Last changes: Saturday, January 05, 2008

In Longarone in northern Italy (Dolomites, north of Belluno) is in late

spring a good and nice reptile fair.

In this year we, two Dutch friends and me, connected the ride in the end of

May to the Dolomites with some days of herping.

With some help of our Italian friends we were sure to find some local


After 13h driving the car (with 2 drivers) we arrived in Longarone at about

10:00 AM in best weather conditions (22°C, sunny) - and started to look for

snakes. In the hills around Longarone there are f. e. some habitats for the

Vipera ammondytes ruffoi left - that’s what we wanted to start with. There

is one special rocky area, where those secretive animals still live.

In 2 hours climbing around like mountain sheep’s we saw these animals:

Wall lizards - Podarcis muralis

But no snakes...

Nearly no snakes - one very flat aesculapian snake we saw an the road...

We were sure to revisit the place later.

So we looked around in the valley for more snakes- and enjoyed our

vacation, some snowy mountains tips and nice round views, more wall

lizards and some scorpions under thes stones...

And this is an other lizard genus, it is a Zootoca vivipara - our wood lizard.

Next day in the evening: next viper-trial - same place with a local scout ;-),

one of our friends there.

Cloudy weather, still 22°C.

But again no snake outside. This should have been the price:

It is a photo of one of our friend Emanuele Melani

witch he made some time before. The original is published on the page for the Italian herpetofauna

of arer.it - an italian herprelated organisation.

We told other friends about our (again) unlucky search for snakes. They

said that their receptionist of the hotel reported to them some viper-kills

in the garden...

Next morning they made a short step into the garden - and showed us later

this found - a juvenile aeculapian snake - hatched obliviously in 2005.

At the place where the young aesculapian snake is sat free a Coluber

viridiflavus just flees for mankind... If you await it not - sometimes you

(or in this case other..) have herping-luck.

After 2 days of reptile fair in a fine community we got an invitation into

the hills of Campone apr. 50 miles beside Longarone.

The weather changes - it began to rain and the temperatures decrease.

Those animals we found in an early night walk:

A common toad - Bufo bufo bufo

And then a slowworm Anguis fragilis fragilis

Next day we had the chance to check some other good herp places.

Fire salamander Salamandra salamandra salamandra are common here - and in

rainy weather sometimes diurnal. Here we have 2 adults active in the time

between 10 and 12 AM - and some juveniles.

An old quarry was the best local place for the reproducing of the common

toad Bufo bufo bufo, the green toad Bufo viridis, sometimes yellow-bellied

toads Bombina variegata and hundreds of the alpine newt Triturus alpestris.

Of most we saw adults or tadpoles.

After an extra very fine herp day after the fair (in amphibian weather) we

started to drive back to Germany.




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