Field report – Small trip in France & Spain – Spring 2008

With my friend Maud, we decided to pass few days in basque Pyrenees and north of Spain between April 27th and May 2nd.

 

Sunday, April 27

For the first day, we stopped at the first montains of Pyrenees for some herpetologic researches, at the limit between France and Spain. We encountered some Podarcis muralis, Anguis fragilis, Lacerta bilineata, Podarcis liolepis, and Zootoca vivipara for reptiles, and Bufo bufo (tadpoles and adults), Rana temporaria (tadpoles) and two Lissotriton helveticus (a female and a male in parade).

 

A view of the basque country

A view of the basque country

Anguis fragilis

Anguis fragilis


Lacerta bilineata

Lacerta bilineata


A male of Podarcis liolepis and its double tail.

A male of Podarcis liolepis and its double tail.

 

To the end of afternoon, we start for another place of Pyrenees for encountering Vipera seoanei and past the night. The weather wasn’t good, but we were able to see one red viper before the night.

 

Vipera seoanei

Vipera seoanei


When it was night, we started a searching local amphibians. We found a lot of Bufo bufo, Alytes obstetricans, and Rana temporaria. To finish, we found a young Salamandra salamandra fastuosa.

 

Monday and Tuesday, April 28 – 29:

Because we knew that the weather will not be good in the Pyrenees, we decided to go into Spain, near Sos del Rey and Uncastillo for two days. Before starting, we saved many Bufo bufo which were stuck in a fish trap. Arriving in Spain, we found Chalcides striatus, Psammodromus algirus, Bufo calamita, Pelophylax perezi. We tried to find, but without success, Vipera latastei. Only one big snake which looks like a viper was observed, but not captured, and it wasn’t possible to determine with certitude the species.

 

A very big female Bufo bufo with three males

A very big female Bufo bufo with three males

A good place for a nap near Uncastillo

A good place for a nap near Uncastillo

Chalcides striatus

Chalcides striatus


Bufo calamita

Bufo calamita

Gyps fulvus

Gyps fulvus


Milvus milvus

Milvus milvus


Tuesday, April 29:

For the afternoon, we drove near the natural parc of Moncayo, trying to find other species.

Moncayo site

Moncayo site

This site is very interesting, because you can find Mediterranean species in a mountain environment. In this place, we found Anguis fragilis, Psammodromus algirus, Timon lepidus, and, near a big pond, a lot of Chalcides striatus and Natrix maura. We’ve also seen other interesting animals, like an Empusa pennata and one Wild cat (Felis sylvestris)!

 

Empusa pennata

Empusa pennata


Timon lepidus

Timon lepidus


A big Chalcides striatus

A big Chalcides striatus


Maybe a big fish in her stomach? - Natrix maura

Maybe a big fish in her stomach? – Natrix maura

 


Wednesday, April 30:

For Wednesday, we visited “las bardenas” before return to France. On the road, we stopped in two sites which seemed to be interesting. In effect, we found two big Rhinechis scalaris and the skin of Malpolon monspessulanus.

 

Ophrys speculum

Ophrys speculum

 


A beautiful Rhinechis scalaris

A beautiful Rhinechis scalaris

 


Thursday and Friday, May 1 and 2:

Returned to the Pyrenees, we attempt to observe Vipera seoanei, with a lot of success: we seen a lot of specimens, male, female, young, with lot of colours (notably a black female).

 

Common toad's eggs

Pontes de Crapaud commun

 

Kilos of Bufo bufo eggs and mating specimens

Kilos of Bufo bufo eggs and mating specimens

 

Vipera seoanei en train de dormir

Vipera seoanei sleeping

 

Another one

Another one

 

Lézard vivipare

Zootoca vivipara

 


Une vipère de séoane mélanique

A melanic seoanei

 


Protrait de Vipera seoanei

The head

 

During Friday, we move near small torrent to observe some Calotriton asper. Before the end of the trip, we also see some Vipera seoanei, Zootoca vivipara, Podarcis muralis, and other common species.

 

Euprocte des Pyrénes dans un torrent

A Calotriton asper in the torrent

 

Another one

Another one

 

Euprocte des pyrénées juvénile

Un jeune euprocte dans les roches

A young specimen between rocks

 

A red Vipera seoanei

A red Vipera seoanei


A young specimen of the same species

A young specimen of the same species

Look into my eyes, same specimen

Look into my eyes, same specimen

List of species encountered (19):

Reptiles (11):
Zootoca vivipara
Podarcis liolepis
Podarcis muralis
Lacerta bilineata
Timon lepidus
Anguis fragilis
Chalcides striatus
Psammodromus algirus
Natrix maura
Rhinechis scalaris
Vipera seoanei
Vipera latastei ?
Malpolon monspessulanus ‘shed

Amphibians (8):
Bufo bufo
Bufo calamita
Alytes obstetricans
Rana perezi
Rana temporaria
Lissotriton helveticus
Calotriton asper
Salamandra salamandra fastuosa

 

Matthieu Berroneau

 

This entry was posted in Espagne, France.

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