2009 and still new discoveries been made

In 2006 I visited the Dodecanese island of Kos, here I found a number of Black Whip Snakes (Dolichophis jugularis), but to my surprise I also found some Large Whip Snake (Dolichophis caspius) including a real giant of 220cm! Both are large (over 200cm) diurnal snakes, that feed on large rodents and usually inhabit cultivated areas. These big whip snakes cause alot of confusion for Biologists as in the past animals found on islands such as Rhodos and Kalynmos were mistaken for a caspius when in reality they were female jugularis which had not developped the black colouration of the jugularis species. Both species have not however been found on an island together, until now! After I was able to discover both of them on Kos, it turns out a month earlier some Dutch Herpetologists led by Jaco Bruekers had also discovered populations of both species on this island. As a result after some collaboration they are publishing our interesting new findings, its nice to know that there are still many things to be learnt with regard to reptile distribution in general in Europe. kos-herps-047

By Matt Wilson

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