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Legless in Corfu!

Picture 152At the moment I am on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu. The weather is scorchio and the herp hunting fantastic! It’s so cool to be on the island  I  read about when I was little, where Gerald Durrell wrote his famous amateur naturalist books which inspired me so much from an early age.

This is one of the greenest of the Greek Islands and its absolutely stunning. Over the past couple of days I have spent many hours with my friend Matt Wilson walking through shady scented olive groves, coastal marshlands and beautiful sundrenched beachy headlands in search of some of the islands’ rarest reptiles and amphibians. In between catching a bit of sun, its been a thrill a minute finding what we have seen.

Yesterday was a great day. After spending the day on the beach and fine lunch in Corfu Town, we set out to look for the largest legless lizard in the world. After walking the dunes near Lake Korrision as the sun was setting we came across greek tortoises roaming the sand and entered a scrub area where hundreds of really large spiders were making their webs overhead. I followed Matt, who new the area well from his previous visits, to the centre of the habitat for this very unusual lizard species. Then we spotted one dead ahead  – Man these things can really move, and Matt dived into the scrub after it faster than David James.  Got it! a small adult specimen moving with such power and force we first thought it was a large snake! These wonderful creatures are amazing to see close up, like something almost prehistoric. Apparently they can live up to about 60 years and can grow to a metre in length, as thick as a man’s arm. Although they look a bit on the scary side, they have lovely temperament and never try to bite. Εικόνα 039

Returning back to where we are staying in jubilation (and with sunburn) we later discovered some stunning green tree frogs (pictured) calling loudly across from the apartment. What a day it was, a celebratory drink or three was definately called for! Tomorrow we head North to Pandokrator Mountain to search for venomous Horned Vipers. Dont think David James will be pouncing so fast if we come across any though!



3 Responses

  1. Hi Andrew,
    Nice to read about the trip and the hear your appear to both be finding lots of interesting things. Good luck in your search for the Horned Vipers-something I would love to see in the wild!
    Enjoy the rest of your trip and do post some pictures.

    • Hi Louise,
      Thanks for your message. Both of us having a great time time thanks. No vipers to be found today but saw two other snakes and a lovely slow worm. Have some nice pics of other herps too. Will be posting more soon! take care, Andrew.

  2. HI Andrew I have just read yours and Matt Wilsons blog and found them very interesting especially the Corfu snake hunt , I have seen and photographed the Glass snake [legless lizard ] many times. Corfu has a very good population of snakes,I think worm snake was agreat find ive never seen one of those before. I have also got some great pics of fire bellied toads in vIikos gorge 100 miles east of Corfu in Zagoria,are these toads rare?there were hundreds there.Im sure there will be no shortage of snakes where you are,i went to a carribean island in panama 30 miles from Costa Rica last year,but didnt see any good reptiles. regards Stuart Hill

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