This post is about four trips in the special area of the Canaraua Fetii region in Dobrogea, Romania, in July, August and September 2014.
During these trips I was accompanied by my wife, her brother and my uncle. All of us remember these excursions vividly, since all of them had something special: from new species to strange weather conditions, and, unfortunately, to direct contact with the destruction of Nature by man.
Like in all Nature-related posts, I will list some of the species I’ve observed through photographs.
First trip – July 6
One of our firsts, a snake, Elaphe longissima:
And now an insect species, again a first for us, and one of the larger beetles in Europe: Cerambyx velutinus. Only one female was found alive, but different body parts from other individuals were scattered around their home trees (an oak species- Quercus pubescens) in a wide area, making this a good sign for their good-sized population in Canaraua Fetii.
And also in July, the adults of Bradyporus dasypus make some of the loudest insect sounds at Canaraua Fetii. We’ve found some of them only by listening from tens of meters away. And they are also some of the largest insects found in Romania, with some females reaching more than 80mm in body length, including their ovipositor.
Due to the high temperatures and associated drought, large gatherings of blue butterflies (Fam. Lycaenidae) were all over the roads inside the Canaraua Fetii area, feeding and drinking minerals from the very few still-wet places.
And since the frenzy activity was a joy to watch, a few short Full-Hd videos:
Second trip – August 23
This was the first time when we’ve decided to get inside the Canaraua Fetii area on a different route. We were glad we did so…(Warning: large image below!)
Some of the attractions in the Canaraua Fetii area are not alive anymore. They don’t even have a true body left, but only impressions (fossils) of their existence are to be found in the calcareous walls exposed in a few locations. Below is just such an example of a calcareous formation, which I’ve named (for this post) “The Tower”.
And some fossils:
This expedition was planned for observing some of the crepuscular/nocturnal insects found in Canaraua Fetii, but due to winds and a rapidly advancing cloud front, we left quite early. Still we did found one dragonfly (not quite nocturnal, I know) almost dead in the grass (Aeshna mixta)…
Third trip – September 6
Some of the first butterflies you notice in September are the Lycaenids. Some of them are fast fliers, like this Lycaena phlaeas phlaeas male:
Fourth trip – September 20
Our last trip into Canaraua Fetii in 2014. We did meet a lot of insect species, but we were looking for specific ones, so not so much photographs this time.
Still, a large number of lycaenids was present, so at least one shot was mandatory.
Polyommatus icarus icarus
And a larger version of the above; look at the scales on the wings.A lot of wolf spider burrows were present on the rural roads, so a lot of spiders from the species Geolycosa vultuosa were found. Only two were photographed.