Corfu’s Rarest!

Sand Boa, Corfu. (c) Andrew Gray

I started my holiday on Corfu by photographing an amazing Sand Boa, an extremely rare snake to be found on the island. It’s always a very special moment when you’re presented with a species like that when you are totally not expecting it.

 

 

 

 

One of the species I had really hoped to see on Corfu was a Nose-horned Viper, and much of the trip has been geared around trying to find one. The areas around Mount Pandocrator are supposed to be the best places on the island to look for this highly venomous species.

Cat Snake, Corfu. (c) Andrew Gray

However, whilst searching for this elusive snake in a favoured area I got a big surprise – flipping a stone I actually came across something much rarer: a beautiful Cat Snake, Telescopus fallax (pictured left) Both Matt and Carl were also amazed, and we all managed to get some great photos of the specimen before returning it where it had been found.

It appears that during just one week herping in Corfu we have been fortunate enough to find probably the rarest snakes on the Island, as apparently both the Sand Boa and the Cat Snake have only been recorded here 2 or 3 times in all. It could easily have been a different story, so I feel very lucky and priveliged to have done so 🙂

The Cat, or Cat-eyed, Snake was really beautiful and kind of reminded me of the Cat-eyed snakes from Costa Rica: Both are long slender snakes that fill the same niche, have vertical pupils and rear fangs, and hunt frogs or small sleeping lizards at night. However, the ones in Corfu belong to a different genus and are more ground dwelling than arboreal. Cat-eyed snakes in Costa Rica are also extremely plentiful, whereas this snake was a very rare find and a real unexpected treat! 

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