Winter herping!

Winter can be hard for herpetofans and is mostly spend on hibernation, literature work, and waiting for the spring. But there is an alternative if you know how to! Hibernacula are mostly well hidden under the ground or in the depth of the mud in ponds, where the temperature does not fall under 4 degrees. But there are structures where the environmental conditions are comparable and you have a better look at the inhabitants. Ponds of springs have mostly stable temperatures and don't freeze. So I took the chance and tried to find some winter herps! The larvae of A.obstetricansI.alpestris, and S.salamandra are known to regularly hibernating in the water and so I estimated to observe at least a view larvae of the Caudata. Just a quick look at the pond was enough and I had my first herp species of 2021, a I.alpestris larvae! But she was not alone dozens of R.temporaria enjoyed the spring pond and waited patiently for the upcoming springtime. Besides aquatic hibernating herps warm periods can easily lure out very resistant species and So Laura and Bobby Bok and me used the first moment of mild temperatures to spend the evening with S.salamandra. we were not very confident in finding many animals but ended up with 32 adult individuals. Some of them even crawled on the rests of the snow, which covered the forest ground. In the first week of February, the temperatures were finally warm enough for the first proper try to find V.berus. And again Team Bok and Banowski succeeded and were able to shift the personal earliest date of an adder observation to the 6th of March!

Burkhard Thiesmeier - Der Feuersalamander Supplement 4 der Zeitschrift für Feldherpetologie, 2004,  ISBN 978-3-933066-21-3

Heiko Uthleb - Die Geburtshelferkröte Brutpflege ist männlich, 2012, ISBN 978-3-933066-50-3

Burkhard Thiesmeier & Ulrich Schulte Der Bergmolch im Flachland wie im Hochgebirge zu Hause 2010 ISBN 978-3-933066-42-8

Norbert Otte, Daniel Bohle & Burkhard Thiesmeier Die Kreuzotter ein Leben in ziemlich festen Bahnen 2. überarb. Aufl. 2020 ISBN 978-3-933066-63-3