Posts tagged Lizard
The Tropidurus Genus & Struggling with Taxonomy

Ah taxonomy…thou art a beautiful and heartless bitch. If you’ve ever looked into the tropidurus genus post 1979, you know what I’m talking about!

It’s not uncommon for friends and family to send or show me photographs of reptiles and amphibians they encounter during their holidays. They often ask me to identify the species, and usually, this can be done fairly easily - especially when you know exactly where the individual was found. However, some species can be very hard to differentiate by image and location alone.

My brother found the individual displayed in the above photograph in Rio de Janeiro a few years ago. Truthfully, I had never paid much attention to this genus before, and figuring out the species became even more complicated the more I looked into it. As Frost, et al. (2001, pp.352) very eloquently put in their publication, “from 1979 to present (…) effort on the elucidation of the systematics of the taxon has increased, seemingly exponentially”. In his 1987 paper, Rodrigues gives us a brief history of the genus and the species that were once recognised under it. Boulenger (1885) was the first attempt at revising the then established norm that the genus encompassed about 15 different species but Boulenger maintained only 3 species from the fifteen - Tropidurus hygomi, Tropidurus torquatus and Tropidurus hispidus.

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Betty, Goat Pens and Greek Spice Girls

We decided to hike up the mountain to one of the oldest and most historically significant villages in Ikaria, Lagada. To avoid getting lost in this undeveloped part of the island, we figured that taking a dirt road would make the climb by foot easier. We were wrong.

Despite the lack of 'scrambling', the extreme heat and unrelenting sun that day, made the walk up feel like what I would imagine hell feels like. It may come as no surprise, therefore, that we only managed to make it to the village of Vrakades, before deciding to leave the walk to Lagada for another day.

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Radioactive Springs, Lizard Crossing & Sunburnt Skin

Last time we were in Ikaria, we talked about visiting one of the many famous hot springs around the island but got too distracted by the beautiful walks to actually do it. This time, we made a point of finding one and having a relaxing bath. So, we set out to do some research on the geothermal springs available around the island. It was during this research that we discovered a very interesting fact about Ikaria's hot springs - they are amongst the most radioactive in the world. 

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