Last changes: Saturday, January 05, 2008

Here is part two of my Italy visit in the beginning of May 2006.

I left Pescara in the afternoon and drove back to Rome by bus - a kind of the greyhound. Impressive Abruzzi with sowy mountain tips!

After some pizza, pasta and wine with my friends in Rome they had a good idea for the next day:

North of Rome there is Cherveteri - a place with ancient graves of the Etrusc. There are hundred of little caves - some of them filled with water.

The weather was cloudy and sometimes we had some drops of rain. About 20°C.

Those caves are good places for amphibians - f.e. newts, cave salamanders and frogs.

Some newts and frogs we saw - but that was not all we're searching for.

So we left the place - in search of snakes. This weather was good for snakes, we thought.

After some sucsessless miles in corn fields we decide for one of the hills around - up to the limits between the grass and the trees.

There we found a very good habitat for lizards - and surely for the lizard predators - the snakes!

When we reached the wall the sun came out - and with the sunlight the sungazers came out, too.

The first one was a roman wall lizard, Podarcis muralis nigriventris

The other lizard species there are the italian wall lizards and here the moorish gecko, Tarentola mauretanica.

On the way along the wall I stumbled over this kind guy, a Testudo hermanni.

And later this green diamond laid in the sun - a Lacerta viridis.

Those smaragd lizards are always rarer than the other species.

Poorly, the ony snake we saw this day - an aprox. 1 m long racer, Coluber viridiflavus, dissapeard imidiatly after sight.

We're not new in searching snakes - but sometimes you're sure to have the best conditions and places - and those mean guys surely lough about us behind a bush ;-)

Ten hours we were on our feet - saw hundreds of lizards, some water frogs and common newts - one tortoise and a snake.

But beautiful area and good habitats there around Cherveteri!

After a long sleep next day I searched by my own and by feet for good places with herps in northern Rome. A reptile and amphibian mapping book helped me "a little bit". I choosed the area around the river Aniene, short before it enters the Tiber.

Some little snake populations are left here.

The area for connon vipers I can't reach, so my first point was a parc area - again with severals lizards.

Starting with a Roman wall lizard (not always on the wall)

then Italian wall lizards

In all the ponds of Rome you see "Americas best turtles" in greater amounts. Those red eard and all the other pet-related species are sat free by their owners. After actual resarch the turtles luckily don't reproduce in Italy (like in Germany).

Here again some nice kinds of the lizard-world

After several hours - without snake sights (Coluber viridiflavus should be there) - I left this beautiful parc and headed to the banks of the Aniene. A sure habitat for two colubrids.

The first herps again were lizards - pretty and not realy afraid of mankind.

Several lizards I saw, but again no snake. Thats the reason, why they survied there - you don't see them.

So I ended this last herping day after 12 hours on my feet - poorly again without snake photos or sights - but with a lot of nice impressions of the Italian nature - and nice times with my friends.

Next morning I spent my last 1/2 day before depatchure of my plane in a Rome with heavy rainfall - not realy funny.

Here a wet and emty Forum Romanum

To be continued with some pics around the reptile fair in Longarone/Northern Italy of the End of May 2006...




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