• Kevin Esser

One week in Croatia, part II

Lake Vrana -the biggest lake of Croatia- and its surrounding areas were proclaimed a Nature Park in 1999. This unique habitat is of inestimable value and is characterized by a high biodiversity. In addition to 249 registered bird species, there are also numerous reptiles.

The Blue-throated Keeled Lizard (Algyroides nigropunctatus) can be seen in rocky areas and stone walls.

Exceptionally beautiful Dice Snake: Natrix tessellata var. flavescens. The Croatian name is "Ribarica", which means "fisherwoman". They can swim & dive very well and they prey mainly on fish.

I saw a couple of these handsome little creatures: Caterpillar of the Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea didyma).

Dahl's Whip Snake (Platyceps najadum) is one of the fastest snakes, I have ever seen. Luckily, I was able to get pictures of this amazing snake.

With about 50 cm (19.7 in) the Balkan Green Lizard (Lacerta trilineata) is by far the biggest lizard in Croatia. These "little dinosaurs" were a bit shyer than their smaller relatives.

At the very last day, just after dusk, I found the highlight of this trip: An European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) climbing in a stone wall of an old ruin.