Field report – Northern and Central Spain – October 2009

As during our trip in 2008 in southern France, Maud and I decided to take 15 days ; this time in northern and central Spain. No species priority research, or maybe many interesting species!

 

Friday 18 – Bilbao

From Bordeaux, we decide to join Bilbao to spot of Podarcis pityusensis, a species that we’ve seen this summer and we wanted to see again. Unfortunately, the weather was really catastrophic in the beginning of the weekend, with flood and flood. So we couldn’t observe the lizard, and we decided to reach Burgos Saturday morning.

 

 

Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 – Burgos

Arrived at Burgos, the weather became better. On our site, we quickly observed Timon lepidus, Pelophylax perezi and Hyla (arborea) molleri. During exploration, a Vipera latastei crossed front of Maud, but she (the viper…) immediately disappeared into the bushes. In the afternoon, we saw some Lacerta bilineata male and a basking Vipera latastei. Before going to bed, the started night allowed us to see many Bufo calamita. On Sunday morning, before leaving, we saw a basking female of V.latastei. Then we decided to go to north west. A pause on the road allowed us to observe only one Podarcis muralis brongniardii.

 

 

 

The first stop and spot

The first stop and spot

Rainette ibérique

Hyla molleri, Iberian tree frog


Vipera lastastei (© Maud)

Vipera lastastei (© Maud)

Lacerta bilineata

Lacerta bilineata


Maud before the night

Maud before the night

The night is coming

The night is coming

Bufo calamita

Bufo calamita


Vipera latastei

Vipera latastei


The head

The head

 

Monday 21 – Picos de Europa

Arriving on Picos de Europa, we have observed many interesting species: Podarcis m. brongniardii, our first Iberolacerta monticola cantabrica, and several Salamandra salamandra bernardezi. We spent the night in the tourist parking, where we saw (on the parking!) many amphibians: a lot of S. s. bernardezi, Ichthyosaura alpestris cyreni, Lissotriton helveticus alonsoi, Bufo bufo spinosus, Alytes obstetricans obstetricans, Rana temporaria parvipalmata! Amazing!

Lot of cars on the road…

Lot of cars on the road…

Pararge aegeria

Pararge aegeria


The beautiful Mirador del Fito

The beautiful Mirador del Fito

Our first Salamandra salamandra bernardezi

Our first Salamandra salamandra bernardezi

Another one (© Maud)

Another one (© Maud)

A cow. That all. (© Maud)

A cow. That all. (© Maud)

The first Iberolacerta monticola cantabrica (© Maud)

The first Iberolacerta monticola cantabrica (© Maud)

A horse… That all… (© Maud)

A horse… That all… (© Maud)

The same I. m. cantabrica

The same I. m. cantabrica


A big family…

A big family…

Podarcis muralis brongniardii

Podarcis muralis brongniardii


Covadonga (© Maud)

Covadonga (© Maud)

Two S. s. bernardezi

Two S. s. bernardezi


Again one S. s. bernardezi, and our two first Ichthyosaura alpestris cyreni

Again one S. s. bernardezi, and our two first Ichthyosaura alpestris cyreni

Alytes obstetricians

Alytes obstetricians


A fabulous bernardezi

A fabulous bernardezi


Bufo bufo spinosus

Bufo bufo spinosus


Another I. a. cyreni

Another I. a. cyreni


And again

And again

Our first Lissotriton helveticus alonsoi

Our first Lissotriton helveticus alonsoi


The same one

The same one

A strange scene… Two slugs eating a bernardezi. I’m not sure is so good…

A strange scene… Two slugs eating a bernardezi. I’m not sure is so good…

The next morning, nothing special, except on one point of view, where, among a group of tourists just got off the bus, we observed and we photographed a magnificent I. m. cantabrica (which allowed us a few questions from tourists – Why are you lying down the grass?) and a large R.t. parvipalmata. Then, we went toward several spots in order to search interesting species of amphibians and reptiles. We didn’t find anything interesting until 12pm, except ponds identified like of R.temporaria. Amazing for the season, but maybe not in this area?

 

A beautiful morning at the top of Picos de Europa

A beautiful morning at the top of Picos de Europa

A good spot for tadpoles (© Maud)

A good spot for tadpoles (© Maud)

The star of tourists, a big I. m. cantabrica

The star of tourists, a big I. m. cantabrica


Along the road we saw a beautiful male Lacerta schreiberi. The car was still on, and I thought we were going to see a lot of this species during the rest of the trip. So, I decide not to take pictures. What a mistake!!!!! Indeed it would be the only adult of Schreiber of the trip!
The afternoon was much more interesting and we saw new several species (or subspecies) for us: Salamandra salamandra alfredschmidti, Chioglossa lusitanica longipes, Zootoca vivipara louislantzi, Coronella austriaca acutirostris, Natrix natrix astreptophora, Bufo bufo spinosus, Alytes obstetricans and some tadpoles of Alytes and Rana.

 

A Rana temporaria clutch

A Rana temporaria clutch

The beautiful Salamandra salamandra alfredschmidti

The beautiful Salamandra salamandra alfredschmidti


The spot of the strange Chioglossa lusitanica longipes

The spot of the strange Chioglossa lusitanica longipes


C. l. longipes

C. l. longipes


The head

The head

Chioglossa in its habitat

Chioglossa in its habitat


Another Salamandra salamandra alfredschmidti

Another Salamandra salamandra alfredschmidti


A young Zootoca vivipara louislantzi

A young Zootoca vivipara louislantzi


A spot for Vipera seoanei cantabrica, but no chance for us

A spot for Vipera seoanei cantabrica, but no chance for us

A strange position for basking…

A strange position for basking…

Another young Zootoca vivipara louislantzi

Another young Zootoca vivipara louislantzi


Boyeria irene

Boyeria irene

 


 

Tuesday 22 – Near the Portuguese border I:

We therefore continue to descend to reach Ponferrada, where we saw a big Malpolon monspessulanus DOR. As we climbed in altitude, we observed a large female of Bufo bufo spinosus, a young Coronella austriaca acutirostris, and many curious Iberolacerta galani. A little later, we stopped beside a beautiful set of stone walls, where we observed some Podarcis bocagei, and we’ve decided to spend the night here.

A young Natrix natrix astreptophora

A young Natrix natrix astreptophora

 


A beautiful point of view after Picos de Europa

A beautiful point of view after Picos de Europa

A ruin… Oh oh…

A ruin… Oh oh…

An enormous Bufo bufo spinosus

An enormous Bufo bufo spinosus


The first Iberolacerta galani

The first Iberolacerta galani


What is this bag? A new spot for me? (© Maud)

What is this bag? A new spot for me? (© Maud)

Another young

Another young

A female

A female

A beautiful male of galani

A beautiful male of galani


A view from the spot

A view from the spot

Coronella austriaca acutirostris

Coronella austriaca acutirostris


The first Podarcis bocagei

The first Podarcis bocagei


Afraid by the reflex sound…

Afraid by the reflex sound…

The beautiful spot for bocagei (© Maud)

The beautiful spot for bocagei (© Maud)

The first male

The first male

 

The same one

The same one

 

The view from the spot

The view from the spot

 

Wednesday 23 – Road to the Portuguese border II

 

Arriving near the Portuguese border, we stopped to eat near a beautiful lake in the Sierra de la Cabrera. This decision enabled us to see many Podarcis hispanica (?), Pelophylax perezi, and some Podarcis bocagei. A little earlier, before we could review Iberolacerta galani a moult Coronella austriaca, and some Rana iberica.

 

El lago de Sanabria

El lago de Sanabria

The first Podarcis hispanica (… ?)

The first Podarcis hispanica (… ?)

A beautiful male…

A beautiful male…

… with metal reflects

… with metal reflects

Laguna de los Peces

Laguna de los Peces

Maud and his new friend…

Maud and his new friend…

A small Rana iberica (© Maud)

A small Rana iberica (© Maud)

Gomphocerinae sp.

Gomphocerinae sp.


Another view of lago de Sanabria

Another view of lago de Sanabria

Then, we bypassed the Portuguese border, towards Zamora, not without being arrested by customs… Here we have contacted Podarcis bocagei, and then Natrix maura, T.lepidus, Natrix natrix astreptophora, Psammodromus hispanicus, Pelophylax perezi. The night we stayed south of Zamora, in order to achieve quietly Peña de Francia tomorrow.

 

The very common Pelophylax perezi

The very common Pelophylax perezi


Our first Psammodromus hispanicus

Our first Psammodromus hispanicus


The head

The head

A large Natrix natrix astreptophora

A large Natrix natrix astreptophora


A juvenile of Timon Lepidus

A juvenile of Timon Lepidus


A male of Podarcis bocagei

A male of Podarcis bocagei


 

Thursday 24 – Peña de Francia.

At the foot of Peña de Francia, we stopped near a water point where we saw Pelophylax perezi, Rana iberica, Large Psammodromus algirus and Podarcis hispanica. At noon, we stopped on an area near a recent ruin. In the dried stream, we found Rana iberica, Salamandra salamandra bejarae, Lissotriton boscai.

 

Lissotriton boscai

Lissotriton boscai


Salamandra salamandra bejarae

Salamandra salamandra bejarae


Rana iberica

Rana iberica


 

Arriving at the top of the Peña de Francia, we failed to observe Iberolacerta martinezricai. The season, the rarity of the species and especially the high temperatures didn’t allowed us to observe the species.

The only one observed lizard: an other Podarcis hispanica (.. ?)

The only one observed lizard: an other Podarcis hispanica (.. ?)

Gyps fulvus

Gyps fulvus


 

We returned for the night near the ruins, where we saw in the old swimming pool numerous Pelophylax perezi and a large Pleurodeles waltl. Unfortunately the pool was too deep and we couldn’t approach it to photograph!

The old swimming pool (© Maud)

The old swimming pool (© Maud)

 

Friday 25 – Peña de Francia II

 

We returned early the next morning on top of Peña de Francia (for good temperature), but still without success… Only some Capra pyrenaica

Maybe Iberolacerta is here??? (© Maud)

Maybe Iberolacerta is here??? (© Maud)

The king of the mountain

The king of the mountain

The same one

The same one

Then we went down south towards Park Monfragüe. On the road, we found near a monastery Rana iberica, Psammodromus algirus, Podarcis hispanica, Lacerta schreiberi (juvenile…), Natrix natrix astreptophora, Natrix maura. A little later, we found in a fish’s pond Hyla meridionalis and a dead Mauremys leprosa.
Arriving to Monfragüe, we found beside a pond Pelophylax perezi, many Pelobates cultripes, Alytes cisternasii, Natrix maura, and some Tarentola mauretanica.

Hyla meridionalis

Hyla meridionalis


The dead and large Mauremys leprosa

The dead and large Mauremys leprosa


A yellow Natrix maura

A yellow Natrix maura


The first Pelobates cultripes

The first Pelobates cultripes


Tarentola mauretanica (© Maud)

Tarentola mauretanica (© Maud)


Another Pelobates cultripes

Another Pelobates cultripes


Alytes cisternasii

Alytes cisternasii


Front of the photograph

Front of the photograph

A very large specimen…

A very large specimen…

Ouch!

Ouch!

I return in my house…

I return in my house…

...Ok.

...Ok.

Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 Gredos low

The aim of these days was to find some south amphibians as Discoglossus galganoi or Triturus pygmaeus. But it was definitely too hot, the river was almost dry and we saw nothing very interesting except for a new Podarcis hispanica, Pelophylax perezi, Natrix maura, Hyla molleri, Psammodromus algirus, and Mauremys leprosa and lot and lot of Procambarus clarkii. We also saw three times the same Neovison vison engaged in fishing (but too hard to photograph!).

 

Trithemis annulata

Trithemis annulata


A beautiful female of Podarcis hispanica… (?)

A beautiful female of Podarcis hispanica… (?)

Three Mauremys leprosa

Three Mauremys leprosa


The only one picture of our mink… Sorry.

The only one picture of our mink… Sorry.

Alcedo atthis

Alcedo atthis


Natrix maura

Natrix maura


Mauremys leprosa

Mauremys leprosa


 

 

Sunday 27 – Gredos top

 

At the top of Sierra de Gredos, we observed Pelophylax perezi, Rana iberica, Iberolacerta cyreni castiliana, Natrix maura. The aim was to see Lacerta schreiberi, but we have only seen juvenile once!

Bubo bubo (gredosicola?? ;-))

Bubo bubo (gredosicola?? ;-))


A juvenile (again…) of Lacerta schreiberi

A juvenile (again…) of Lacerta schreiberi


The first Iberolacerta cyreni castiliana, drinking in the source

The first Iberolacerta cyreni castiliana, drinking in the source

A big male (© Maud)

A big male (© Maud)

A beautiful face

A beautiful face

Ephippigeridae sp.

Ephippigeridae sp.


Maud trying to find Iberolacerta…

Maud trying to find Iberolacerta…

Gredos

Gredos

Two small hikers

Two small hikers

A basking Natrix maura

A basking Natrix maura


A young Capra pyrenaica

A young Capra pyrenaica


A new juvenile of schreiberi

A new juvenile of schreiberi


The complete family of Capra

The complete family of Capra


 

Monday 28 – Gredos low

With a new move to lower Gredos, we hoped to find a few more southern species, as Saturday. But again, still no success: despite a very favorable and fabulous spot, nothing, except a Psammodromus algirus and a skin of Malpolon monspessulanus.

 

A very lot of Gyps!

A very lot of Gyps!

 

Tuesday 29 – Thursday 01 – Back to France

Since Tuesday, the goal was to go quietly to France, stopping here and there on the road. We passed to the east of Madrid, in Zaragoza direction. We did not search anything during this day, but we saw in the evening Pelophylax perezi, Bufo bufo spinosus and Alytes obstetricans pertinax.
The next day, a stop near a ruin has enabled us to observe many of B.calamita, Pelodytes punctatus, T.lepidus, Chalcides bedriagai, Malpolon monspessulanus and Podarcis liolepis (?).

 

A young Chalcides bedriagai

A young Chalcides bedriagai


The same one (© Maud)

The same one (© Maud)

It’s very small!

It’s very small!

A young Malpolon monspessulanus

A young Malpolon monspessulanus

Its beautiful eyes

Its beautiful eyes

A very large B. calamita

A very large B. calamita


The same one

The same one

The first Alytes obstetricans pertinax

The first Alytes obstetricans pertinax


Another one

Another one

Pelodytes punctatus

Pelodytes punctatus


Podarcis liolepis …

Podarcis liolepis …

 

Just before Saragossa, a stop has allowed us to observe Bufo calamita, Psammodromus hispanicus (edwardsianus?), and Acanthodactylus erythrurus.

 

The crazy Acanthodactylus spot

The crazy Acanthodactylus spot

Me during prospecting (© Maud)

Me during prospecting (© Maud)

It’s here : the Acanthodactylus in its habitat (© Maud)

It’s here : the Acanthodactylus in its habitat (© Maud)

Closer

Closer

Fabulous colors (© Maud)…

Fabulous colors (© Maud)…

… (© Maud)

… (© Maud)

 

Maud trying taking good pictures

Maud trying taking good pictures

It’s not alone. Psammodromus hispanicus (edwardsianus?)

It’s not alone. Psammodromus hispanicus (edwardsianus?)

A storm is coming…

A storm is coming…

We spent the evening north of Zaragoza, on a site where we were awarded in 2007 and where we saw Bufo bufo spinosus and Pelophylax perezi.
The next morning we returned to France, but a final stop has allowed us to find some Natrix maura and Chalcides striatus.

 

Sympetrum fonscolombii

Sympetrum fonscolombii


A mountain mirror…

A mountain mirror…

Empusa pennata

Empusa pennata


Enallagma cyathigerum

Enallagma cyathigerum


Chalcides striatus…

Chalcides striatus…


…with lot of scars… How it’s happen ?

…with lot of scars… How it’s happen ?

The beautiful head of Chalcides striatus

The beautiful head of Chalcides striatus


Finally, and despite the bad weather conditions, we could make many observations, as much different as Iberolacerta, Chioglossa, or Vipera latastei. A very good week, despite difficult nights because of many excited deers!!

 

Total (40 espèces) :

Amphibiens (17 espèces)

Salamandra salamandra bernardezi
Salamandra salamandra bejarae
Salamandra salamandra alfredschmidti
Chioglossa lusitanica longipes
Pleurodeles waltl
Ichthyosaura alpestris cyreni
Lissotriton helveticus alonsoi
Lissotriton boscai
Alytes obstetricans obstetricans
Alytes obstetricans pertinax
Alytes cisternasii
Pelobates cultripes
Pelodytes punctatus
Bufo bufo spinosus
Bufo calamita
Hyla molleri
Hyla meridionalis
Rana temporaria parvipalmata
Rana iberica
Pelophylax perezi

Reptiles (23 espèces)

Mauremys leprosa
Tarentola mauretanica
Lacerta bilineata
Lacerta schreiberi
Timon lepidus
Iberolacerta monticola cantabrica
Iberolacerta cyreni castilina
Iberolacerta galani
Podarcis muralis brongniardii
Podarcis hispanica ?
Podarcis hispanica ?
Podarcis liolepis ?
Podarcis bocagei
Zootoca vivipara louislantzi
Psammodromus algirus
Psammodromus hispanicus hispanicus (and edwardsianus ?)
Acanthodactylus erythrurus erythrurus
Chalcides bedriagai bedriagai
Chalcides striatus
Malpolon monspessulanus
Coronella austriaca acutirostris
Natrix natrix astreptophora
Natrix maura
Vipera latastei

Ps: A lot of thanks for all people who help us for this trip!

 

Matthieu Berroneau

Tarentola mauretanica (© Maud)

This entry was posted in Espagne.

Un Commentaire

  1. Javier Gomez 21 septembre 2012 at 18 h 16 min #

    Dear Matthie,
    I’m a Spanish biologist interested in herpetology. During October I’m going to Lago de Sanabria and Sierra de Cabrera. Reading your fabulous report of October 2009, I asked if you could tell me the precise spots of the Iberolacerta galani and Podarcis bocagei nearest of these places.
    Thank you very much in advance,
    Javier Gómez

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