Amphibians and reptiles

Among the many species that live in the Nature Reserve, amphibians and reptiles play a major role. The study of these two zoological groups is named Herpetology, as since not long ago they were considered just one taxa.


The amphibians were among the first vertebrates that colonized the terrestrial environment, remaining however related to the water. The name amphibians mean dual life, because part of their life cycle is strictly connected to the water environment, and because most of the species have a larval stage very different from the adult one to which the animal gets through metamorphosis.


The anatomy of the amphibians is distinguished in 2 different groups: anurans (without a tail) such as frogs, tree frogs and toads; urodeles (with a visible tail) such as triton and salamander. For the amphibians the water is important not only for the reproduction season but also because their lungs are not well developed as they breath almost exclusively through their skin that has to be wet.


From Latin “strisciante” this class of vertebrates includes species such as turtles, lizards and snakes.

One of main feature of the reptiles is that they characterized by cold-blooded, as they don’t never have enough oxygen to supply their tissues, therefore the temperature of their bodies varies based on the environment one. The best moment to observe them are the first hours during the morning, when they try to sunbathe, in order to charge energies useful for hunting. In the Reserve it is not difficult to come across the green whip snake (Hierophis viridiflavus) locally called “bes bastunèr” or the grass snake (Natrix natrix). Don’t be scared, they are absolutely harmless.


In the basins on the south part of the Reserve you can observe turtle sunbathing. They are the pond sliders (Trachemys scripta) a species that put in dangerous the biodiversity of the area. Easily to recognize because of their yellow or red ears, this species was highly imported at the beginning of the 2000s as a pet. Once released into the environment they grow in number very quickly to the point to be inserted into the Blacklist of the Invasive Alien Species, subject to eradication to the European level.

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