Sunday, June 30, 2019

Best of Central Asia - reptiles

During our recent Rockjumper tour to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, we encountered not only birds but also some cool reptiles. Most reptiles were seen in the Kyzylkum Desert of Uzbekistan, where the sandy desert habitats support a good diversity of species. We had a few more species in the Taukum Desert of Kazakhstan as well, again in sandy habitats. I am no great Herpetologist myself. Luckily, my co-leader in Uzbekistan, Timur, certainly is, and he did a stellar job finding and identifying reptiles for us. Timur also assisted with ID of reptiles we encountered in Kazakhstan. Thanks Timur!

Aralo-Caspian Racerunner (Eremia intermedia)

Rapid Racerunner (Eremias velox)

Reticulated Racerunner (Eremias grammica)

This large Caspian Desert Monitor (Varanus griseus caspius) ran across the road near the Ground Jay site. The pale tail tip is diagnostic for this subspecies.

Lichtenstein's Toad-headed Agama (Phrynocephalus interscapularis)

Steppe Agama (Trapelus sanguinolentus) - common in Taukum Desert

 Steppe Tortoise (Testudo horsfieldii)

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