Morocco Herptrip 2014

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Markus Oulehla
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Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Markus Oulehla » October 12th, 2014, 5:48 am

Hi everybody,
here comes a little overview of our herping trip to morocco a few weeks ago.

After we spent some time in the rainforest the last years, we're all excited about herping in the desert.
The first part of our tour was along the cost from Marrakech south...
So we arrived at the airport in Marrakech, got our car and drove down, a little south of the Sous-Massa national park.

Image
near Sous-Massa National Park by markusOulehla, on Flickr


Image
Buthus tunetanus by markusOulehla, on Flickr


the first lizards
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Acanthodactylus erythrurus by markusOulehla, on Flickr


and the reason for our stop (for those bird-lovers :P ), the bald ibis, pretty cool though
Image
Geronticus eremita by markusOulehla, on Flickr

Image
Geronticus eremita by markusOulehla, on Flickr


short stop on the way back from the ibis
Image
in the Sous-Massa National Park by markusOulehla, on Flickr

and another nice find
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Androctonus sp. by markusOulehla, on Flickr


further on near Tiznit
Image
surroundings by markusOulehla, on Flickr

near Sidi Ifni some spiders
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Latrodectus sp. by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Lycosidae by markusOulehla, on Flickr

aaaand...
Image
near Sidi Ifni, Bitis arietans by markusOulehla, on Flickr


with a nicer background
Image
Bitis arietans by markusOulehla, on Flickr


on the way to Fort Bou Jerif
Image
looong road by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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road to Fort Bou Jerif by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Fort Bou Jerif campsite by markusOulehla, on Flickr


at the actual Fort
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Fort Bou Jerif by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Tarentula mauritanica by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Argiope lobata by markusOulehla, on Flickr


it seemed as we've been to slow to get some colubrids... so...
Image
Fort Bou Jerif surroundings by markusOulehla, on Flickr


Image
Bitis arietans by markusOulehla, on Flickr


Image
Bitis arietans by markusOulehla, on Flickr


The road to Tarfaya, our next stop in the very south west of morocco...
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road to Tarfaya by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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mantis by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Chamaeleo chamaeleon by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Chalcides sphenopsiformis by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Chalcides sphenopsiformis by markusOulehla, on Flickr


and then...
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Chamaeleo chamaeleon by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Chamaeleo chamaeleon by markusOulehla, on Flickr


night herping...
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Cebrennus rechenbergi by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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Tarentola chazaliae by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Stenodactylus mauritanicus by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Stenodactylus sp. by markusOulehla, on Flickr


North again and our first steps away from the coast, at Guelmim...
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on the way to Guelmim by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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Saurodactylus brosseti by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Saurodactylus brosseti by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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Agama impalearis by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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Scorpio sp. by markusOulehla, on Flickr


the only non venomous snake we got in front of our cameras...
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Hemorrhois hippocrepis by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Hemorrhois hippocrepis by markusOulehla, on Flickr


and a nice donkey we've met
Image
curious donkey by markusOulehla, on Flickr


Pictures of the second part of our trip will follow the next days, we went further inland to Assa and Tata, with some nice finds aswell!
a little preview...
Image
near Assa by markusOulehla, on Flickr


regards
Markus

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krisbell
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by krisbell » October 12th, 2014, 6:25 am

Great post Markus - is it easy and safe to get around by car in Morocco? Next time please take me with you!

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chrish
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by chrish » October 12th, 2014, 9:05 am

Very interesting. Great to see some northern African herp trips posted here. Looking forward to the next one.

Love the donkey photo. Well done.

Markus Oulehla
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Markus Oulehla » October 13th, 2014, 10:19 am

@ krisbell: absolutely! most of the streets are in good conditions, the people are very friendly, just the traffic in the bigger cities is crazy! through marrakech by car, never again! (and I was just co-driver) :lol:



So Part 2:
From Gulemim we went further inland to Assa, quite a lost place, damn hot during the day, but what a beautiful landscape!
Image
near Assa by markusOulehla, on Flickr


Image
near Assa by markusOulehla, on Flickr



and a really really nice find :D
Image
Varanus griseus by markusOulehla, on Flickr


we found him in a dried up water pit, so he was a bit thin but still quite fast when we released him...
Image
Varanus griseus by markusOulehla, on Flickr

Image
Varanus griseus by markusOulehla, on Flickr


After this great experience we went on to Tata....
Image
near Tata by markusOulehla, on Flickr


night herping in a Palm plantation...
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Tarentola boehmei by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Stenodactylus sp. by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Tropiocolotes sp. by markusOulehla, on Flickr


and then weird things happend :lol:
Image
Solifugae by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Solifugae by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Solifugae by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Solifugae by markusOulehla, on Flickr


the next day....
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near Tata by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Ptyodactylus oudrii by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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gecko foot by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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Cerastes cerastes by markusOulehla, on Flickr


jackpot :D
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Cerastes cerastes by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Cerastes cerastes by markusOulehla, on Flickr

damn fast...
Image
Cerastes cerastes by markusOulehla, on Flickr


and one last picture and one of my favourites of our trip
Image
Cerastes cerastes by markusOulehla, on Flickr



but if you think that was it, nooo, I have a little more ;)
Next time some pictures from the oasis Fint and a short stop in the atlas mountains on our way back to Marrakech...


regards
Markus

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Fieldnotes
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Fieldnotes » October 13th, 2014, 11:01 am

Incredible, that's the best post I've every seen from north Africa!! Awesome animals and great pictures too!! :beer:

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chrish
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by chrish » October 14th, 2014, 7:19 pm

Great post. Interesting diversity of critters from an interesting spot.

Love the defensive posture of the V. griseus, the gecko toe shot and the great diversity of arachnids!

I can understand why that Cerastes shot is your favorite. That is a real wallhanger of a photo! That would be my computer desktop shot if I had taken it.

______________________________

On a related note....

Any chance you might be interested in entering those records into the HERPMAPPER.ORG database? There is only a single record for Morocco in the database and we would love to see better coverage from around the world.

It is a simple process and the program can even read the time/date and GPS data from the EXIF if it is in there.

Chris

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Rags
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Rags » October 15th, 2014, 1:41 pm

Brilliant post!

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mtratcliffe
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by mtratcliffe » October 15th, 2014, 4:25 pm

Nice photos! It's great to see a post from an underrepresented region on this forum.

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mrichardson
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by mrichardson » October 16th, 2014, 12:04 pm

Fantastic post! I visited Morocco and Western Sahara earlier in the year and really enjoyed the experience. I was mainly targeting mammals (Fennec Fox, Sand Cat etc) but I also came across some nice herps. It's definitely an area to which I would like to return soon.

Markus Oulehla
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Markus Oulehla » October 24th, 2014, 1:27 am

Thank you!
At night we have seen a golden jackal and a hedgehog north of Guelmim...

Part 3: From Tata north to Marrakech, via Ouarzazate

Image
on the road to Ouarzarzate by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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thorny bush by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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near Ouarzarzate by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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Pelophylax saharicus by markusOulehla, on Flickr


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Mauremys leprosa by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Mauremys leprosa by markusOulehla, on Flickr


then we went to this beautiful place
Image
oasis Fint by markusOulehla, on Flickr

Image
oasis Fint by markusOulehla, on Flickr

On our way back to the car, we've met this guy. He asked the usual things, where we come from and what we're doing and he was extremely suprised when we told him that we are looking for cobras. He turned out to be the local snake catcher/charmer, to proof that he showed us the cobra he caught that day and he agreed to meet us again the next day to look for snakes together...
At his place, he proudly presented us the fangs of "his" snakes and refused to show a snake because he fed it the day before and didn't want to stress it (before we were able to tell him to leave the snake in its bag for the same reason). He also cursed on the marrkech snakecharmers and their cruel methods, so it seems that he likes his snakes and care about them...
We spent the day walking through the area, a really great place...

Image
oasis Fint by markusOulehla, on Flickr

Image
oasis Fint by markusOulehla, on Flickr

Image
oasis Fint by markusOulehla, on Flickr

Image
oasis Fint by markusOulehla, on Flickr

We saw some lizards, turtles and a damn fast colubrid, but no cobra...
Finally he posed "his" cobra so we could to take some pictures.

Image
Naja haje "legionis" by markusOulehla, on Flickr

Image
Naja haje "legionis" by markusOulehla, on Flickr

Image
Naja haje "legionis" by markusOulehla, on Flickr

It was a great experience to be in the field with a professional and to see a (almost wild) cobra was a highlight too :D



Further on the way to Marrakech we came through the atlas mountains...
Image
atlas mountains by markusOulehla, on Flickr

Image
atlas mountains by markusOulehla, on Flickr


no time for Vipera monticola, but a short stop with some cool and surprising finds
Imageatlas mountains by markusOulehla, on Flickr


ImageTestudo graeca by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Hyalosaurus koellikeri by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Tetudo graeca by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Myriapoda by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Tetudo graeca by markusOulehla, on Flickr

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Tetudo graeca by markusOulehla, on Flickr


It was an awesome trip and herping in the desert was a really great experience!

Enjoy the pictures, I still have a little more ;)
regards
Markus

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Jeroen Speybroeck
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » October 24th, 2014, 3:15 am

Enjoyed!

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Chris Smith
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Chris Smith » October 24th, 2014, 10:08 am

Fantastic photos! Please report your herp finds to http://www.herpmapper.org. It is a relatively new global herp mapping and data hub project that could use more observations from this part of the world.

Cheers,
Chris

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Mike Pingleton » October 27th, 2014, 7:03 pm

Awesome trip report!

-Mike

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John Delgado
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by John Delgado » October 28th, 2014, 12:20 am

Mr. Markus Oulehla - RE: Your post... that right there is 86 reasons why FHF is BETTER than National Geographic...!

I have to tell you, the Cerastes cerastes did it for me... you should'a seen me... you'da think I seen God.

Thank you... X1,000,000 - zj

Markus Oulehla
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Markus Oulehla » October 29th, 2014, 2:57 pm

Thank you very very much! All of you :)

@Chris Smith, I am on herpmappers, just for about one week now, but I'm already working on my uploads from some "underrepresented" regions there ;)


Here are some additional pictures...

one more in situ picture of the first puff adder
Image
someone gives a shit on puff adders!? by markusOulehla, on Flickr


and the second puff adder
Image
Bitis arietans by markusOulehla, on Flickr



as you all like the Cerastes, here's a little more of this beauty
Image
Cerastes cerastes by markusOulehla, on Flickr

ImageCerastes cerastes by markusOulehla, on Flickr


The desert monitor was really cool! After he wasn't succesfull with his defensive position and tailwhipping, he tried the evil eye... :lol:
Image
evil eye by markusOulehla, on Flickr

check out his scales
Image
scales by markusOulehla, on Flickr


aaaand one last picture of the cobra, of course :D
Image
Naja haje "legionis" by markusOulehla, on Flickr




Cheers,
Markus


PS.: Dear Contributing Editor of the Reptile Report, we've found a lot in morocco, but nooo rattlesnakes ;)

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Ribbit
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Ribbit » October 30th, 2014, 12:03 pm

Wow Markus, your photography is incredibly appealing. What a treat to see, thanks for posting! I can't pick favorites because so many of the photos are just stunning.

My sister was in Jordan a couple of years ago and got some photos of some strange little rock-mimic bug that I eventually realized was an Eremiaphila mantis, like yours is I think. Those are bizarre little beasties.

John

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Keeper
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by Keeper » November 3rd, 2014, 11:32 am

What an incredible trip! Nicely done!
Thanks for sharing. :)

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FloridaSerpent
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Re: Morocco Herptrip 2014

Post by FloridaSerpent » November 13th, 2014, 12:14 pm

Really like the palm tree forest in the middle of the dessert. Very pretty

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