vgbanner.gif (10252 bytes)

Home -- Villa Rental -- Map

Nature: - Bulbs and Orchids - Trees and Bushes - Other Flowers
Butterflies and Moths - The Dragonfly - Creepy Crawlies - Birds

Amphibians and Reptiles that have turned up at Vale Grifo

From time to time various creatures are found, briefly captured, identified and then returned to the wild.

Despite the lack of rain this Winter (1998/9), unidentified tadpoles have hatched in the small puddles in the Almádena River. They have just been rescued, else they would have joined those whose parents chose too small a puddle and have become food for the ants and the flies. Now they could be prey for the cats as they are residing in a small tank near where the cats sunbathe.

Frog in-hand.JPG (25746 bytes) marsh frog.JPG (16403 bytes)
Marsh Frog (Rana perezi)

This frog can occur as two sub-species and also
interbreeds with the edible frog.
It likes a relatively extensive and deep swimming
pool, so was freed into the large cistern.

marsh frog 2.JPG (18392 bytes) Common frog.JPG (21863 bytes)
A younger Marsh Frog (Rana perezi) Another  Frog (Rana perezi)
Common Toad.JPG (23806 bytes) Common Toad
Being active at night, this photograph was taken by torchlight as it took up home in the small tank alongside the cistern. Here it joins the two survivors from the tadpole rescue. (The others unintentially provided food for several dragonfly nymphs).
Common Toad (Bufo bufo spinosus)  
salamanders.JPG (14928 bytes) A pair of Sharp-ribbed Salamanders,
Pleurodeles waltl, removed from the
swimming pool at Quinta dos Frades.
This species is only found in Iberia
snake.jpg (33623 bytes) snakemove.JPG (35332 bytes)
Snissa hiding in the garden on 27th May 1999 Snissa running away as it's camera-shy

According to our NEW snake book, a Ladder Snake, elaphe scalaris, a species of Rat Snake found in Iberia and Mediterranean France. The young have a bold ladder pattern, which is reduced to two simple stripes in adults.

There is only one species of potentially dangerous venomous snake in Portugal, and that is the Lataste's Viper. The other venomous species here have their fangs at the back of the mouth, and are too small to open their mouths wide enough to bite a person. Most snakes run for cover at the sound or vibration of something large approaching.
This year there have already been more U.S.O's (Unidentified Snake Observations) than usual - at least one a day this month.

tadfrogs.JPG (24750 bytes)

snakeskin.JPG (16207 bytes)

leechthing.JPG (10047 bytes)

The 'tadfrogs'

A snakeskin in the wood shed

A leech on a water-lily pad

A Crayfish ! (astacus astacus) found with some

Salamander larvae in the Almádena river 20/05/2000

The Marsh Frogs in the Cistern 
have been busy - and noisy 
about it too!


Three-toed Skink
(chalcides striatus)

Tiffany found this little creature 
temporarily named "Slith". 
Similar to the Slow-worm, 
but with four tiny little legs, 
each with three minute toes? 
(We didn't count them!) May 2000

Large Psammodromus (psammodromus algiris) 
The reptile of the month.
 The most common lizard of the area according to
 the reptile book, but very well camouflaged,
 so not often noticed (June 2000)

In addition there are European Pond Terrapins to be found in the lower reaches of the Almádena river at Boca do Rio.
Petition against construction in the Sudoeste Alentejo e Costa Vicentina Natural Park

Although not experts, we always try and identify the flowers, birds, reptiles, insects and mammals that we see around, using a small collection of reference books.
Can anyone recommend  a book on spiders?

Nature: - Bulbs and Orchids - Trees and Bushes - Other Flowers
Butterflies and Moths - Amphibians and Reptiles - The Dragonfly

Creepy Crawlies - Birds

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 1999 Vale Grifo
Last modified: November 11, 2009 with corrections to species provided by Herpetologist of Castelo Branco