Lesbos 2009 trip report online

Here is a report from my holiday in Lesbos (Lesvos) from 8th- 15th October. Although a very beautiful island the conditions were not in my favour, but nevertheless I hope you enjoy some of the photos. The report will also soon be posted on the European Field Herping Community (EFHC) www.euroherp.com

Matt

By Matt Wilson

Sun, sand and Ottoman vipers…a great week in Lesbos!

me whip snake

Here is a photo of me with a Caspian whip snake (Dolichophis caspius) which I caught just as I arrived at my hotel on Lesbos. This snake is one of the largest European species reaching a length of 250cm, although my specimen was quite alot smaller than this!

Unfortunately as I arrived on the island I soon became aware that the Autumn rains had not arrived, and according to the locals the last rain was the beginning of June! So the first five days were very hard going with not too many species found, however a thunderstorm on the 6th day allowed me to find some nice species on the final day off the trip, including a giant Ottoman viper (Montivipera xanthina) of around 120cm sat basking on an embankment as I was cycling along. More about that to come….

By Matt Wilson

Lesvos update!

After several months of very little field work I am very excited about my trip to Lesvos this week! Unfortunately it seems that the Autumn rains have not yet arrived which means my task of finding the elusive Eastern Spadefoot toad (Pelobates syriacus) will be made even more difficult. Furthermore the lack of rain will make finding all other reptiles and amphibians generally harder, however I am hopeful that at some point this week rain will appear.

The area in which I am based is surrounded with rivers and marshes, which are the best searching grounds if the hot, dry summer has not yet completely come to an end. I am also hopeful I will still be able to catch up with Dwarf snakes (Eirenis modestus) and maybe even the Sand boa (Eryx jaculus)

You can read and see photographs from previous trips to Lesvos by my colleagues at the following links:

http://www.klooiplek.com/default.aspx?pid=41&sitelang=dutch

http://www.freanonherping.be/lesbosreis.htm

Wish me luck,

Matt

By Matt Wilson