Portugal, 13. - 20.07.2013

One week in Central Portugal - 3 target species - Atlantic weather: That was the setting of this year's summer trip. Our must-haves were Teira dugesii, Podarcis carbonelli berlengensis and Iberolacerta monticola monticola. Finding all of these three species turned out to be harder than expected but we were successful at last. Thanks to Frank Deschandol.

  • 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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  • The cliffs of Peniche

    13.07.
    Flight to Lisbon, from there we drove to the Peniche Peninsula, where we hoped to find Podarcis carbonelli berlengensis – this subspecies has been described for the Peniche Peninsula and the Berlengas Islands. When we arrived at Peniche it was foggy with drizzle and 18 °C: no chance to find lizards.

    14.07.
    The weather on the coast was still the same: fog and drizzle! We cancelled our plan to take a boat to the Berlengas Islands and drove to the Parque Natural Candeeiros the Serra de Aire, about one hour's drive from Peniche. There, it was sunny and hot. The scenic area looked like a herping paradise, but unfortunately we found nothing but some hectic Psammodromus algirus.

  • No reptiles - boring...

    15.07.
    Still foggy! We decided to leave Peniche and went to the Serra da Estrela. In the peak area near the Torre we had a first photo session with Iberolacerta monticola – lizards, finally!

  • Iberolacerta monticola monticola: usually the males are greenish...

  • …but also bluish ones can be found

  • Another blue Iberolacerta monticola

  • Female

  • Searching for rock lizards

    16.07.
    Lizard hunting in the Serra da Estrela, part 2: We found Iberolacerta monticola, Podarcis hispanicus type 1, Lacerta schreiberi, Chalcides striatus, Timon Lepidus (unfortunately we didn’t manage to get a picture) and Psammodromus algirus.

  • Habitat of Podarcis hispanicus type 1

  • Female Podarcis hispanicus type 1...

  • …and a male – this species occurs in the cooler areas in the north of Portugal, in the warmer parts of the country the species is replaced by Podarcis hispanicus type 2.

  • Female Lacerta schreiberi

  • Another Lacerta schreiberi

  • Chalcides striatus

    17.07.
    Lizard hunting in the Serra da Estrela, Part 3: In the valley of Manteigas we searched for Lacerta schreiberi along the Zezere River. Afterwards, we re-visited the peak area of the Serra da Estrela for Iberolacerta.

  • Habitat of Lacerta schreiberi

  • Male Lacerta schreiberi

  • Male Podarcis hispanicus Type 1...

  • ...and another one

  • Iberolacerta Country

  • Curious Iberolacerta monticola

  • An alpha-male...

  • …a real "poser"...

  • …the alpha-male obviously was quite full of himself.

  • Nearby, a beta-male was hunting for wasps – getting dangerously close to the alpha-male.

  • Meanwhile, the alpha-male still was posing...

  • …the two males about to meet: the meeting was short and violent.

  • Soon after having defended its territory, the alpha-male was posing again...

  • …but also the beta-male apparently forgot the defeat quickly and practiced in posing, too. Magnificent animals!

    18.07.
    We left the Serra da Estrela in the direction of Lisbon with a stopover at Peniche. At Peniche: 18° C, fog and drizzle – again no Podarcis carbonelli... An hour later we arrived in Lisbon: sunny weather. In the city we visited a population of introduced Teira dugesii. In the green areas of the city we also found Podarcis hispanicus type 2.

  • Male Teira dugesii

  • Another male

  • Pair

  • Female

  • Female Podarcis hispanicus type 2...

  • And a juvenile...

    19.07.
    After another photo session with Teira dugesii we went to the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, a beautiful scenic area, where the reptile search turned out to be difficult, however. We only found Podarcis hispanicus type 2 and Psammodromus algirus. In the afternoon the sun came out also further north – at least the weather forecast for Peniche was promising. Hence, we started a last attempt and went to Peniche. There, it was still cloudy but warmer than in the previous days. After a long search we finally found three specimens of Podarcis carbonelli – success at the last minute! On 20.07., we had to take our plane back to Germany early in the morning.

  • Teira dugesii - juvenile

  • Male

  • Female

  • Portrait of an adult animal

  • City herping

  • Podarcis hispanicus type 2 in its full beauty

  • A very large Psammodromus algirus

  • Finally: Male Podarcis carbonelli berlengensis – it is questionable whether this is a valid subspecies, since these animals neither morphologically nor genetically differ significantly from mainland populations. Nevertheless, we were happy to find Podarcis carbonelli at all, as several authors have pointed out that finding this species in the field – particularly in summer – can be difficult.

  • Female Podarcis carbonelli berlengensis

  • Happy at last!