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Reptiles and amphibians in the Sierra de la Culebra

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Offline nick

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« on: May 09, 2007, 17:11 PM »
Jelle van aalst, a very friendly and knowledgable chap, and one of the Dutch people I took around the Sierra de la Culebra last week has got back to me with this question.

"I find it hard to determine which reptilespecies we've seen last week. Could you give your opinion on it (if you got the time to do so)? The one I found under a rock near a stream in a field of heather (the one sergi was going to report because its presence in the area was yet unknown) is in my opinion a male Bocage's wall lizard (Podarcis bocagei). The other one I photographed while 'hunting' for snakes in the area were we also found a couple of natterjacks under a rock. In my opinion this is a female Iberian wall lizard (Podarcis hispanica). Could you confirm this? Also added is a photo of a newt (salamander) (larva) we caught in the dark near het hotel in San Pedro de las Herrerias. We thought it was a larva of a fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra). Now I am confused; could it be a larva of a Sharp-ribbed newt (the ribs seem to be clearly visible)? This species is also found in this part of Spain and the habitat we found the larve seems to match the habitat of the Sharp-ribbed newt. It would be great when we saw either one of them, although I like to know exactly which species we were dealing with"
Jelle



Answer:
- Looking at my book (Rebollo) I would say this is a salamandar larva. 
 
The tail crest in the Spanish ribbed newt larva starts at the top of the head (have a look in your Collins and let me know what you think). It also looks similar to the salamandar larva we identified last time. These thing change so much in colour though Ii'll check though.

I agree with your other two IDs. Male Podarcis bocagei and Female Podarcis hispanica which has more contininous line than male.

Nick
By the way, Jelle is putting together a species list for me. These include 8 reptiles which isn't bad going for a wolf trip.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2007, 11:11 AM by nick »
Nick
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Offline nick

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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 17:13 PM »
Sharped ribbed newt (Pleurodeles waltl) by the way is Gallipato in Spanish
Nick
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Offline nick

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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2007, 19:21 PM »
Jella has replied to me with an update after we cruelly abandoned them:

"When you take into account the squashed Western three-toed skink (Chalcides striatus) I found in Villafafila, the total number of reptilespecies we found is 9 (including a dead slow worm). Indeed not bad! Although there were lots of other nice, beautiful and impressive things to see besides reptiles! I realy had a wunderful time. I will try to complete my list shortly (I also have to work) and mail it to you ASAP (I already have it in dutch, but I will have to translate it into english and look up the scientific names, so this may take some time...)."

I will follow the forum to see what people make of it. I already posted it on a dutch forum of which I'm a member of (www.ravon.nl). Its a dutch organisation which does research on reptiles, amfibians and fish, and (among others) has a few people running around which travel the globe in search of herbs. I haven't had an answer so far. My collins says nothing about ribbed newt larva and on the internet there isn't much to be found on this specific topic.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 19:26 PM by nick »
Nick
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Offline nick

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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2007, 10:07 AM »
Jelle has kindly compiled our haul:

Reptiles

European Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis)
Iberian Wall Lizard (Podarcis hispanica)
Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus)
Occellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida)
Schreiber's Green lizard (Lacerta schreiberi)
Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis) †
Southern Smooth Snake (Coronella girondica)
Viperine Snake (Natrix maura)
Western Three-toed Skink (Chalcides striatus) †

Amphibians

Boscai's Newt (Triturus boscai)
Common Tree Frog (Hyla arborea)
Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra)/  Sharp-ribbed Newt (Pleurodeles waltl) (Larva) (?)
Iberian Frog (Rana iberica)
Iberian Water Frog - Perezi's frog (Rana perezi)
Natterjack (Bufo calamita)
Nick
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Offline Jelle van Aalst

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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2007, 14:57 PM »
I'm almost sure the larva we've found is a salamander larva of Salamandra salamandra. The ribbed newt has a flatter head and its eyes are almost on top of its head. In the beginning I didn't think it was a Salamandra salamandra larva, because in the Netherlands the larva are all dark (http://jellevanaalst.fotopic.net/p34661128.html). Now I've read there are about 9 different subspecies in Spain!  :o

About the reptiles; now I am not so sure about the Iberian Wall Lizard. I mentioned it was a female. Now I think it's a male. I will post a photo here later on which there is a pair to be seen. I made that picture before I shot the one which is posted on the forum right now. Between taking the two pictures, one ran away. More about that later (It also could be an individual of the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis), although the area in particular seems to be out of its range. Maybe it is an individual of the Spanisch psammodromus (Psammodromus hispanicus)??????????....any one knows the answer for sure?)

The other one was ID't as a Bocage's Wall Lizard (Porarcis bocagei). Though this individual could be a female Iberian rock lizard (Lacerta monticola) as well...????
By the way, we didn't take this species into account...so we counted 10! species of reptile instead of 9.

Jelle


Offline nick

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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2007, 15:03 PM »
Hi Jelle,

Still waiting for some confirmation on these.

Nick
Nick
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Offline Jelle van Aalst

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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2007, 15:14 PM »
I just got a confimation for the salamander larva from a dutch enthousiast. It seems to be Salamandra salamandra gallaica.

Offline nick

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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2007, 15:14 PM »
Cant be a Lacerta monticola - there nowhere near here, but Spanisch psammodromus looking possible. More soon.
Nick
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Offline Jelle van Aalst

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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2007, 17:58 PM »
Here is the photo of the pair of (Iberian Wall) lizards I mentioned to add to this forum. On the left is probably the male, at the right the female.

Offline nick

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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2007, 19:00 PM »
Looking again, I'm wrong about "nowhere near" for Lacerta monticola, but they stiil seem a little off where we were - but possible
Nick
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Offline Jelle van Aalst

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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2007, 20:49 PM »
According to a belgium herpetologist it seems there are two different species on the photo together...quite unique. I probably distubered the two while having a little chat....
The right one on the photo seems to be a Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus). The left one is most likely a P. bocagei, so are probably the other ones on the photo's I posted before. The herpetologist is getting back to me for that. He also said it is quite difficult to ID wall lizards of the Iberean Peninsula. Recent research shows that there are 5 different subspecies of the Iberean Wall Lizard in Spain, classified as 'morfotypes'. Here are some handy websites (next to the Iberia Nature site of course..) were there is a lot of information to be found on reptiles and amfibians of Europe.

http://nemys.ugent.be/start.asp?group=16&c=1
http://amphibiaweb.org/index.html

Also a link to a belgium herbsgroup (Hyla) who also travel Europe in search of herbs. They publish travelreports in English with very nice pictures!

http://www.hylawerkgroep.be/jeroen/

Offline nick

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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2007, 10:36 AM »
Hi Jelle,

Thanks for the links. Will follow them through.
Nick

PS Jelle also recommended me this site for amphibian sounds. It's in Dutch but you'll get the idea. Click on the individual species and then click on the audio - excellent recordings of your boomkikker, knoflookpad and of course your bastaardkikker. Not all species occur in Iberia.

http://www.ravon.nl/Soorten/Amfibieën/tabid/116/Default.aspx
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 10:45 AM by nick »
Nick
http://iberianature.com/barcelona/history-of-barcelona/spanish-civil-war-tour-in-barcelona/
Spanish Civil War Tours in Barcelona
http://www.iberianature.com/
A guide to the environment, climate, wildlife, & nature of Spain
The Amazon/Forum Bookshop - lend us a hand
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/shop/index.htm
And also now The Natural History of Britain
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2007, 20:33 PM »
Greetings Nick,
Dutch amphibian sounds  ... ????
I know that different languages have diffferent onomatopoeia (used my dictionary, Dave!) for animals, i.e. ¡quiquiriquí! or ¡guau! (meet you all up on the language board for more), surely the actual sound made by an animal common to both places would be the same whether on the Ib. Pen. or elsewhere ;D

Regs.
Technopat

Even in Catalunya  >:D
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Clive

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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2007, 23:45 PM »
Hola,

Not so Technopat,

Dogs in that place up north go "woof woof" but here they go "ow ow ow"

babies go "goo goo gah gah" but here they go "dodot"

Frogs go "rivet rivet" but here they go "crac crac"

new language board subject coming up me thinks.....

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2007, 23:59 PM »
Greetings Clive and All,
One thing is what our highly-trained human ear/brain thinks it hears and another, quite different, thing is what sound the animal in question is actually producing. I know that somewhere out there there is a serious study on this but have no idea as to how to find it (google for "animal sounds" AND "different languages"? :-\).

Regs.
Technopat

Ps.
Dodot indeed!
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Jelle van Aalst

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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2007, 18:39 PM »
According to a belgium herpetologist it seems there are two different species on the photo together...quite unique. I probably distubered the two while having a little chat....
The right one on the photo seems to be a Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus). The left one is most likely a P. bocagei, so are probably the other ones on the photo's I posted before. The herpetologist is getting back to me for that. He also said it is quite difficult to ID wall lizards of the Iberean Peninsula. Recent research shows that there are 5 different subspecies of the Iberean Wall Lizard in Spain, classified as 'morfotypes'. Here are some handy websites (next to the Iberia Nature site of course..) were there is a lot of information to be found on reptiles and amfibians of Europe.

http://nemys.ugent.be/start.asp?group=16&c=1
http://amphibiaweb.org/index.html

Also a link to a belgium herbsgroup (Hyla) who also travel Europe in search of herbs. They publish travelreports in English with very nice pictures!

http://www.hylawerkgroep.be/jeroen/


Yep, its confirmed; P. bocagei it is. Quite on the southern most point of its range though...

Jelle