Your site on European and Mediterranean Amphibians and Reptiles
Trip to Montenegro from April, 26th to May 8th, 2006
1st day:
At April, 26th we started at 6:00 a.m. in Graz, Austria. Via Maribor (Slovenia) and Zagreb (Croatia) we drove at the new highway to Split. There the highway ends at the time. Along the coastal road we drove to Omis, from there along the Cetina river to Zadvarje, passing Gornja Brela we reached the sea again.
Cetina river about 3 kms land inside from Omis
Leopard snake (Zamenis situla) killed on road
It has been a male, watch the hemipenis
Juvenile Dice snake (Natrix tesellata) hatched in last year
Cetina river near Slime
We reached Dubrovnik, a beautiful mediaeval town. There we spent some hours. Driving into the night we reached Slano, sleeping in a hotel.
2nd day, April 27th, 2006:
A few miles west of Herceg-Novi we crossed the border to Montenegro
Zedars and other trees / bushes completely overgrown by Wistaria sp.
Blossom of Wistaria sp.
From Bijela to Tivat we took the ferry-boat, so we have not to drive along the Kotor-bay. Near the airport of Kotor we had a look in the ponds and ditches for herps. Unfortunately we found a road killed European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis).
We drove down to Petrovac, where we stayed for the next days
Ferry-boat from Bijela to Tivat.
Ditch near the airport: Habitat of Emys orbicularis, Mauremys rivulata, Hyla arborea and Rana dalmatina
European tree frog sitting on a brach of Rubus.
Agile frog (Rana dalmatina). It´s a bit skinny. We saved 3 of them out of a concreted water reservoir.
Same individual. Ventral view.
3rd day, April 28th, 2006:
Crossing the Sutoman mountain we reached Skadarsko lake. Unfortunately the weather was quite bad, as the days before. Only around noon we had some hours of sunshine
Skadarsko lake - view from Vranjina.
Skadarsko lake - view from Vranjina.
Skutari Water frog (Pelophylax shqipericus) between leaves of Nymphaea.
Testudo hermanni boettgeri - female
Testudo hermanni boettgeri - male
The village Vranjina on the island of same name.
Before few years the built a new tunnel from Virpazar at lake Skadarsko to Bar at the coast.
But we took the old road
Blossom of Calicotome spinosa
Ferns (Ceterach officinarum) at the wall of an old ruin.
Pseudopus apodus at the stairs of an old building.
A small pond at the Sutorman mountain: Habitat of Pelophylax shqipericus and Lissotriton vulgaris dalmaticus.
4th day, April 29th, 2006:
From Petrovac we drove along the coast, passing Bar and Ulcinje, to the small island Ada in the Bojane river delta.
Old olive trees close to Bar.
The castle of Ulcinje.
Fishing nets at Milena river, an arm of the Bojane river east of Ulcinje.
Western arm of Bojane river. At right side island Ada.
Juvenile European Grass snake (Natrix natrix persa).
Dolichophis caspius, hatched last year.
Island Ada. Habitat of Podarcis muralis, Podarcis melisellensis, Natrix natrix, Natrix tessellata, Dolichophis caspius and Vipera ammodytes.
Podarcis melisellensis
Blossom of the water lilly (Iris pseudacorus)
Pond at Ada island: Habitat of Emys orbicularis and Natrix species.
Family of slow worms (Anguis fragilis)
Basking Pseudopus apodus.
A toadstool - Clathrus ruber
Pond at the mainland, just oppusite of island Ada. Habitat of Emys orbicularis and Natrix species.
Nymphaea alba
Dust road beside pond, shown above. Habitat of Vipera a. ammodytes, Dolichophis caspius and Zamenis longissimus.
Vipera ammodytes ammodytes - male
5th day, April 30th, 2006
Again we tried lake Skadarsko. The weather was very bad at the coast, but land inside "a silver stripe was visable at the horizon".
But no luck. The whole day it was very cloudy and raining very heavy from time to time.
View back to the coast from Sutorman mountains.
Skadarsko lake. View from Virpazar to the west.
Lake Skadarsko. View from Besac to the east.
Huge mediterranean common toad - about 17 cms head-body-length (Bufo bufo spinosus)
Pelophylax shqipericus
Last stop at this day: the old bridge in Rijeka-Crnojevica
6th day, May 1st, 2006:
..........again to Ada island. In the hinterland the weather was still very bad. On higher mountains 30 cms new snow.
Basking Dice snake (Natrix tessellata)
Lacerta sp. Normally you should aspect Lacerta trilineata here. But this animal shown has strong similarities with Lacerta viridis meridionalis - blue throat and brown hind legs. Also the babies from last year showed no stripes. The have been brown with dark markings at the back.
Female of Vipera ammodytes ammodytes - basking in morning hours. Search for her !!
Podarcis melisellensis - male
Podarcis muralis ssp.
Podarcis melisellensis - female
Vipera ammodytes ammodytes, female. Same individual shown before. Now basking in afternoon sun.
Habitat of Vipera a. ammodytes and Zamenis longissimus.
Aesculapian snake (Zamenis longissimus), male. nearly black individual.
Zamenis longissimus - ventral view
Dolichophis caspius, Weibchen, female
7th day, May 2nd, 2006:
.......again to the southeast in the vincinety of Ada island.
This was the first "beautiful" day at our trip.
Habitat of Natrix sp., Podarcis muralis and P. melisellensis, and Vipera ammodytes.
Testudo hermanni boettgeri
Two basking Natrix natrix persa.
juvenile Pseudopus apodus
hatchling of Emys orbicularis hellenica
Vipera ammodytes ammodytes - female
Vipera ammodytes ammodytes - male
Pseudopus apodus, basking on a branch.
8th day, May 3rd, 2006:
The morning started with fine weather, also land inside. Unfurtunately only till noon. After it started to rain again.
Ruins of the old castle Lesendro near Vranjina.
View to the lake from the castle.
Emys orbicularis hellenica, female. One of the largest animals I have seen ever. Carapax length nearly 19 cms.
Same individual out of water.
View from Sutorman mountain to Petrovac.
Old male of slow worm, Anguis fragilis
Watch for the ear opening, only in ssp. colchicus. [update: now Anguis graeca]
Juvenile Anguis sp.
View to the Sutoman mountains from the harbour of Petrovac at late afternoon.
Cliffs at Petrovac.
9th day, May 4th, 2006:
Due to bad weather - although it was sunny in early morning we decided to drive back "north". At about 10:00 a.m. it started to rain again and the bad weather least till night.
So we had time now, we drove the road along the Kotor bay and farther till Dubrovnik.
The small island Sveti Stefan - today for "millionairs" only.
Town-wall of Kotor.
A small square inside Kotor.
View from Perast to Kotor bay.
10th day, May 5th, 2006:
The first really fine day during our trip. Only in late afternoon there was a little bit rain for 20 minutes.
From Dubrovnik we drove to the Neretva delta and farther to Primosten.
View from the east to the Neretva delta. In and along the channels Pelophylax ridibundus, Natrix sp. and Emys orbicularis live. At the slopes Lacerta trilineata, Hierophis gemonensis, Pseudopus apodus and Zamenis situla.
Beetle at orange blossoms.
Citrus fruits-, honey and liquor seller in Neretva delta.
Juvenile Testudo hermanni hercegovinensis.

11th day, May 6th, 2006:
From Primosten we drove north again. Passing Sibenik we stopped at the Krka waterfalls (pictures will be shown in a separate album soon) to Pakostane.

12th day, May 7th, 2006:
During morning hours we had a look around Pakostane. And we have been lucky. Beside Lacerta trilineata, Podarcis melisellensis, Testudo hermanni hercegovinensis and Hierophis gemonensis we found Elaphe quatuorlineata and Zamenis situla.

Four lined snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata)
Leopard snake (Zamenis situla), male