Samos, September 2008 / 2009

We had been warned: despite of the high diversity of the herpetofauna on Samos the population density is rather low. Furthermore, late summer is not the best season for herping. Nevertheless we decided to visit this island in September 2008 – in particular, we were interested in Anatololacerta anatolica, Chamaeleo chamaeleon and Trachylepis aurata.In the early morning hours we started herping while we spent the hot hours at the beach. Unfortunately we didn’t find Trachylepis aurata in 2008 – so, we had a second try in 2009.

  • Pyrenees, 2008 - 2016

    Pyrenees, 2008 - 2016

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

    clearpx
  • Sicily & Aeolian Islands, 26.5. – 6.6.2016

    Sicily & Aeolian Islands, 26.5. – 6.6.2016

    Mission Volcano! Smoking mountains and rare reptiles

    clearpx
  • Astypalaia & Naxos, 25.3.-3.4.2016

    Astypalaia & Naxos, 25.3.-3.4.2016

    Hellas reloaded – Back in Europe’s biodiversity lab

    clearpx
  • Spain, 29.8.-11.9.2015

    Spain, 29.8.-11.9.2015

    Biodiversity on the south-eastern tangent

    clearpx
  • Montenegro, 2. – 11.7.2015

    Montenegro, 2. – 11.7.2015

    Lizard Safari in the mountains of Montenegro

    clearpx
  •  Malta, 3. – 6.4.2015

    Malta, 3. – 6.4.2015

    The exclusive Podarcis filfolensis Home Story!

    clearpx
  • Oman, 6.–15.3.2015

    Oman, 6.–15.3.2015

    Adventures in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula

    clearpx
  • Central Spain, 29.8. - 14.9.2014

    Central Spain, 29.8. - 14.9.2014

    14 days in the heat of Castile

    clearpx
  • Lefkada, Kefalonia & Akarnania, 24.5. - 3.6.2014

    Lefkada, Kefalonia & Akarnania, 24.5. - 3.6.2014

    Reptile adventures in Western Greece

    clearpx
  • Mallorca / Alicante - 15.-23.03.2014

    Mallorca / Alicante - 15.-23.03.2014

    2014 Season Kick-off with 16 reptile species

    clearpx
  • Corsica, 07.-17.09.2013

    Corsica, 07.-17.09.2013

    Mountains, sea and rock lizards

    clearpx
  • Portugal, 13. - 20.07.2013

    Portugal, 13. - 20.07.2013

    Lizard hunting in Central Portugal

    clearpx
  • Romania, 24.05. - 03.06.2013

    Romania, 24.05. - 03.06.2013

    Herping adventures from the Black Sea coast to the Iron Gate

    clearpx
  • Menorca, 17. - 24.03.2013

    Menorca, 17. - 24.03.2013

    Visiting the Balearic lizards

    clearpx
  • Peloponnese, 20. - 27.10.2012

    Peloponnese, 20. - 27.10.2012

    Autumn trip on Peloponnese

    clearpx
  • Montenegro, 27.07. - 04.08.2012

    Montenegro, 27.07. - 04.08.2012

    Summer trip in the mountains of Montenegro

    clearpx
  • Skyros & Evia, 26.05. - 04.06.2012

    Skyros & Evia, 26.05. - 04.06.2012

    Our search for the legendary giant lizards...

    clearpx
  • Crete, 06. - 13.04.2012

    Crete, 06. - 13.04.2012

    Searching for flowers and lizards on Crete...

    clearpx
  • Andalucia, 10. - 18.03.2012

    Andalucia, 10. - 18.03.2012

    A hot week full of herping highlights in Southwestern Andalucia

    clearpx
  • 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.

    clearpx
  • 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

    clearpx
  • Rhodos & Kastellorizo, 12. - 19.03.2011

    Rhodos & Kastellorizo, 12. - 19.03.2011

    Trip to the easternmost island of Greece...

    clearpx
  • 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

    clearpx
  • 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

    clearpx
  • Northern Peloponnese, 3.-11.4.2010

    Northern Peloponnese, 3.-11.4.2010

    Four Podarcis species in one area!

    clearpx
  • Northern Greece, 01. - 15. 06.2009

    Northern Greece, 01. - 15. 06.2009

    Great trip to the Pindos mountains...

    clearpx
  • Sicily, 28.03. - 04.04.2009

    Sicily, 28.03. - 04.04.2009

    Orchid trip to eastern Sicily

    clearpx
  • Samos, September 2008 / 2009

    Samos, September 2008 / 2009

    Chamaeleons, Trachylepis and beautiful beaches...

    clearpx
  • Spain, November 2008 / February 2009

    Spain, November 2008 / February 2009

    Lizards in the Alicante Province

    clearpx
  • Eifel region

    Eifel region

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

    clearpx
  • Psili Amos beach

  • Sunrise in the Kerkis mountains: starting time for our daily excursions

    Day trip to the north: The valley of Valeontates has shady forests and an all-the-year water-bearing brook. There, we came across Anatololacerta anatolica and some juvenile Laudakia stellio and Pelophylax bedriagae.

  • Aanatololacerta anatolica is represented on Samos by subspecies aegaea

  • Well-fed Pelophylax bedriagae

  • Portrait of Anatololacerta anatolica

    In the coastal plain between the village of Ireo and the airport we tried to find Chamaeleo chamaeleon. But, except for Ophisops elegans and a juvenile Hemidactylus turcicus we didn’t find any reptiles there. At least some insects and flowers...

  • Trithemis annulata in obelisk position

  • Pelopidas thrax which occurs in Europe on some eastern Agaean islands only

  • Pancratium maritimum

  • Urginea maritima

    The Moni Evangelistrias is situated at the southern slope of the Kerkis-mountains. The path ascending to the monastery provides some spectacular views to the sea and the surrounding islands. On our way we noticed several Ophisops elegans, Laudakia stellio and an adult Eirenis modestus – the only snake we came across during our stay. At the monastery we once again saw A. anatolica.

  • Eirenis modestus – this adult specimen didn’t show the typical head pattern

  • Juvenile Anatololacerta anatolica with contrasty pattern

  • View to the islands of Agios Minas, Fourni und Ikaria (l. to r.)

    Searching for chameleons, we went to another location. This excursion was the highlight of our trip! At the very beginning, a chameleon crossed our way. Aside from numerous O. elegans we subsequently photographed– Testudo graeca, Hemidactylus turcicus and Lacerta trilineata. At a few water wholes, we noticed some sun-basking Mauremys rivulata.

  • Chamaeleon crossing the road

  • According to the pale, sun-baked landscape, the chameleons showed a greyish colouration

  • A big Testudo graeca

  • Hemidactylus turcicus

  • Lacerta trilineata appeared rather secretive, we saw very few sun-basking specimen

  • Mauremys rivulata – rapidly disappearing in the water

  • Orthetrum brunneum

    Addendum 2009:

    In September 2009 we went to Samos again for searching Trachylepis aurata. The weather was quite rainy, that time – but we succeeded with the Trachylepis!

  • Rainy weather…

  • A beautiful Chamaeleo chamaeleon crossing the road...

  • …the same specimen some moments later

  • Juvenile Laudakia stellio

  • Juvenile Ophisops elegeans…

  • …und another juvenile on a blade of grass

  • A juvenile Ablepharus kitaibelii with read tail

  • Another trip in the northern part of the island brought success…

  • Trachylepis aurata seems to be common on Samos but it is quite secretive in late summer

  • Close and in situ! Trachylepis aurata…

  • …we could take several pictures…

  • For us, Trachylepis aurata is one of the most beautiful lizards in Europe!

  • Farewell to Samos: Anatololacerta anatolica

    Acknowledgment:

    ARJAN VAN DER LUGT (klooiplek), DR. JOACHIM RUTSCHKE and SASCHA SCHMIDT for advices about the local herpetofauna