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Montenegro 2011 - part 2
Thursday, May 5th
Our last full day in the south of Montenegro.
We searched around the Bojana aluvial forests again. While Micha, Steven and I took mostly pictures of the delivered herps, Alexander, Hans-Peter and Rainer were looking for more supplies.
Below trash they got out a Hemidactylus turcicus from a very shady and humid area in the forest. I coudn´t join their opinion, they have dedected a new location for this gecko. More likely it was transported with this new trash from a town/village.

Hemidactylus turcicus. The most nice one I have ever seen
Additional they brought a baby Zamenis longissimus, Hyla arborea, some Vipera ammodytes in nice colors and babies of Emys orbicularis, Malpolon insignitus and Hierophis gemonensis, the last ones from a pasture nearby.

Hyla arborea

Vipera ammodytes male (top) and female

Emys orbicularis baby

Zamenis longissimus baby

Natrix tessellata female

Hierophis gemonensis baby

Micha tries to place a Malpolon insignitus baby for a picture

Malpolon insignitus baby
A very good find was a nearly complete black Dice snake, only with white labials and throat.

nearly everywhere at the edge of ponds and channels you may find large piles of trash

Micha, Steven and the black Natrix tessellata
Friday, May 6th
In the morning we took our last pictures from herps found during bad weather (the pictures are included in the report at their real observation time)- to release them on their collecting spots after.
Late morning we started north on the coastal road.
First stop was at very old oliver trees, some of them more than thousend years old. Testudo hermanni boettgeri, Pseudopus apodus, Podarcis muralis and Hierophis gemonensis have been observed.

very old olive trees and Testudo hermanni boettgeri

the ancient town Stari Bar

Micha and Steven in situ in Stari Bar
At the village Petrovac I showed my compagnions very nice coastal rocks.

coast near Petrovac

coastal rocks at Petrovac

our Playboy Micha at Petrovac

airport Tivat and the Lustica peninsula
On mountains top, Stirovic (1.749 m a.s.l.) is the mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic Njegoš, a place visited by many Montenegrinians. Just at the edge of the steps up, we found Podarcis muralis and very dark and black morphs of Dalmatolacerta oxycephala.

stairs to the mausoleum

view to the Dinarian Alps

Podarcis muralis male

black Dalmatolacerta oxycephala

young Podarcis muralis

dark Dalmatolacerta oxycephala
While I was driving down the car, the others made their way down by feet and found a nice subadult Vipera ammodytes male and 2 Coronella austriaca.

Coronella austriaca

subadult Vipera ammodytes male

Coronella austriaca
At some rocks we looked for Dinarolacerta mosorensis. A few specimens could be observed, one basking just a few centimeters beside a large Podarcis muraluis female. In contrast to the lizards at the mausoleum, the Dinarolacerta have been very shy. Impossible to get closer than 2 or 3 meters. At the slightest movements they went into cracks of the rocks. Therefore I´ve got only a few shots.

habitat of Podarcis muralis and Dinarolacerta mosorensis. In the background Stirovic

Podarcis muralis

my first shot of Dinarolacerta mosorensis. In contrast to Dalmatolacerta, Dinarolacerta has "yellow" throats

my best picture of Dinarolacerta mosorensis

Lustica peninsula in the late sun
Sunday, May 8th
In the morning we looked in ditches and channels between the Tivat airport and the Lustica peninsula for Mauremys rivulata. Together with the Balkan terrapin European pond turtles are living there.
At 10 a.m. we drove to Kotor to visit the town and the lizards living at the walls of the citadel. We observed all 3 species there, Podarcis muralis, Podarcis siculus and Dalmatolacerta oxycephala. But the sun reaches the walls short before noon in early May. So Dalmatolacerta just came out and have been still very shy.

Kotor citaldel

Hans-Peter: best position for pictures

Dalmatolacerta oxycephala. very shy when just out for basking after the sun reaches the walls
But we had to leave at noon to Podgorica airport. I left my compagnions there for their flight back to Gemany and started my way home by car.
Due to the weather conditions during our stay (moderate temperatures, lots of rain and wind) we have been very successful.
Here a list of all the species observed:
Salamandra salamandra (larva)
Lissotriton vulgaris
Triturus macedonicus
Rana graeca
Rana dalmatina
Pelophylax ridibundus
Pelophylax shqipericus
Hyla arborea
Bufo bufo
Bufo viridis (variabilis)

Anguis fragilis
Anguis graeca
Pseudopus apodus
Hemidactylus turcicus
Lacerta trilineata
Lacerta viridis
Podarcis melisellensis
Podarcis siculus
Podarcis muralis
Algyroides nigropunctatus
Dalmatolacerta oxycephala
Dinarolacerta mosorensis

Typhlops vermicularis
Hierophis gemonensis
Platyceps najadum
Dolichophis caspius
Coronella austriaca
Elaphe quatuorlineata
Zamenis longissimus
Zamenis situla (DOR)
Natrix natrix
Natrix tessellata
Malpolon insignitus
Vipera ammodytes

10 amphibian species, 12 lizard species and 12 snake species = total 34 species from "lowland" Montenegro.
Go back to part 1