Rhodes 4th to 11th of July 2004

Me and Tommi Sandberg spent a week from July 4 to 11 on the Greek island Rhodes. The main purpose with the journey was the herpetofauna. The weather conditions was rather tough with temperatures around 40°C (last day 44° !!!) The worst heat was at the east coast where we lived in Pefki south of Lindos.

The road to the Apolakkia dam © Lasse Bergendorf Habitat for Ophisops elegans © Lasse Bergendorf
Tommi in a riverbed © Lasse Bergendorf Lasse beside the cistern with frogs © Lasse Bergendorf

Just a week or so before we left I found a very interesting Austrian herpsite on the internet. Two of their members had spent a week in Rhodes in April this year. The report from their trip gave us great information to the herpetofauna. Thanks to them! Their website can be found at www.herpetofauna.at.

Tommi shooting Lacertas © Lasse Bergendorf Monolithos ruin © Lasse Bergendorf
The ruin with Euprepis auratus © Lasse Bergendorf Eleonora falcon © Lasse Bergendorf

The best and most pleasant memories from the trip are that we found the two endemics present on Rhodes: The Large Black Whipsnake (Dolichohis jugularis) and the Levant Skink (Euprepis auratus).

Roller © Lasse Bergendorf A tough one © Lasse Bergendorf

On the west side, especially around the little village Apolakkia, we found most of the species and a little bit of cool wind made it possible for us to walk around even in the middle of the day.

Grass Blue Butterfly © Tommi Sandberg Swallowtail © Tommi Sandberg
Scarce Swallowtail © Tommi Sandberg Maniola telmessia © Tommi Sandberg

We also had great sights of Eleonora Falcons, Long-legged Buzzards, Beeaters and Rollers. Some beautiful butterflies like Swallowtail, Scarce Swallowtail, Large White, Long-tailed Blue, Grass Blue, Eastern Rock Grayling, Maniola telmessia and Pigmy Skipper also gave pleasure to our journey.

Rhodes town © Lasse Bergendorf The only green frog we found! © Lasse Bergendorf

List of herpspecies:

Rana bedriagae
Just some brief calls from a singel individual near Soroni. The most disappointing species of the trip. Where were all the others?

Epidalea viridis
12 specimens in a concrete cistern for water and 3-5 when we drove in darkness along the road to an artificial dam near Apolakkia.

Hyla arborea
5 specimens in the same cistern as E viridis. Quite a lot where seen and heard in the darkness along the road to the dam near Apolakkia. (Perhaps a new taxa, Hyla kretensis) Listen to Hyla arborea (mp3). Recorded on Rhodes, July 2004. © Lars Bergendorf.

Anterolacerta oertzeni
All over the Island. The first ones in our Hotel garden. The young animals are very beautful with their blue-green tail. (Also named Lacerta oertzeni)

Laudakia stellio
All over the Island. Especially in ruins and in Rhodes old town.

Ophisops elegans
Some specimens in dry riverbeds near Apolakkia and Lachania.

Mauremys rivulata
Some in the very few riverbeds that still had some water.

Chalcides ocellatus
The one and only in our hotel garden the very first day of our journey.

Euprepis auratus
Two individuals in a little ruin south of Appolakia at the westcost. Rather robust and longlegged.

Dolichophis jugularis
An enormous, about 2 meters long, black snake with red throat and belly was lying on a small dirt road near Lachania. Unfortunately it disappeared into the scrub when we got out of the car to take photos.

/Lasse Bergendorf

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