A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts March 2016

Out and About

A terrace on the pedi valley; below a tup that's done his job for the year; a tortoise who has gone to another place; and some weird homes for insects, spiders?

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Bee Orchid

This orchid is a member of a complex genus with bizarre insect like flowers, in this case a bee. Different species can often be found side by side with hybrids not uncommon.

The insect like nature of the lip attracts males of certain insect species, stimulating them into pseudo-copulation during which they pick up pollen.

Ophyrs sicula subs…

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The first sighting of swallows for me over the village today.

A little poem in Greek;


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Furry Balls & Oak Trees

I found these on the back of a valonia oak tree leaf; probably insect galls at a guess.

The acorn cups are shown below, and the tree from which it fell. Growing in the middle of a very old disused terrace it provides shade for lilies and other plants.

I recently came across a felled oak tree a quarter of the girth of this one that had about 1…

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Cretan Arum again.


They are not around for very long so I make no apologies for posting another picture of them. Neither the white sheath nor the yellow spike  that you see is the flower but the flowers are contained within as you can see in the photograph below.

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A Butterfly Day

A Small white, Long tailed blue, Little copper, Painted lady, Southern festoon and a Clouded yellow. The southern festoon is a first for me on Symi (the eastern festoon being more common) and on Sunday there were hundreds of them!

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These buttercups were growing some twenty foot down a cliff face  above a steep ravine with another eighty foot below them.  Probably Ranunculus marginatus.





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Coin Marked Snake

Temperatures above 20c yesterday brought out this lovely coin marked snake. Unfortunately it was being attacked by a cat so I've put him in the sun in the hope that he recovers. Hemorrhois nummifer. Update: he did and slunk off!

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8 blog posts