I’ve lost my skills

Another beautiful day with a beautiful hike around the Prniba peninsula near Krk town, a place I read about this week, and one of the places that has a majority of Podarcis melisellensis, whereas most other regions are dominated by P. siculus. Although I saw plenty of wall lizards, my gut feeling tells me these were probably the latter, although I saw some that made me doubt. This genus is tricky, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they hybridize as well… The article I read is already a couple of years old. A lot can happen to lizard populations in a few years time.

I am unsure. But I lean to P. siculus.

I chose this particular hike because it starts right around the corner of our RV lot, but also because it included some prime habitat for my much-desired goal: Vipera ammodytes. Most readers will probably be bored to death by now by me rambling on about vipers. I’m not sorry. Just look at the pictures and let me ramble. It’s safe to ignore.

The hike was about two hours long, with many extra detours into every plain or field that looked good to me. I scanned all the walls, all the road verges. Everything.

Lots and lots of these stone walls here. They should be ideal habitat for all snake species occurring here.
More prime habitat. Not too dry yet, but rocky with plenty of hiding spots.
If I were a goddamn snake, I’d live here…

Despite all my efforts, today yielded only wall lizards and several dalmatian Algyroides. Nothing legless (I hope to find a legless Scheltopusik lizard here, too!).

I’m beginning to think that it’s too early, maybe. Or perhaps it has been too dry? Or I have lost all my skills… I used to be great at this. Vipers are generally super early in the year, and heat up as soon as possible to mate and develop their young inside their bodies (ovoviviparous), to give birth to their live young in late summer. They need to be up early to make sure that their young are ‘ready’ by then. The weather here has been absolutely awesome, with most days over 20 degrees and sunny. Warm enough, but not burning hot. The snakes should be awake. Not just the vipers, but also the other dozen or so species that I wouldn’t mind finding here either (but aside from yesterday’s grass snake, haven’t).

Where are these fucking bastards hiding?!

Maybe I will have more luck on the mainland…

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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