Your site on European and Mediterranean Amphibians and Reptiles


Morocco, spring 2010 (April 19th to May, 11th)

part 9 - western part of the Souss valley and south to the Tiznit area

Friday, May 7th, 2010
A few kilometres west of Taroudant we reached a disturbed, bushy area, where we did our first stop.
There we found another member of Acanthodactylus, Acanthodactylus busacki, which belongs to the pardalis group.

disturbed area close to the road: habitat of Acanthodactylus busacki, mottled morph

Acanthodactylus busacki
The Souss valley has nearly changed to a very intensive used agriculture area now. Only a few parts are still interesting to look for amphibians and reptiles.
But there are some extensive used areas too. Like here, where wheat fields are growing between Argania trees.

Weat fields between Argania trees

From the Agadir airport we drove south to Tiznit. At Inchaden we made a sidestep, direction to Tifnite, close to the coast.
At the edge of the village I checked a nearly undisturbed area and found an adult Testudo graeca soussensis in the first minute. But no other observations within the following 20 minutes. But after, in a part of the area, not markly different from the others, I could find dozens of Acanthodactylus busacki, all in the striped morph.
After, we found a very bad road to the coastal dunes. Passing a old house ruin, an Athene noctua was sitting on the stone wall. Between the small bushes, Acanthodactylus busacki have been everywhere.
At the open coastal dunes we only have seen one Acanthodactylus aureus. Driving the same way back, passing the old house ruin again, our Athene noctua have got married.
In the late afternoon we did a quick stop at the Souss - Massa national park, but didnt find any herps. So we went on to Tiznit and rent a room in a very fine, but not expensive hotel.

habitat of Testudo graeca soussensis and Acanthodactylus busacki

Testudo graeca soussensis female

Acanthodactylus busacki, female

aestivating snails

Athene noctua

territorial fight between two A. busacki males

Acanthodactylus busacki: the winner

Athene noctua

Oued Massa near its mouth

our Hotel in Tiznit: Lobby

our Hotel in Tiznit: beer terrasse and pool
Saturday, May 8th, 2010
Early in the morning we drove back to the Souss - Massa national park at the mouth of the Oued Massa, to meet a guide, we have made an appointment yesterday evening. The guide showed us some places with flamingos, spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia) and many other birds. The highlight have been 4 Bald ibis, Geronticus eremita. But before we have been able to make some pictures, the birds have been disturbed by a guy passing by and flew away.
In the late morning we started a round trip: Tiznit - Aglou Plage - Gourizim - Tiznit.
Between Tiznit and Aglou Plage, turning of hundreds of stones had only a poor result: Saurodactylus brosseti, Testudo graeca soussensis, Agama bibronii and Acanthodactylus busacki.
But in the coastal dunes between Aglou Plage and Gourizim we found A. busacki and A. aureus together on the same dunes. The Golden fringe-toed prefaired more the open, sandy areas, while A. busacki lived in parts, where bushes have been more dense.
On the way back to Tiznit, at the Assif-n-Tiouinite, hundreds of green toads have just metamorphed and left the water."

Mini Bonsai: Euphorbia sp.

Testudo graeca soussensis, Baby

Saurodactylus brosseti

Acanthodactylus busacki, male

coastal dunes north of Gourizim

Acanthodactylus aureus, female

when the sand gots to hot: A. aureus, female

Acanthodactylus aureus, male

Euphorbia atlantica (Syn.: Euphorbia echina)


Bufo boulengeri newly metamorphosed

  part 1 - Introduction: Topography, climate, zoogeography
part 2 - from Ceuta to Beni Mellal
  part 3 - from Beni Mellal to Marrakech
  part 4 - to Oukaimeden and from Marrakech to Ouarzazate
  part 5 - around Ouarzazate
  part 6 - from the Hammada(Ouarzazate) through the Reg(Tineghir) to the Erg(Merzouga)
  part 7 - in and around the sand dunes (Merzouga and adjected areas)
  part 8 - From Merzouga to Taroudant in the Souss valley
You are here:
part 9 - western part of the Souss valley and south to the Tiznit area
  part 10 - home along the Atlantic coast, list of observed Amphibians, reptiles and birds