Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

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Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Michael Wilms » Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:44 am

It took a long time, but finally I finished (the english version) of my trip report Croatia Spring 2015.
Because of further education and some changes in my job and a relocation as a result of this I had no time, to end it earlier. But now I want to show you most pictures with a short descreption.
The whole Trip Report (42 pages) you can find here, eihter in English or in German: http://michaelwilms-naturfotografie.jim ... sberichte/.
For more information please read the report.
If you find mistakes, please correct me.


Part 1

From May 23rd to June 6th, 2015 I did my second trip to Croatia. This time it was more planned asa convalescent trip with my girlfriend Michelle, but I had a several chances to go herping.

First we visited two days the National park Plitvice lakes and then we stayed for 12 days at the Novigrad sea (Novigradsko more).

National Park Plitvice lakes
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A dormouse observed us from it's burrow in the loamy soil
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Papillio machaon (swallowtail butterfly)
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Lacerta viridis in the croatian hinterlands
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Natrix natrix persa, adult
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Natrix natrix persa, adult, playing dead reflex
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Novigrad, at the Novigradsko more, with the old castle complex above
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Old castle complex of Novigrad, Croatia; habitat of lots of reptile species
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Testudo hermanni hercegovinensis, female
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Testudo hermanni hercegovinensis, another female than above, in typical habitat
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2x Lacerta trilineata
in their habitat around the castle comples of Novigrad
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Pseudopus apodus
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Pelophylax ridibundus (old: Rana ridibunda), Vrana lake (Vransko jezero)
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Emys obicularis, Vrana lake (Vransko jezero)
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Vipera ammodytes, juvenile, near Vrana lake (Vransko jezero)
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Natrix tesselata var. flavescens, Vrana lake (Vransko jezero), Croatia
The characteristics described by WERNER 1891 like the reddish tongue and the orange shining eyes can be recognized.
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Alexander Pieh taking photos of a Natrix tesselata var. flavescens at Vrana lake (Vransko jezero)
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360° Panorama photo which shows on the left the sea and on the right the Vrana lake (Vransko jezero)
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360° Panorama photo of the mountainous croatian hinterland
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Alex Pieh taking photos of a gravid Lacerta agilis bosnica in croatian hinterlands above 1000m a.s.l.
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Alex with another gravid Lacerta agilis bosnica
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Lacerta agilis bosnica, male
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Gentiana sp.
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Caterpillar of Malacosoma sp., which I saw often in the mountains
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Melitaea diamina
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Deilephila elpenor
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Philaeus chrysops
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By turning stones I often found different coulored Euscorpius sp.
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IMG_0920.jpg (82.87 KiB) Viewed 4008 times
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Malpolon insignitus, adult, DOR
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Zamenis situla, juvenile, critical injured by a cat
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Hemidactylus turcicus, at a natural stone wall, Croatia
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Hemidactylus turcicus, at exterior wall
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Desiccated pond on the island Pag (peninsula Lun), where I found some Emys obicularis two years ago
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Over 1000 year old olive trees on the island Pag (peninsula Lun): habitat of many reptiles
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Podarcis siculus at an old olive tree, island Pag, peninsula Lun
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Bufo viridis
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Pseudopus apodus, subadult, just after the juvenile coloration, on the street but fortunately still healthy
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Pelophylax ridibundus (old: Rana ridibunda), Krka national park
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The rest of the pictures will follow in Part 2
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Re: Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Michael Wilms » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:07 am

Part 2

Natrix natrix persa, juvenile, Krka national park
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Two specimen Natrix tesselata var. flavescens (dice snake in yellowish coloration), Vrana lake (Vransko jezero), some pictures with a fish
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Natrix tesselata var. flavescens (dice snake in yellowish coloration), partly with good visible reddish tongue and/or orange eyes (appropriate to the "var. flavescens"-description of WERNER 1891), Vrana lake (Vransko jezero)
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Sad to say I really tried to find Vipera ursinii macrops, but with no success. Together with Alex we even found a molt, so we searched the right habitat and places. But no living specimen!

Even in this short pictorial form of my Trip report, I want to end with some thanks.
First I want to thank my girlfriend Michelle for this wonderful trip and the patience she had for me and my hobby!
Furthermore I want to thank Berislav (Bero) Horvatic for his many tipps and hints relating to the Vipera ursinii, but also many other species and "hotspots" (e.g. on Pag)!
Further thanks relating habitat tipps and "hotspots" equally goes to Mario Schweiger and Rainer Hähnlein, who gave Alex Pieh informations, that we used and eplored together.
Last but not least I also want to express my appreciation to Alex Pieh for the interesting excursions and trips we did together in Croatia. I enjoyed herping together and learned a lot from you, in our conversations as well as in experiences.
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Re: Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Andre Schmid » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:21 am

Hi Michael,

nice report ! Cool observations with the Natrix tesselata and the prey :)
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Re: Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Mario Schweiger » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:57 am

great series of pictures, Michael,

allways love to see some true "flavescens" from Vransko Jezero (as there are some "normal" there too).
and I have to admit, I never visited Novigrad castle - shame on me :oops:
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Re: Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:06 pm

Testudo hermanni hercegovinensis, another female than above, in typical habitat

The two pictures of Testudo hermanni are identical...
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Re: Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Michael Wilms » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:30 pm

Berislav Horvatic wrote:The two pictures of Testudo hermanni are identical...


Oops, thank you, Bero! :oops:

I corrected this! :D
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Re: Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Michael Wilms » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:34 pm

Mario Schweiger wrote:great series of pictures, Michael,

allways love to see some true "flavescens" from Vransko Jezero (as there are some "normal" there too).
and I have to admit, I never visited Novigrad castle - shame on me :oops:
Mario


Thank you, Mario!
I really like the Novigrad castle because of the beatiful view over the lagoon from there!
And Novigrad really has a nice location at the Novigradsko more.
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Re: Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:25 am

Michael Wilms wrote:Oops, thank you, Bero! :oops:
I corrected this! :D

As you wrote yourself, I was always there to help you, so I still am. I leave it to the others to praise your field report,
which doesn't mean that I don't like it, on the contrary.
BTW, I do owe you a special compliment: In your report, you took care to write all the Croatian topography correctly.
Not a single name is misspelled. I think you are the first foreigner who's accomplished that. Not so terribly important,
of course, but still shows certain respect for the country and its people, that's rarely encountered. Thanks for that as
well.
BTW, Rana ridibunda has been Pelophylax ridibundus for some years already, so if you want to be a real 100% German,
maybe you'd change that. And regarding hercegovinensis, I suggest a discussion with our admin Mario, as I'm not sure
of the present status of this (sub)species.
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Re: Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:08 am

Berislav Horvatic wrote:And regarding hercegovinensis, I suggest a discussion with our admin Mario, as I'm not sure
of the present status of this (sub)species.


Well, here I am again, unrequestedly hijacking the subject. ;)

A split of Testudo hermanni into 3 species (hermanni, boettgeri, hercegovinensis) has been hinted at certain times. However, the validity of T. (h.) hercegovinensis is questionable, as it seems to overlap genetically and morphologically with T. (h.) boettgeri. That means: even at subspecies level.

I'm guessing Mario won't disagree, but if he does (1) I must have missed something and (2) I'd like to know soon, so I can alter the text in our forthcoming book. ;)

In short, the evidence seems to question this taxon at any level, but some have called it a species, so it's one of those more messy cases.
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Re: Croatia Spring 2015 Trip Report

Postby Mario Schweiger » Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:28 am

although still recognized as (sub)species by some, not really a sepaate taxon. Share the same haplotype along the whole adriatic - ionian coast.
Zwischenablage01.jpg


out of:
FRITZ, U., M. AUER, A. BERTOLERO, M. CHEYLAN, T. FATTIZZO, A. K. HUNDSDÖRFER, M. M. SAMPAYO, J. L. PRETUS, P. SIROK & M. WINK (2006): A rangewide phylogeography of Hermann’s tortoise, Testudo hermanni(Reptilia: Testudines: Testudinidae):implications for taxonomy. -Zool. Scripta 35(5): 531 – 543.
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