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Newts in the Czech Republic

evut

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I would like to share some photos I took on Saturday near my hometown Cheb, right on the border with Germany. The forest is mixed with lots of firs and the area is popular with cyclists and mushroom pickers.
I didn't hope to find newts at all - it had been hot (around 25°C) and dry for a while and most of the puddles in the forest were dried out.

After a good long stare into the first decent sized puddle on a road near the edge of the forest, I managed to spot a female I.alpestris (according to other accounts, I wanted to see one so badly that it materialised...).
After that we found a couple of little pools in ditches next to the forest road. As you can see, they had clay/mud bottom, with some grass overhanging from the sides. The newts were really hard to find and especially the males were very good at avoiding being caught.
 

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evut

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More photos:
 

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evut

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And some frogs (Pelophylax esculentus and Rana temporaria I believe...?), the last one showing how to pose for a belly shot, something the newts have not mastered.
 

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Molch

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ooh sweet! That makes me have nostalgic twitches, since the woods I roamed as a kid looked so much like those. Lovely alpestris, isn't it amazing how even when you only have a puddle with one inch of water you can always count on the alpestris to show up :)

Is this near the border of Saxony, where that big National Park is that the Germans call Saechsische Schweiz ("Saxon Switzerland")? That's one beautiful fairy-tale forest :)
 

BouBou

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Frog from the first photo is Rana arvalis or Rana temporaria and the frog from second belongs to Rana arvalis.
Greetings.
 

Azhael

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isn't it amazing how even when you only have a puddle with one inch of water you can always count on the alpestris to show up :)

Argh..that´s just cruel....some people have had to look for them for over a decade, you know...

Beautiful place and amazing pictures, Eva! Thank you for sharing :)
The first picture of the female is particularly incredible. Those colors are gorgeous! Much greener than i ever saw in this species before. I see the males also have beautiful colors under the breeding attire (which never ceases to amaze me). Is it common or widespread for the alpestris in that area?

You must have had a blast :D Those kind of animals, in that kind of place is certainly my idea of heaven.
 

Molch

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The first picture of the female is particularly incredible. Those colors are gorgeous! Much greener than i ever saw in this species before. .

I wonder if that isn't a trick of the light - It almost looks like a marmoratus. I've never seen a green tinge on alpestris. Maybe the green foliage reflecting off the back?
 

Molch

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The first picture of the female is particularly incredible. Those colors are gorgeous! Much greener than i ever saw in this species before. .

I wonder if that isn't a trick of the light - It almost looks like a marmoratus. I've never seen a green tinge on alpestris. Maybe the green foliage reflecting off the back?
 

evut

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BouBou, thanks for the frog species ID.

Molch, this area is on the border with Bavaria (look up Cheb on the map to get an idea). By the way, Saechsische Schweiz turns into Czech Switzerland on the border :happy:

The female newt definitely had interesting green colouration although the water photo makes it look a lot brighter. The photo on the hand is more representative.

I can't really compare these animals with anything because this was the first time I went looking for newts in the wild...you can imagine how exciting this was.
 
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zoezakella

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Eva - what amazing pictures and thanks so much for sharing! What a lovely place to visit and you are so so lucky to have seen what you saw! So agree with Molch about the T.Marms and the alpines just GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope you had a lovely holiday xx
 

John

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Very nice account and great photos. I was in that area back in 2000-2001. Had a good look at the border crossing from Bavaria into the Czech Republic before accession to the EU.
 

eljorgo

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Eva those are some wonderful shots! And you can bet the following: If there were no discriptions (none at all), many, litteraly most people would get fooled and judge that female as a T.marmoratus!:D
cheers,
Jorge
 

evut

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Thank you for your nice comments, everybody.
I will definitely try to incorporate more herping into my next trip :happy:
 

RobM

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Nice pictures Eva, how did you get that frog to stay on it's back long enough to take a photo?
 

evut

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Either it knew that if it poses nicely it will be over sooner or it played dead, I think
I don't know anything about frog behaviour but it was interesting - it just lay on the palm like this until we put it back on the floor.
 
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Jennewt

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(according to other accounts, I wanted to see one so badly that it materialised...).
If that method worked, I'd be far more successful in my searches! Thank you for a beautiful set of photos.
 
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