Roll of the Dice

One of the things I love about being on holiday in Corfu is the ability to mix serious chill out with serious herping. Where I am staying is the perfect spot for both, as the mountainside that provides such ideal habitat for so many species also borders the most beautiful coastline (pictured right). The blue crystal clear water is so inviting, and the flower-scented mountain air seems to soak into you just as easy. To me, Corfu almost feels like a mix of the Med and the Tropics rolled into one. And that’s got to be good for the soul.

I would highly recommend anyone interested in nature and walking in Corfu to get a copy of This Book*. With so many beautiful places and varied landscapes to have to choose from you could roll a new dice each day and all would be great options. Today I spent the day inland, in the lovely central Ropa Valley searching for herps* with Matt and his friend Carl, followed by a short visit to scenic coastal resort Paleokastritsa (pictured above).

Yesterday’s post highlighted some of the human threats to reptiles on Corfu, and apart from snakes effected by human actions, its also other reptiles too, including tortoises*. When threatened all a tortoise can do to protect itself is hide in its shell, but did you know that some snakes have become so wise to being killed they have even evolved to play dead when caught to avoid being hurt further. This strategy of rolling over and feigning death and is quite common in one particular snake from Corfu, the Dice Snake, Natrix tesselata. Here is a clip of a rare melanistic specimen of the species:

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