The yearly spring break of the Bufo bufo is not just fun to observe it's a great opportunity to photograph details and funny moments in the annual mating season. This blogpost is more like a yearly gallery, which will get new images from season to season. So maybe we will have soon a blogpost which is competing with the galleries. It's quite hard to get every image you need and want in one season even when you are out every day/night! The perspectives of the big party are countless, the massive...

Bufo bufo Amplexus street crossing light
Crossing the human-made death strips is a yearly massacre for every kind of amphibian. Not just the common ones like Bufo bufo and Rana temporaria, also rare species like Hyla arborea end as a flat pancake on the street. For this reason professionals and volunteers designed instrumentals to save at least a few populations from die-off and fragmentation. The mobile instrument is the amphibian fence. Almost every little local nature conservation organization uses this method with the massive help...

What is Bsal? It is a chytrid fungus from Asia, which came to Europe through animal trade. It causes skin lesions in the European salamanders and newts. In Salamandra salamandra and Triturus cristatus the die-off is extreme and kills whole populations. Where? The distribution in Europe is southern Netherlands, Belgium and the Eifel and Ruhr area in Germany - there are also cases from Spain in T.marmoratus. What can we do? - disinfect your shoes and gear (with Virkon S 10g for 1l water or 70%...

Well, where should I start the story.. . maybe with a short exemplification of neoteny. Neoteny in newts and salamanders is a disorder in the metmorphosis (mostly) in cause of a disfunction of the thyroid. The metamorphosis stops at a certain point and as a result of that, the juveniles/adults keep their gills from the larvae stage (GOULD 1977). Mostly you can find single individuals in ponds, but in a view cases the big part of the population can be neotenic (HARTWIG & ROTTMANN 1940)....

Before my last finals in my masterstudies I had to do the last trip... Lennart and me calculated very long which destination we should pick, since the end of August/beginning of September aren't the best time to search for vipers. The weather forecast forced us to react quite spontaneous and so in midday on Wednesday my phone rang and Lennart just asked me: "Should we start now?" Me: "Let's start now!" So I throw my stuff into my car a drove towards Heidelberg. After a nice dinner with Lennart...

After my very exhausting work season in the field/lab I needed some holidays with some mountains. Cause it was June, it was for sure not the best time for herping, but well up in the mountains, it should still be possible to find some cool critters. My friends Marvin and Sebastian also wanted to have a little trip, so we decided to go for Walser on the long June weekend of Corpus Christi. We arrived at the famous Walserspot where we were welcomed by a nice little sheepdog, what a good boy! We...

The ending of the herping season was close, so Lennard Schmid and I decided to go for a last, short and heavy vipertour. Since Lennart knows Slovenia quite well and I had a few nice spots in Croatia our destinations were fixed very fast. At the 9th of September I started from Cologne with the ICE to Mannheim. After a long, long journey Lennart picked me up at the main station and we went straight herping. First, we went on a walk for amphibians in his surroundings and we had a nice number of...

Sebastian Dörnemann and I planned a trip since we go herping together, a big trip through the western alps with all the nice viper species and subspecies. So this year we got the time to make it happen, the route, the spots, the days were clear. Just the weather wasn't acting as we wanted it to. So we started in France and not in the Black Forest like we wanted to (this decision was very wise). So the things were packed and we hit the road to our beloved place in Lorraine. Down there we met...

The trip started with our arrival at the Budapest Airport. Some of us had already spent a few days in Budapest checking out the city. We got together with the others from Germany and took the private bus towards Bükk National Park. We arrived around midnight and were welcomed by Rob and Barbara...