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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Just some brief calls from a singel individual near Soroni. The most disappointing species of the trip. Where were all the others?
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.
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.
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)
All over the Island. Especially in ruins and in Rhodes old town.
Some specimens in dry riverbeds near Apolakkia and Lachania.
Some in the very few riverbeds that still had some water.
The one and only in our hotel garden the very first day of our journey.
Two individuals in a little ruin south of Appolakia at the westcost. Rather robust and longlegged.
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.
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