Corfu herps

Corfu’s herpetofauna is rich and diverse and many herpetologist have visited the island over the years.  There are presently 37 confirmed species on the island. 13 snakes,  11 lizards, three typical frogs, one tree frog, two toads, two newts, one sea turtle, three pond turtles  and  one tortoise reside here and several of them are frequently seen and/or heard during parts of the year. In 2003 a number of common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) were reported from a very small area close to the New Fortress. They are still there but there is very little information on the present status of this species. In 2011 the Moorish gecko (Tarentola mauretanica) was discovered close to the airport.
   Three additional species have been mentioned to occur on  Corfu. Gerald Durrell (Birds, Beasts and Relatives, 1969) writes about spade-foot toads (Pelobates sp.) but there are no other reports for this toad. In 1985 a very remarkable observation  of a specimen of the banded sea krait (Laticauda colubrina), was made at Paleokastritsa. This species is native to the eastern Indian and western Pacific Oceans and nothing is known as to why this specimen appeared here, and the species has never been reported here again. Finally there is the marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata). Even if this species occurs on the mainland it seems never to have been able to get established on the island. There is only one reported case in the literature and we have not encountered this species. However, pictures brought to our attention clearly indicate that there are specimens on the island, a presence which is very likely the result of sporadic introductions by humans.
There is one additional species found on the island of Paxos just south of Corfu, Kotschy’s gecko (Mediodactylus kotschyi).
The reptile and amphibian species found on Corfu, arranged according to family with scientific, English and Greek names, brief descriptions and photos can be found under the ”Corfu herps”  menu above.



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