Northern Peloponnese, 3.-11.4.2010

This year we visited some areas in the Northern part of Peloponnese: Argolis, Parnon, Stymphalia and Feneos basin. Due to an extraordinary dry spring we saw less orchid species than we expected – in particular, the coastal areas were rather dry. In contrast to that, overall we were successful in searching for reptiles.

  • 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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  • Samos, September 2008 / 2009

    Samos, September 2008 / 2009

    Chamaeleons, Trachylepis and beautiful beaches...

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  • Spain, November 2008 / February 2009

    Spain, November 2008 / February 2009

    Lizards in the Alicante Province

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  • Eifel region

    Eifel region

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

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  • The Parnon mountains

    Parnon

    For the first days, we were based near the city of Nauplio. From there, we had a trip to the Parnon mountains for reptile hunting. We had received a hint that Podarcis erhardii could be found there. But, unfortunately we only found Podarcis peloponnesiacus. In addition, we came across some Hellenolacerta graeca and some very shy Lacerta trilineata. After some hours, we abandoned our search.

  • Podarcis peloponnesiacus thais has a white instead of an orange throat

    On our way back we had a stopover at some quite promising wetlands at the coast. There we saw merely some – again very shy - Lacerta trilineata and Emys orbicularis. Meanwhile we had 25 ° C and sunshine. Hence, we spent our remaining time at the beach that day.

  • Wetlands south of Nauplio

  • Emys orbicularis

    Argolis-Peninsula

    On the Argolis-Peninsula Podarcis peloponnesiacus ssp. thais occurs. We noticed that lizard even in touristic areas at the coast. Furthermore, we wanted to visit a population of Chalcides ocellatus in that area. As we still had warm weather, the search for that species was rather difficult. After a long drive, intensive search and numerous stones turned we just saw a single one Chalcides ocellatus escaping. We didn’t manage to take a picture. Subsequently, we only saw few species: Lacerta trilineata, Typhlops vermicularis and some Pelophylax sp.. Our highlight that day was an adult Testudo marginata. A little bit frustrated we decided to leave Argolis and go to the mountain areas of Stymphalos and Feneos the next day.

  • Coastline near Nauplio

  • Podarcis peloponnesiacus thais

  • A pair of P. peloponnesiacus sunbasking: We had seen Lacerta sp. “snuggling” with one another but we hadn’t noticed that behaviour at Podarcis before.

  • Testudo marginata. Note the dry vegetation!

  • In absence of alternatives we even photographed frogs...

    Stymphalian Lake

    The region of the Stymphalian Lake turned out to be a rich area for herping and we also found several orchids there. The lake is inhabited by myriads of frogs – their croaking generates an impressive soundscape.

  • Landscape at the Stymphalian Lake

  • Podarcis tauricus is very common at the lake…

  • …usually, the species is rather shy but this one tolerated to be photographed

  • Juvenile Hierophis gemonensis…

  • …another Hierophis gemonensis

  • Young Zamenis situla…

  • …and a bigger specimen

  • Ophrys aesculapii is quite abundant at the lake – for us, it was a new species. Other species we saw were Ophrys sicula, Ophrys mammosa, Ophrys spruneri, Orchis quadripunctata and Cephalanthera longifolia.

  • Juvenile Anguis cephallonicus with characteristic golden-black pattern

  • Ablepharus kitaibelii

  • Portrait of Ophiomorus punctatissimus

  • A juvenile Ophiomorus punctatissimus: juvenile specimen have dark flanks and bronze-coloured backs

  • Habitat of Podarcis tauricus, Anguis cephallonicus, Ophiomorus punctatissimus and Ablepharus kitaibelii

  • Testudo hermanni: This specimen obviously didn’t want to be photographed and therefore didn’t come out of its carapace

  • Where frogs occur, Natrix natrix also can be found

  • Natrix tessellata

  • Male Hellenolacerta graeca

  • Another Hellenolacerta graeca

  • Marsh areas at the Stymphalian Lake

    Feneos

    Inspired by the trip report at www.herpetofauna.at and the article of Mayer, Richter & Kammel we visitied the Feneos basin in order to search for lizards. In the principal town Gkoura we stayed at a nice hotel, the neighbour village had a tavern opened everyday – so we were ready for herping adventures! We soon realized that the whole region has an impressive diversity of reptile species (seven Lacertid species!) in a high population density.

  • View over the Feneos basin

  • Podarcis peloponnesiacus with magnificent colours – like Podarcis tauricus, this species can be found in most kinds of habitats in the Feneos area

  • Algyroides moreoticus sleeping on a tree trunk

  • Another Podarcis-species: Podarcis erhardii livadiacus. The didn't find that species in the Parnon mountains but succeeded at Feneos.

  • A pair of P. erhardii livadiacus

  • Podarcis tauricus

  • And finally: Podarcis muralis. In the Feneos bassin there can be found four Podarcis species – this is really unique!

  • Ophrys reinholdii

  • The Doxa-Lake above Feneos

  • Lycaena ottomanus

  • Adult Anguis cephallonicus: The head resembles that of a hippo!

  • Cyrtopodion kotschyi warming up in the morning sun

  • Habitat in the Feneos basin

  • Bufo viridis

  • A male Lacerta trilineata inspecting its territory…

  • …watching suspiciously the persons with the cameras…

  • …and, as obviously there is no threat, snuggling with its girlfriend

  • Hierophis gemonensis trying to cross the road: a dangerous situation – for the snake as well as for the photographer!

    Remarks:

    The areas of Feneos and Stymphalos have been some of the best places we have seen in Greece so far. In particular, we were very impressed by the high population density of the numerous reptile species. Thanks to Thomas Bader und Ilias Strachinis.

    Literature:

    MAYER W., K. RICHTER & W. KAMMEL (1990): Kartierung der Herpetofauna des Beckens von
    Feneos (Griechenland: Nordpeloponnes). Herpetozoa 2: 87 - 106.