For some time now I’ve been waiting for the right moment to write a post about some of the reptiles I’ve met during my field trips in Romania.
I believe that the “right moment” is close, so I’m slowly starting to post a few shots of some of the vipers and other snakes.
The first one, showing perhaps the smallest of the viper individuals I’ve ever, a young Vipera berus, with an interesting “scale bar” near-by:)
It was found in the Retezat Mountains, near the “Pietrele” cabin.
And another Vipera berus individual, also from the Retezat Mountains, this time a fully-grown adult, of a very interesting coloration:
One of the first Vipera berus found in the Retezat Mountains, back in 2011. This specimen was again found in 2012 and 2013 at the same location.
A shot of my very first viper species ever found in Nature, back in 2010. This individual is of the species Vipera ammodytes mondandoni. It is found only in Bulgaria and South-Western Romania. I think that after meting this guy, handling it and take a few photographs, I was totally devoted to finding vipers and snakes in general wherever I went. “Thank you little one!”. It is also quite sad to find this shot, since, after 2011, I was not able to find any other vipers at the same location…I do suspect human activities were the main reason.
A few shots of a young Vipera ammodytes ammodytes, a species found in south-western Romania, and one of the most recognizable vipers in Europe due to that little horn on its nose. This individual was found in 2013 while basking in the Sun; when approached it remained perfectly still, playing dead. It took some time to have it move and be friendly enough for some closeups.
And another young of the same species, at almost the same location, but this time in 2016.
And this time a large, actually very large, individual of Vipera ammodytes ammodytes. This guy was found hiding under a large boulder; after persuading him to come out, I’ve noticed that it was badly injured. Apparently it did recover, at least partially, and now was preparing to molt. This is the reason for its blue eyes:
Another viper species, one that made me travel a few hundreds of miles from home in order to find it. Rather difficult to observe due to its small size and perfect camouflage, so after two years only two individuals were found. One of them was spotted as it was rushing towards me in the grass. Its name: Vipera ursinii moldavica.