Aegean Islands, 28.05. - 13.06.2011

Five islands in two weeks: Kythira, Pori, Milos, Kimolos and Sifnos – our program for our herping trip in the Aegean Sea. The first week we spent together with Tekla Boersma, Gijs Damen, Jeroen Speybroeck, Jan van der Voort and Leonard Zammit; within the first days also Benny Trapp joined us. During the second week we were on our own. Due to hot temperatures herping was difficult sometimes – but, overall we are happy with the results of our trip and in particular, visiting different islands was great fun.

  • 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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  • Where is the right place for entering the island? - Gijs, Benny, Jan and Jeroen in front of the Pori cliffs

    Pori

    How to get to Pori? We planned to charter a boat on Kythira to bring us to the uninhabited island (thanks to Jeroen for organizing that!). Our target species was Podarcis levendis, which only occurs on Pori and the nearby islet Lagouvardos. Just at the first day after our arrival on Kythira we had the perfect occasion (sunny weather, no wind) for our trip – a speedboat brought us to Pori within less than one hour. There, we found Podarcis levendis in high population density – anyhow, the lizards were pretty nervous and difficult to photograph, in the afternoon they were hiding in the shadow.

  • Podarcis levendis lives on Pori since millions of years but has been described not until 2008 and has been photographed only by a few people

  • The habitat of Podarcis levendis

  • Podarcis levendis is a rather big wall lizard with inconspicuous coloration: brownish-greenish back, blue outer ventral scales and blue spots, underside white and orange

  • Archaic romance: a pair of P. levendis

  • This guy is eating banana for the first time in his life…

  • ….that tasted good! Like other reptiles Pori wall lizards like sweets: we also watched them licking on flowers

  • We made it! On our way back from Pori!

    Kythira

    Greece at its best: not much tourism, silence and lovely nature – that’s Kythira! The island is situated a few kilometers south of Peloponnese and inhabited by species which also occur on the mainland: Pelophylax kurtmuelleri, Bufo viridis, Mediodactylus kotschyi, Hemidactylus turcicus, Lacerta trilineata, Ablepharus kitaibelii, Hierophis gemonensis, Natrix natrix and Telescopus fallax. According to literature also Ophiomorus punctatissimus, Typhlops vermicularis and Zamenis situla occur on Kythira – but we didn’t find those species. Furthermore, Natrix tessellata is also mentioned in literature but we have doubts if this species really lives on Kythira. Unfortunately, small lizards (like Podarcis) are missing on Kythira.

  • Kapsali bay

  • Mediodactylus kotschyi bibroni is omnipresent on the island

  • Ablepharus kitaibelii

  • Late orchids: Orchis fragrans and…

  • Ophrys ceto

  • The wild westcoast of Kythira

  • Beautiful Hierophis gemonensis – this species seems to be common on Kythira

  • A subadult Hierophis gemonensis…

  • …and another one – in situ

  • Merops apiaster

  • Libelloides lacteus

  • Telescopus fallax in dynamic posture

  • Photo session with cat snake: Jan, Jeroen, Tekla und Gijs

  • Hemidactylus turcicus

  • Kythira has several brooks – habitat of Natrix natrix, finding that species took us some days

  • Platycnemis pennipes practizing their fertile choreography

  • Caliaeshna microstigma (Thanks to Jan!)

  • Posing like a big toad: juvenile Bufo viridis

  • Finally: our first subadult grass snake! The Kythira snakes didn’t show the characteristic pale stripes of ssp. persa. Instead of that, they had interesting black blotches at their neck

  • An adult Natrix natrix…

  • …and another one

  • That was ugly: checking this potential Natrix tessellata habitat didn’t bring success – brackish water with fishes and shrimps but no snakes. The occurrence of Natrix tessellata on Kythira seems to be very unlikely

  • The waterfall of Milopotamos: Near the brooks we saw numerous green lizards

  • Lacerta trilineata (nominate subspecies)…

  • …and another one

  • A tree full of geckoes (Mediodactylus kotschyi)

  • Final group picture: Peter, Jeroen, Jan, Leonard, Gijs, Birgit, Tekla – we enjoyed our common trip.

  • Dusk in Kapsali

    Milos

    From Kythira we went (with one overnight stop in Athens) to Milos. During our stay the weather was hot and dry – beach weather! Anyhow, we found several species: Pelophylax sp., Mauremys rivulata, Mediodactylus kotschyi, Hemidactylus turcicus, Podarcis milensis, Lacerta trilineata hansschweizeri, Ablepharus kitaibelii, Zamenis situla und Natrix natrix schweizeri. We didn’t find Telescopus fallax and Macrovipera schweizeri. The landscape of Milos is rather unspectacular but there are some nice beaches. The major villages show the typical busy touristic scenery of the Cyclades.

  • Bath tub de luxe: Fyriplaka beach

  • Podarcis milensis – one of the most beautiful lizard species!

  • Black meets cyan

  • A pretty female of Podarcis milensis

  • Professional lizard photography?

  • It is just a photogenic species!

  • Another male

  • The north coast of Milos

  • Lacerta trilineata hansschweizeri on a dirt road

  • Another Lacerta trilineata hansschweizeri with characteristic pale coloration

  • Hemidactylus turcicus

  • Achivadholimni: besides of this brackish lake there are only a few wet places on the island – all brooks we saw had dried out

  • The water frogs on Milos (Pelophylax sp.) surprised us: huge specimen but very shy, escaping with athletic sprints

  • Mauremys rivulata in between aquatic plants

  • Lestes macrostigma

  • Palpares libelluloides

  • View over Milos bay to Plaka

  • One of the most beautiful European butterflies: Charaxes jasius

  • Alectoris chukar: Although still guided by their parents these chicks are already able to fly

  • Not until the end of our stay we found snakes: Zamenis situla (striped form)

  • Black beauty: Natrix natrix schweizeri

    Kimolos

    Kimolos looks similar to its neighboring island Milos – but it is less hectic than Milos. This quite agreeable island can easily be accessed by the boat from Milos. It has similar herpetofauna as Milos – we saw Podarcis milensis, Mediodactylus kotschyi and Lacerta trilineata.

  • View over Kimolos

  • Mediodactylus kotschyi – the Milos archipelago is home of subspecies saronicus

  • Birgit – hunting for lizards

  • Podarcis milensis with yellow pattern

  • Juvenile Lacerta trilineata

  • Athene noctua

    Sifnos

    The distance from Sifnos to Kimolos is only 12 km. Anyhow, on Sifnos Podarcis milensis is replaced by Podarcis erhardii in the nominate taxon. Hence we wanted to find out how these lizards look like during a day trip to the island. Sifnos is a nice island with impressive landscape. However, it has become rather touristic – with a lot of new buildings and busy traffic.

  • Too hot for everything: We went to Sifnos at the hottest day of our trip – it was even hard to photograph Podarcis erhardii and it took us hours to get an acceptable shot. Lacerta trilineata hansschweizeri disappeared – no picture of that.

  • Podarcis erhardii erhardii look like – guess! – Aegean wall lizards: they show brownish colors like this female, some males had slightly greenish colors

  • Sifnos has a separate subspecies of Mediodactylus kotschyi called buchholzi – for us, all kotschyi suspecies look the same

  • Arrival of the ferry to bring us back to Milos

  • At the end of our trip we took the ferry from Milos via Sifnos…

  • …and Serifos…

  • …to Piraeus

  • We would appreciate that! (Giant advertisement at a building in Piraeus)