • Rhodos & Kastellorizo, 27.3. – 2.4.2017

    Rhodos & Kastellorizo, 27.3. – 2.4.2017

    Season Opening 2017

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  • Pyrenees, 2008 - 2016

    Pyrenees, 2008 - 2016

    Searching for Pyrenean lizards - third time's a charm!

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  • Sicily & Aeolian Islands, 26.5. – 6.6.2016

    Sicily & Aeolian Islands, 26.5. – 6.6.2016

    Mission Volcano! Smoking mountains and rare reptiles

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  • Astypalaia & Naxos, 25.3.-3.4.2016

    Astypalaia & Naxos, 25.3.-3.4.2016

    Hellas reloaded – Back in Europe’s biodiversity lab

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  • Spain, 29.8.-11.9.2015

    Spain, 29.8.-11.9.2015

    Biodiversity on the south-eastern tangent

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  • Montenegro, 2. – 11.7.2015

    Montenegro, 2. – 11.7.2015

    Lizard Safari in the mountains of Montenegro

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  •  Malta, 3. – 6.4.2015

    Malta, 3. – 6.4.2015

    The exclusive Podarcis filfolensis Home Story!

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  • Oman, 6.–15.3.2015

    Oman, 6.–15.3.2015

    Adventures in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula

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  • Central Spain, 29.8. - 14.9.2014

    Central Spain, 29.8. - 14.9.2014

    14 days in the heat of Castile

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  • Lefkada, Kefalonia & Akarnania, 24.5. - 3.6.2014

    Lefkada, Kefalonia & Akarnania, 24.5. - 3.6.2014

    Reptile adventures in Western Greece

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  • Mallorca / Alicante - 15.-23.03.2014

    Mallorca / Alicante - 15.-23.03.2014

    2014 Season Kick-off with 16 reptile species

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  • Corsica, 07.-17.09.2013

    Corsica, 07.-17.09.2013

    Mountains, sea and rock lizards

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  • Portugal, 13. - 20.07.2013

    Portugal, 13. - 20.07.2013

    Lizard hunting in Central Portugal

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  • Romania, 24.05. - 03.06.2013

    Romania, 24.05. - 03.06.2013

    Herping adventures from the Black Sea coast to the Iron Gate

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  • Menorca, 17. - 24.03.2013

    Menorca, 17. - 24.03.2013

    Visiting the Balearic lizards

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  • Peloponnese, 20. - 27.10.2012

    Peloponnese, 20. - 27.10.2012

    Autumn trip on Peloponnese

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  • Montenegro, 27.07. - 04.08.2012

    Montenegro, 27.07. - 04.08.2012

    Summer trip in the mountains of Montenegro

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  • Skyros & Evia, 26.05. - 04.06.2012

    Skyros & Evia, 26.05. - 04.06.2012

    Our search for the legendary giant lizards...

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  • Crete, 06. - 13.04.2012

    Crete, 06. - 13.04.2012

    Searching for flowers and lizards on Crete...

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  • Andalucia, 10. - 18.03.2012

    Andalucia, 10. - 18.03.2012

    A hot week full of herping highlights in Southwestern Andalucia

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  • Northern Spain, 02. - 13.09.2011

    Northern Spain, 02. - 13.09.2011

    Herpetological trip to the northwest of Spain: the mountains west of Leon, the Atlantic coast south of A Coruña and the Picos de Europa.

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  • Aegean Islands, 28.05. - 13.06.2011

    Aegean Islands, 28.05. - 13.06.2011

    Five islands in two weeks: Kythira, Pori, Milos, Kimolos and Sifnos

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  • Rhodos & Kastellorizo, 12. - 19.03.2011

    Rhodos & Kastellorizo, 12. - 19.03.2011

    Trip to the easternmost island of Greece...

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  • Central spain, 25.09. - 03.10.2010

    Central spain, 25.09. - 03.10.2010

    Iberolacertas within Sierra de Gredos, Pena de Francia and Sierra de Guadarrama

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  • Alps, 03. -17.07.2010

    Alps, 03. -17.07.2010

    Our first trip to the Alps led us to the Allgäu area, the Julian Alps and Carinthia

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  • Northern Peloponnese, 3.-11.4.2010

    Northern Peloponnese, 3.-11.4.2010

    Four Podarcis species in one area!

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  • Northern Greece, 01. - 15. 06.2009

    Northern Greece, 01. - 15. 06.2009

    Great trip to the Pindos mountains...

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  • Sicily, 28.03. - 04.04.2009

    Sicily, 28.03. - 04.04.2009

    Orchid trip to eastern Sicily

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  • Spain, November 2008 / February 2009

    Spain, November 2008 / February 2009

    Lizards in the Alicante Province

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  • Samos, September 2008 / 2009

    Samos, September 2008 / 2009

    Chamaeleons, Trachylepis and beautiful beaches...

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  • Eifel region

    Eifel region

    Our local "playground": botanical highlights, meadows with numerous butterflies and some herpetofauna...

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  • Lacerta trilineata

    We had been on Rhodos before but we didn’t find Blanus strauchi so far – hence we wanted to try it again! Furthermore, Rhodos is a good starting point for visiting the Island of Kastellorizo. There we wanted to search for Lyciasalamandra luschani and the local snake-eyed skinks in particular.

    We arrived on Rhodos on March 12 in the evening and left on March 19 in the morning. In between, we had six adventurous days of herp-hunting and photographing plants. Furthermore we highly appreciated our stay at  Spanos Studios in Lardos / Rhodos - the botanists' meeting point of the island.

    13.03.

    Visit of some coastal reptile habitats in Southern Rhodos with Laudakia stellio, Anatololacerta oertzeni, Lacerta trilineata, Ophisops elegans and Chalcides ocellatus. Later on, we searched for orchids - Ophrys speculum, Ophrys regis-ferdinandis, Ophrys tenthredinfera, Ophrys ferrum-equinum, Ophrys lucis, Orchis collina and Orchis papilionacea were found.

  • Juvenile Chalcides ocellatus – for us, one of the most beautiful European reptiles

  • A quite alert Ophisops elegans

  • Coastal habitat in Southern Rhodos

  • Ophrys regis-ferdinandis

  • Ophrys lucis – a rather rare species

    14.03.:

    Transfer to Kastellorizo! There, we started searching for Lyciasalamandra luschani and snake-eyed skinks. The small island of Kastellorizo (9 sq km) has sparse vegetation and is rather overgrazed – the most interesting habitats can be found in the surrounding of Megisti village with its gardens and a pine forest relic. The only wetland is part of a military camp and therefore couldn’t be visited by us.

  • Kastellorizo

  • The snake-eyed skinks of Kastellorizo look like Ablepharus budaki, but genetically they differ from that species as well as from A. kitaibelii. Hence they should be considered as an own species.

  • Ablepharus „kitaibelii“ on Kastellorizo has – in contrast to the snake-eyed skinks in over Greek areas – large, visible ear openings.

  • A yellowish specimen of Lyciasalamandra luschani – these animals could be found everywhere on the island, sometimes in amazing population density.

  • While some are already relaxing in the sun others still have to photograph…

  • …a red-colored male of Lyciasalamandra luschani

  • Surprisingly we came across this Anatololacerta oertzeni – according to literature, that species doesn’t occur on Kastellorizo. We didn’t find out if it was a single introduced specimen or if a population of these lizards exists on the island.

  • Laudakia stellio is widespread on the island

  • Wow! A red colour morph of Laudakia stellio?...

  • …no: these guys were just dirty!

    15.03.:

    Once more, Kastellorizo: According to our literature 10 species of amphibians and reptiles can be found on the island. We only found 7 species – among these two species that should occur on Kastellorizo:

    Species according to literature

    Species found by us

    Lyciasalamandra luschani

     

    Cyrtopodion kotschyi

    Hemidactylus turcicus

    Ophiomorus punctatissimus

    Ablepharus „kitaibelii“

    Laudakia stellio

    Blanus strauchi

     

    Hemorrhois nummifer

    Dolichophis jugularis

    Malpolon insignitus

    Lyciasalamandra luschani

    Bufo viridis (DOR)

    Cyrtopodion kotschyi

     

     

    Ablepharus “kitaibelii”

    Laudakia stellio

     

    Anatololacerta oertzeni

     

    Dolichophis jugularis

     

  • Kastellorizo harbour

  • Photo session with Cyrtopodion kotschyi…

  • …and that's the model

  • Juvenile Dolichophis jugularis

    16.03.:

    Back to Rhodos. Having arrived there, we started a semi-successful photo safari at the east coast.

  • Anatololacerta oertzeni with bright blue spots on the flanks

  • Portrait of Anatololacerta oertzeni

  • An adult Chalcides ocellatus

  • Zerynthia cerisyi

  • Orchis collina – we could find numerous of this early flowering orchid

  • Ophrys cretica

  • Ophrys iricolor

    17.03.:

    We went to northern Rhodos for searching Blanus strauchi (Thanks to Thomas Bader and Ilias Strachnisis for providing habitat information!). Later on, we started a field trip tot he mountains.

  • Hitting the jackpot: Within only five minutes we found Blanus strauchi!

  • Portrait of Blanus strauchi: Note the degenerated eye and the flicking tongue.

  • Anatololacerta oertzeni

  • Ophisops elegans

  • Spring flowers in the mountains: Romulea ramiflora...

  • …Crocus biflorus and…

  •  …Narcissus tazetta

  • Ablepharus kitaibelii

  • Juvenile Lacerta trilineata - sunbasking

  • Pelophylax bedriagae

  • Bufo viridis

    18.03.:

    The only rainy day during our stay: no reptiles but some nice flowers instead.

  • Paeonia clusii subsp. rhodia

  • Ophrys calypsus

    19.03.:

    Back home to Düsseldorf.

    Literature:

    Stratis Valakos and Dimitris Papapanacioto: The Herpetofauna of Kastellorizo (Megisti) Island (SE Agean Archipelago; British Herpetological Society Bulletin, No. 13, 1985