Andalucia, 10. - 18.03.2012

Western Andalusia is a "must" for all those interested in herpetofauna and in spring 2012 we had the chance to visit this area. At the top of our wish list were Podarcis vaucheri, Blanus mariae and Psammodromus occidentalis - a species newly described in spring 2012.

  • 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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  • 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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  • El Rocio

    Apart from the species mentioned above we hoped for some nice pictures of Podarcis carbonelli, Acanthodactylus erythrurus, Chamaeleo chamaeleon, some snakes and interesting amphibians. Because this year Western Andalucia had the driest winter for decades, we did not succeed in amphibian photography (25 °C, sunny and dry every day). The places visited are well known among herpers so we do not mention any locality data. Special thanks to Christoph Riegler and Jeroen Speybroeck.

    10.03.2012

    Arrival at Malaga airport and pass over to El Rocio in Donana National Park. During a first excursion in the National Park we found nothing except the omnipresent juveniles of Psammodromus algirus for a long time. In the evening we were able to photograph Psammodromus occidentalis (our first new species). Later we found some - pale-colored and less photogenic - Podarcis vaucheri.

  • Psammodromus occidentalis - The recently described species previously considered as Psammodromus hispanicus

    11.03.2012

    An excursion to a habitat of Podarcis hispanicus (type 2) in the north was a total failure: boring eucalyptus forests, no reptiles except Psammodromus algirus. At least, on the way back a wild dump brought an adult Hemorrhois hippocrepis.

  • Hermorrhois hippocrepis - one of the most beautiful snakes of Europe

    12.03.2012

    Our visit of a chameleon habitat wasn’t successful at first. But then, a local took us to a bush and told us that the chameleons could be seen here at 14:00 pm - and he was actually right! At this time we found a subadult and three juvenile European chameleons (Chamaeleo chamaeleon). On our way back a stop-over at a ruin brought Psammodromus algirus, Acanthodactylus erythrurus, Blanus mariae and again Hemorrhois hippocrepis.

  • The star of the scenery: Chamaeleo chamaeleon

  • Chameleon-Stalking #1

  • Chameleon-Stalking #2

  • Juvenile chameleon on a branch

  • Adult Acanthodactylus erythrurus

  • Blanus mariae – another new species for us

  • Herping holidays are fun...

    13.03.2012

    First attempt to photograph Podarcis carbonelli: When we arrived in the habitat, the lizards were fully warmed up already and very hectic – no good photo results. In the afternoon: Sightseeing in Seville.

  • Podarcis carbonelli – first attempt

  • "Sightseeing" in Seville

    14.03.2012

    Second attempt in the carbonelli habitat – with better results, this time. Back at the parking we discovered that someone had broken into our car. Luckily we had no valuables inside! We were able to exchange the car at Seville Airport. Afterwards we moved to the area of Cadiz. In the afternoon we visited this beautiful city.

  • Podarcis carbonelli – second attempt…

  • ... a juvenile with contrasty pattern

  • A magnificent Podarcis carbonelli...

  • ... and the photographer

  • Meanwhile others were interested in our car

  • Impressive Ficus macrophylla in Cadiz

    15.03.2012

    Search for Podarcis vaucheri in Los Alcornocales National Park - A few shots of these lizards were made quickly, we also found Blanus mariae and Macroprotodon brevis, Hemorrhois hippocrepis as well as some interesting plants.

  • Three in one: Blanus mariae under a stone

  • Male Podarcis vaucheri - one of the "must haves" of this trip

  • Podarcis vaucheri with remarkable turquoise colored back

  • Adult Macroprotodon brevis

  • Ophrys tenthredinifera – this and Ophrys bombyliflora were the only orchids of this trip

  • Detail of Drosophyllum lusitanicum - a carnivorous plant

  • Scilla monophyllos

  • The cork oaks (Quercus suber) of the region are covered with epiphytic ferns - which obviously have suffered from the dry winter

    16.03.2012

    Driving a lot – with no results ...

  • Road in the dunes...

  • Holiday picture at the southern tip of the European continent: Tarifa

  • Podarcis vaucheri at the hotel in the evening sun - a good omen for the next day ...

    17.03.2012

    We decided to re-visit the Podarcis vaucheri site in the Alcornocales National Park. There we found numerous Podarcis vaucheri and some other species - this should turn out to be the most successful day of the trip!

  • Podarcis vaucheri country

  • The first Podarcis vaucheri spotting out of a crevice - an animal with orange throat

  • no comment ...

  • Spring fever, Part 1

  • A remarkably pretty colored female

  • Spring fever part 2: visual contact...

  • Tail nibbling...

  • ...

  • ...

  • A massive Tarentola mauritanica observed the scene

  • Mauremys leprosa in its spa ...

  • …and sunbasking

  • Juvenile Macroprotodon brevis

  • Adult Psammodromus algirus: the juveniles are very common but photographing the adults can be tricky.

  • Subadult Timon lepidus - the only ocellated lizard of our journey

    18.03.2012

    We visited another chameleon habitat which unfortunately was full of litter. No chameleons but at least some Acanthodactylus. In the evening: Return flight to Dusseldorf.

  • Juvenile Acanthodactylus erythrurus - our farewell photo in Andalusia