This page is for wildlife that I've photographed in the wild whilst holidaying in Cyprus.

Lizards
There are 11 species of lizard found on the Island of Cyprus:  LINK 1

1) Cyprus Rock Agama (Laudakia cypriaca).  2) Common Chameleon / Mediterranean chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).  3) Troodos Lizard.  4) Shreiber's Spiny-Footed Lizard.  5) Snake-Eyed Lizard.  6)  Budak's Snake-Eyed Skink.  7) Ocellated Skink (Chalcides ocellatus)  8) Spotted Skink /  Schneider's Skink / Berber Skink (Eumeces schneideri)  9) Striped Skink.  10) Turkish Gecko.  11) Kotschy's Gecko.


Kotschy's Gecko  -  (Mediodactylus kotschyi)

The Kotschy's Gecko is the smaller of the two gecko species found in Cyprus. The Kotschy's Gecko is a particularly small-sized lizard growing only to 10cm in length, including its entire tail. This species is also found across much of Southern Europe and the Middle East.




60mm Kotschy's Gecko found under dumped rubbish in Paphos.

These tiny geckos are usually found hiding under rocks during the daytime. During the hotter summer months they often emerge late afternoon / early evening to catch the last of the sunshine before setting off to hunt insect prey once it gets dark.





Kotschy's Gecko's are quick to drop their tail as a distraction to potential predators to enable them evade capture. 







Kotschy's Gecko sitting on my thumb to show size.






50mm Kotschy's Gecko basking on a stone wall at sunset.







Kotschy's Gecko soaking up the late-afternoon sun on a stone wall.





Kotschy's Gecko soaking up the late-afternoon sun on a stone wall - wide angle iphone photo.







25mm Kotschy's Gecko, found under a rock in Paphos, September 2023.








80mm Mediterranean House Gecko, found hunting at night on the wall of our hotel in Paphos. 20th May 2019

Mediterranean House Gecko / Turkish Gecko   -  (Hemidactylus turcicus)

The Mediterranean House Gecko, or the Turkish Gecko as they are also known, is the larger of the two gecko species found in Cyprus. Adult specimens can grow to around 150mm in length, including the tail, but adults are usually 100-130mm. They are nocturnal hunters and feed on insects. The Turkish Gecko is delicate and slender in build and their colour is usually pink - orange or brown and their skin can be semi-translucent.  These can be found emerging high on walls at dusk, often around lights that attract moths, or hidden beneath rocks on the ground during the day.





Troodos Lizard basking by the side of a hotel swimming pool.
Troodos Lizard  (Phoenicolacerta troodica)
There are three species of lizard from the Family Lacertidae in Cyprus. These are the Troodos Lizard, Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard, and the Snake-Eyed Lizard. The Troodos Lizard is a small species with a maximum body-length of 10cm and a very long tail that can reach a further 15cm. This is a common species found across the island in all types of habitat. Breeding occurs in both spring and summer and eggs are laid in clutches of 2-8.



Troodos Lizard basking by the side of a hotel swimming pool.






Troodos Lizard, taking shelter in a rotting tree stump. 24th May 2019.







Troodos Lizard basking on rocks. Paphos, 12th May 2018

The tail of the Troodos Lizard can be nearly twice the length of the lizard itself.





Spiny-Footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus schreiberi) hunting in the afternoon. Paphos, 8th May 2018

Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard  /  Spiny-Footed Lizard (Acanthodactylus schreiberi)
The Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard is found mainly near the coast living in sand-dune areas. This species is in rapid decline and classed as "Globally Endangered" due to habitat loss and disturbance. They have a body-length of up to 90mm and females usually only lay one clutch of eggs each season ranging from 1-4 eggs.





Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard (Acanthodactylus schreiberi) basking in the afternoon sun. Paphos, 8th May 2018


LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3




Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard  /  Spiny-Footed Lizard






A large Schreiber's Fringe-Fingered Lizard  /  Spiny-Footed Lizard with a total length of around 20cm.








Snake-Eyed Lizard basking on a stone wall.
Snake-Eyed Lizard  (Ophisops elegans)
The Snaked-Eyed Lizard is the third, final and smallest lizard from the Family Lacertidae, to be found in Cyprus. They are also the most common lizard on the island. This lizard is small and slender with a narrow pointed snout. As with other Ophisops Sp this lizard does not possess separate eyelids and therefore cannot close its eyes. Instead it has a transparent "eye scale" that covers the eye.



Snake-Eyed Lizard crossing a pathway






Snake-Eyed Lizard dashing between low vegetation.






Snake-Eyed Lizard basking on rocks.







Cyprus Rock Agama  -  Laudakia cypriaca    (previously Laudakia stellio cypriaca, and Stellagama stellio cypriaca)

The largest lizard found on the Island of Cyprus, growing to an impressive length of 35cm or more including tail. Locally they are known as Kourkoutas. There are over 300 species of Agama found across the world but the Starred Agama, Laudakia stellio, was the only species to be found in Europe, until recently in 2022 when the Cypriot sub-species was revised and elevated to full species level, as Laudakia cypriaca. There are still many sub-species of Laudakia stellio found throughout Europe though. 

The Cyprus Rock Agama is usually grey / brown in colour. Younger, smaller specimens have more obvious patterns and markings, but larger specimens, especially males, can display a range of colours and several I saw had bright orange colours on their head and chest. The recent reclassification of the Cyprus Rock Agama means that you will still find many sources referring to it by its pseudonyms, Starred Agama,  Hardun, Sling-Tailed Agama, Spiny Lizard.



Large Cyprus Rock Agama basking

When disturbed the Cyprus Rock Agama is as quick to disappear up a tree as it is to dart under rocks for cover. They are extremely fast runners for stocky, robust lizards.




Despite being nervous and initially running for cover, this Cyprus Rock Agama was still curious enough to return and watch me photographing it.







Cyprus Rock Agama hiding behind a bush on the wall of our hotel in Paphos, Cyprus







Cyprus Rock Agama basking







Juvenile Cyprus Rock Agama basking on rocks in Paphos, September 2023.







Juvenile Cyprus Rock Agama basking on rocks in Paphos, September 2023.








Striped Skink basking in late afternoon sun.

Striped Skink / Bridled Skink (Trachylepis vittata, previously Mabuya vittata)
A medium-sized lizard growing up to 25cm in length, including tail. Found across Cyprus from coastal areas to the top of the Troodos mountain peaks. Reproduction occurs in Spring and summer and females lay 3-6 eggs. Also known as the Bridled Maybuya or Bridled Skink.    LINK 1

This specimen was photographed basking on large rocks with dense vegetation immediately behind, situated 30 metres from the coast in Paphos.


Striped Skink basking in late afternoon sun at the edge of a busy pathway.






Striped Skink basking in late afternoon sun at the edge of a busy pathway.







Budak's Snake-Eyed Skink  (Ablepharus budaki)

Budak's Snake-Eyed Skink  (Ablepharus budaki)
Found under a small rock besides the main road running through Paphos Town. The Budak's Snake-Eyed Skink is a small common species growing to a maximum of 12cm in length including tail. Reproduction occurs in Spring and summer and females lay 2-4 eggs.




Budak's Snake-Eyed Skink  (Ablepharus budaki)





Mediterranean Chameleon, Chamaeleo chamaeleon, photographed in Kouklia, September 2023.

Mediterranean Chameleon  /  Common Chameleon  -  (Chamaeleo chamaeleon)
The Mediterranean Chameleon is the only native species of Chameleon found in Europe, and is the most northerly species of Chameleon in the world, and also boasts the furthest extending range of all Chameleon species. There are around 200 species of Chameleon throughout the world, but more than a third of those species are found only in Madagascar. As with other Chameleons the Mediterranean Chameleon has the ability to rapidly change its colour. This colour changing process often has little to do with camouflage though. The colour of the Chameleon may be affected by the lighting conditions and temperature of its habitat. Chameleons also change colour as an hormonal response to mood changes. When stressed or handled Chameleons very often go much darker and the colours become far more vivid. The colour changes also play an important role in the courting of male and female Chameleons. Mediterranean Chameleons may be found in various shades of green, brown or grey. Chameleons have five clawed toes, that are in opposing groups of 2 and 3 toes on each foot.

The Mediterranean Chameleon is primarily carnivorous and feeds on insects and other invertebrates. Occasionally adults may also feed upon fruit to supplement their diet. Chameleons have a very long tongue, which can be up to one and a half times their own body-length. The tongue is covered with a very sticky mucus, and the bulbous tip of the tongue acts as a suction cup. Mediterranean Chameleons can shoot out this tongue at great speed to grab hold of their prey, which is immediately brought back into the mouth of the Chameleon and crushed by its powerful jaws. Chameleons lack external ears and as a result they may not have particularly good hearing. They make up for this with excellent eye-sight. Each of the Chameleon's eyes are located on turrets either side of the Chameleon's head. These turrets allow the eyes to rotate through 180 degrees, giving the Chameleon almost 360 view without turning its head. Mediterranean Chameleons are largely diurnal as their eyes are far more effective in daylight. The Mediterranean Chameleon is most commonly an ambush predator, waiting for wandering invertebrates to come within range. Mediterranean Chameleons may also actively hunt for insects too. Once sighted the Chameleon very slowly stalks its prey. It walks with a gradual swaying motion, moving like a leaf gently blowing in the breeze. As soon as the Chameleon is within range it strikes with a deadly accurate shot of its tongue.

The Mediterranean Chameleon is an arboreal species and is typically found in shrubs, bushes and small trees in scrubland. Males leave the relative safety of their arboreal habitats and come to ground during the mating season, as they search out mating partners in new areas. The females generally remain in the trees and bushes but descend to lower, more exposed branches or to lower nearby vegetation. Another tool in the Chameleon's favour is its strong prehensile tail, which it uses not only for balance and weight distribution, but also for grabbing hold of branches and stems of the vegetation its climbing through. Unlike many other lizards if the Chameleon's tail is damaged or amputated the Chameleon does not have the ability to regenerate the tail, and will be at a huge disadvantage. The tail of the Chameleon is often coiled up in a spiral when the Chameleon is at rest. Mediterranean Chameleons usually grow to around 20-40mm in total length, but half of this length may come from its tail. Females are typically larger than the males, but generally have shorter tails.

Mediterranean Chameleons are largely solitary and adult males will only tolerate the presence of females during the mating season, from July to September. Males are territorial and will fight off any other males they encounter. Both male and female specimens reach maturity after one year. After mating the female digs a burrow in loose soil, where between 5-45 eggs are deposited. The burrow is usually at the base of a bush or small tree, which the young will climb as soon as they hatch. The eggs have a long incubation period and typically take 10-12 months to hatch. The young Chameleons are immediately independent and must quickly learn to hunt for themselves. The adults are opportunist feeders and it's not unusual for cannibalism to occur. Adult Chameleons, especially males, have been known to feed upon any small Chameleons they encounter. The natural lifespan of the Mediterranean Chameleon is 3-4 years.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5    LINK 6

Mediterranean Chameleon, Chamaeleo chamaeleon, photographed in Kouklia, September 2023.

The Mediterranean Chameleon is in decline in parts of its range. This is largely due to the loss or fragmentation of its natural habitat as a result of urban development. Many Chameleons die when attempting to cross roads and pathways. Any reduction in the number of insects available for food will also play a significant role in the decline of the Mediterranean Chameleon. Wildfires, illegal collection for the pet trade, and predation by domestic cats, are also responsible for the decline of the Mediterranean Chameleon in some areas. In Greece the The Mediterranean Chameleon has become extinct everywhere in the country apart from one small island, the Samos Island, where it is afforded legal protection by both European and Greek law. The Mediterranean Chameleon is not the only species of Chameleon to be found in Greece though. There is also an introduced population of the African Chameleon, or Sahel Chameleon, Chamaeleo africanus, which is found specifically in the Peloponnesus region, in the south of mainland Greece.


Mediterranean Chameleon, Chamaeleo chamaeleon, photographed in Kouklia, September 2023.







Dead Mediterranean Chameleon, photographed in Kouklia, September 2023.

This Mediterranean Chameleon was found dead in the middle of the road. Unfortunately due to the incredibly slow speed at which they walk the Mediterranean Chameleon has little chance of successfully navigating its way across even the quietest of roads without being hit by a car. The Oriental Wasps soon began feeding on the Chameleon's dead body. The chewed up flesh will be taken back to the nest of the Oriental Wasps and fed to the carnivorous larvae as a rich source of protein. The dead Chameleon had a body-length of 17cm, not including its tail





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Snakes of Cyprus

Cyprus has 9 species of snake. 3 of these snake species are venomous but only one is a significant danger to humans, the Blunt Nosed Viper (Macrovipera lebetina). The Blunt Nosed Viper is a large and stocky viper, growing to 2 metres in length and 5kg in weight. The other 2 venomous snakes in Cyprus are the Montpellier Snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) and the Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax). Both of these are only mildly venomous and are also rear-fanged.

The 6 non-venomous species include: Cyprus Grass Snake (Natrix natrix cypriaca),  Coin Snake (Coluber numifer),  Dahl's Whip Snake (Coluber najadum),  Cyprus Whip Snake (Coluber cypriensis),  Large Whip Snake (Coluber jugularis),  Pink Worm Snake (Typhlops vermicularis).


80cm Montpellier Snake  (Molpolon monspessulanus)

Montpellier Snake  (Molpolon monspessulanus)
A large, mildly venomous, rear-fanged colubrid snake, usually growing to around 200cm in length. Usually greyish brown in colour with distinctive eyes. This snake feeds primarily on lizards, with the Starred Agama being a favourite. The venom works quickly on lizards but a bite to humans, although painful and often resulting in localised swelling, is not fatal. 



80cm Montpellier Snake  (Molpolon monspessulanus)







80cm Montpellier Snake  (Molpolon monspessulanus), Paphos.








50cm European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed at Kouklia Snake Park, Cyprus, May 2019.

European Cat Snake / aka European Tiger Snake & Soosan Snake (Telescopus fallax)
A small and slender, mildly venomous, rear-fanged colubrid snake, usually growing to around 60cm in length. The Cat Snake uses its mild venom primarily for digesting its prey rather than killing its prey. Because of the position of its fangs venom is rarely injected during defensive bites and so this snake is considered to be of little risk to humans. This nocturnal hunter feeds largely on Geckos and other small Lizards.


This specimen was photographed in captivity at Kouklia Snake & Animal Park:  43 Apostolou Louka Ave, Kouklia, Cyprus. Telephone: +357 2643 2240, or  +357 9959 8589


50cm European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed at Kouklia Snake Park, Cyprus, May 2019.

The European Cat Snake gets its name from its cat-like eyes. Because the Cat Snake is a nocturnal species when it's viewed in daylight its pupils close to elliptical slits.




50cm European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed at Kouklia Snake Park, Cyprus, May 2019.







European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed in Kouklia, Cyprus. September 2023.







European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed in Kouklia, Cyprus. September 2023.







European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed in Kouklia, Cyprus. September 2023.







European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed in Kouklia, Cyprus. September 2023.







European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed in Kouklia, Cyprus. September 2023.







European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed in Kouklia, Cyprus. September 2023.







European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed in Kouklia, Cyprus. September 2023.







European Cat Snake (Telescopus fallax) photographed in Kouklia, Cyprus. September 2023.








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Amphibians of Cyprus 
There are three species of amphibian found in Cyprus. There may be some some confusion though due to constant reclassification of species.

Cyprus Water Frog (Pelophylax cypriensis) which was previously classified as the Levant Water Frog (Pelophylax bedriagae, formerly Rana)
Cyprus Green Toad (Bufotes cypriensis), which was recently recognised as a separate species from the European Green Toad / Variable Toad (Bufotes variabilis
Middle-East Tree Frog (Hyla savignyi)


Adult Cyprus Water Frog (Pelophylax cypriensis)
Cyprus Water Frog (Pelophylax cypriensis)
The Cyprus Water Frog is a medium-sized frog and like other Water Frogs, is often found basking in the sun at the water's edge. They are highly vocal during the warmer months of the year.




Young Cyprus Water Frog (Pelophylax cypriensis)






Cyprus Water Frog (Pelophylax cypriensis)






Young Cyprus Water Frog (Pelophylax cypriensis)







Cyprus Water Frog Tadpole (Pelophylax cypriensis)

Typical of other Water Frogs the tadpole of the Cyprus Water Frog is very large when compared to the size of the adult frog.





Click "Play" to hear the Cyprus Water Frogs (Pelophylax cypriensis) calling during the midday sun May 2019.







Other Wildlife








Carpenter Bee  (Xylocopa pubescens)
Carpenter Bee  (Xylocopa pubescens)





Carpenter Bee  (Xylocopa pubescens)








Swallowtail Butterfly  (Papilio machaon)
In the UK the Swallowtail is the largest and one of the rarest of butterflies. The British Swallowtail is a sub-species and is found only in the Norfolk Broads feeding on its sole larval plant, the Milk-Parsley. In Cyprus the Swallowtail is far less of a fussy eater as a caterpillar and they can be found on a variety of plants. Adults can grow to an impressive length of 93mm.




Swallowtail Butterfly







Common Blue Butterfly (Polyommatus Icarus)

The Common Blue is found right across Cyprus as well as the UK, with the exception of Ireland. It is a small butterfly with a wingspan of 29-36mm and can be seen from the start of Spring to the end of Autumn.





Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly   (Libellula vibrans)






Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly   (Libellula vibrans)








Gonocleonus sp. - A Mediterranean genus of Weevil with many species.
Mediterranean Weevil  -  (Gonocleonus sp.





A large female Robberfly with a body-length of around 30mm.







This is a large unidentified female cricket (possibly from the orthopteran family Rhaphidophoridae) with a leg-span of around 60-70mm. It was spotted high on wall by the ceiling of an out-building.







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Praying Mantis
There are four known species of Praying Mantis that are found in Cyprus, the Fasciated Conehead Mantid, Empusa fasciata, the Mediterranean Mantis or Iris Mantis, Iris oratoria, Heldreich's Dwarf Mantis, Ameles heldreichi, and the Giant African Mantis, Sphodromantis viridis.



45mm sub-adult female Giant African Mantis, which came wandering into a Karaoke bar in Paphos at night. 6th May 2018.

Giant African Mantis  /  African Mantis  /  Bush Mantis  -  (Sphodromantis viridis)
The Giant African Mantis is a large species with females sometimes reaching an impressive 100mm in length. Males are considerably smaller though. Males have eight segments on their abdomen, which distinguishes them from the females, that have a six segmented abdomen. This species is originally from West Africa but has extended its range as an introduced species into several other countries including Spain, Portugal and Israel. The "Biodiversity of Cyprus" website claims that Sphodromantis viridis is also native to Cyprus, but I believe it's more likely to be naturalised rather than native. As its name suggests the Giant African Mantis is typically green in colour but brown specimens are also common. As adults both sexes can be identified by a distinctive white spot on their wings. Females can produce several oothecae during maturity, and each oothecae can contain as many as 300 eggs. Sphodromantis viridis is spreading and increasing its range, especially throughout the Mediterranean regions. This mantid species prefers sites with plenty of shrubbery but is highly adaptable and can also be found in gardens and parks.

As with many mantis species the male Sphodromantis viridis is often the victim of cannibalism when attempting to mate with the larger female. In the exotic pet trade Sphodromantis viridis is usually regarded as quite hardy, and an easy species to keep, even for beginners.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5


Sub-adult Giant African Mantis, found in Paphos, September 2023.






Sub-adult Giant African Mantis, found in Paphos, September 2023.






Sub-adult Giant African Mantis, found in Paphos, September 2023.








40mm Fasciated Conehead Mantid nymph, Empusa fasciata, found in Paphos, September 2023.

Fasciated Conehead Mantid  -  (Empusa fasciata)
The Fasciated Conehead Mantid, Empusa fasciata, is a medium / large species of Praying Mantis. Adult males reach a typical body-length of around 50-70mm and the larger females reach around 60-80mm. Empusa fasciata occurs in the eastern Mediterranean regions, including Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Italy and Bulgaria). It is also found in some parts of Asia. Empusa fasciata are highly variable in colour and can be found in varying shades of grey, brown, green or even red and pink.

Empusa fasciata is found in warm, dry habitats with low vegetation and scattered shrubs. South-facing slopes and woodland margins are also regularly used. Adults can be found in the spring and early summer, appearing from as early as March until May, and usually lasting until the end of June. Mating often occurs more than once but only one generation occurs each year. The eggs are usually laid, in April and May, in small packages, known as oothecae, that are fixed to low vegetation. One adult female produces between 1 - 3 oothecae, which can each contain up to 16 individual eggs. The larvae usually hatch after 2 - 3 weeks. The young nymphs are immediately predatory and self sufficient. Empusa fasciata are diurnal and primarily ambush predators. They often remain motionless on vegetation, relying heavily on their excellent camouflage. When other invertebrates, often flying insects, come within range the mantis strikes with its powerful forearms and catches its prey. Flying insects such as bees, flies and craneflies, are often caught in mid-air. After a winter diapause the nymphs emerge once again in the spring, to complete their final moult and become adults. Adults are fully winged and capable of flight, although neither sex are very strong fliers. 

Adult male Empusa fasciata have wings that extend beyond their abdomen, and they can be identified by their long bipectinate antennae. Adult females have long wings and short, thin antennae. This link shows the bipectinate antennae of the adult male Empusa fasciata  - LINK

Empusa fasciata are often preyed upon by lizards, birds, shrews and at night by bats. Their name originates from the ancient Greek Έμπουσα / Empusa, who in Greek mythology was a hideous ghost who fed upon human flesh.

The closely related species, Empusa pennata, is visually identical but is found in the western Mediterranean area from the Iberian Peninsula to France and Italy, and in North Africa.

Praying Mantis are often kept as pets in the exotic pet trade but Empusa fasciata tend to be regarded as very difficult to rear in captivity, and are certainly not a species to be kept by beginners.
LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5    LINK 6    LINK 7


40mm Fasciated Conehead Mantid nymph, Empusa fasciata, found in Paphos, September 2023.







40mm Fasciated Conehead Mantid nymph, Empusa fasciata, found in Paphos, September 2023.







40mm Fasciated Conehead Mantid nymph, Empusa fasciata, found in Paphos, September 2023.








Mediterranean Mantis  /  Iris Mantis  -  (Iris oratoria)
The Mediterranean Mantis is a widespread species in the warm and dry regions in the Mediterranean area, and has been introduced to the Middle East, Western Asia and the United States. This is a large / medium-sized mantid that grows to a length of around 65mm. The adults are easily identified when the wings are unfolded by the two violet-brown eyespots on its wings. Adult females have wings slightly shorter than their abdomen. Another identifying feature of Iris oratoria, which can be noticed when the mantis when is examined closely, are two small tubercles on the front of the head. - LINK

The pale nymphs take on the bright green appearance as they mature. This ambush predator is cannibalistic and around 25% of sexual encounters result in the male being eaten by the female. This species exhibits a dramatic threat display when threatened. During this display the mantis rears up with its back arched, its abdomen curved and its forearms waved. Its wings are raised to reveal the large eyespots. The Mediterranean Mantis communicates by stridulation. This is achieved by the mantis rubbing the edge of its hind wings against its leathery front wings. In Cyprus the Mediterranean Mantis is common in drier areas, such as Napa, but can also be found high in the Troodos mountains. The adult males are known to fly at night as they seek out mating partners, and are attracted to light.

In countries where both species occur the Mediterranean Mantis can be distinguished from the European mantid, Mantis religiosa, by the red-orange spot on the ventral side of the fourth (second to last) segment of its abdomen.
LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3    LINK 4    LINK 5    LINK 6

Heldreich's Dwarf Mantis  -  (Ameles heldreichi)
Heldreich's Dwarf Mantis is as its name suggests a small species of Praying Mantis. This species is typically found at ground level or on low vegetation up to a height of around 30cm. The Heldreich's Dwarf Mantis is extremely fast and agile, as well as being a powerful jumper. This allows the mantis to pounce on its unsuspecting prey or to evade capture from predators. Colours can vary and the Heldreich's Dwarf Mantis can be found in different shades of green, brown or grey, giving it great camouflage against its background.

Adult female specimens are flightless and have short wings that cover less than half the length of their abdomen. The males have longer wings that extend beyond the length of their abdomen. This gives them the ability to take to the air and search for female mating partners. Males usually grow to around 30mm in length. The females are larger and reach around 34mm in length. The typical habitat of the Heldreich's Dwarf Mantis are dry meadows with sparse vegetation. The range of the Heldreich's Dwarf Mantis includes France, Italy, Spain, The Balkans, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Israel, Libya, Palestine, Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, and Russia.

LINK 1    LINK 2    LINK 3



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Carpenter Ant with a body-length of over 20mm!





Carpenter Ant with one cent euro coin to show size.







Pelicans at Paphos Harbour






Pelicans at Paphos Harbour






Pelicans at Paphos Harbour






Pelicans at Paphos Harbour






Feral Cat
Cyprus has an estimated population of anywhere from 100,000 - 1500,000 feral cats roaming the island. These cats can carry diseases and are considered as pests by many local people. One way to visually indicate that a cat is a domestic or spayed cat as opposed to a feral cat, is to clip one of the ears. This should offer some protection when the feral cats are culled. Cats were imported into Cyprus in large numbers during the 4th century to rid the towns of venomous snakes. A job they performed extremely well and to this day the feral and domestic cats in Cyprus are one of the largest risks to the snakes of the island.




Kittens in Kolossi, Cyprus







Feral cat in Paphos, Cyprus.







For reptile & amphibian enquiries contact the Herpetological Society of Cyprus:  herpetsocietycy@gmail.com