A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts July 2016

Red or White?

July 31, 2016

A more pleasant subject today that's making the most of the sunshine. Red and white bougainvillea, both on the same plant. Personally I prefer retsina.

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July 30, 2016

Not something I've personally come across on Symi but none-the-less an interesting subject photographed by Matt Wilson. Mesobuthus gibbosus

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Πεύκοι, ΡΟΔΟΣ

July 29, 2016

A lazy afternoon spent swimming around the sea shore near Pefkos on Rhodes.

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ΠΕΤΑΛΟΥΔΕΣ, Butterfly Valley, Rhodes

July 28, 2016

Petaloudes or Butterfly Valley is a bit of a misnomer since it's not butterflies that inhabit the ravine but moths or to be more precise Jersey Tiger Moths. The valley has a unique micro climate that is humid and also contains an important food source for the moths, the oriental sweet gum tree.


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July 27, 2016

Keeping the mosquitoes out is one thing but the octopus.........

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Turkish Gecko

July 26, 2016

This time I found this one outside on the underneath of a lemon tree leaf.

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Cory's Shearwater, Αρτέμης

July 25, 2016

Returning on the ferry late yesterday I managed to get some good photos of a cory's shearwater. There were good numbers about a mile out of Rhodes harbour. The yelkoun shearwaters were there too but this time I was not so lucky with them. Calonectris diomedea borealis. Αρτέμης in Greek


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What Lies Beneath

July 20, 2016

Photos taken by Derek Greenaway with an underwater camera at Nanou on 6th July of an immature Mediterranean shag and the fish it feeds on.

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Carpenter Bee.

July 19, 2016

Xylocopa violacea, the beautiful violet carpenter bee on a wisteria plant in the harbour on Symi. Picture by Ελευθερια Κυριακιδη

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July 18, 2016

An early morning walk to the ridge above Pedi and then down to the old farmstead at Gria. The view across the Pedi valley.

The old farm......

And a nearly empty pond.

A "broad scarlet" dragonfly, a new species on Symi for me; a red veined darter and a colourful Oertzeni's lizard all making use of the water.


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Freyer's grayling

July 17, 2016

Another new butterfly for me on Symi, Freyer's grayling or Hipparchia fatua, found down beyond Panormitis. That's 24 species for Symi out of 230+ for Greece and 55 species for the UK.

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Portuguese Laurel

July 16, 2016

Prunus lusitanica is rare in the wild, found mainly along mountain streams, preferring sunshine and moist but well-drained soils of South West Europe and Morocco. It is moderately drought-tolerant. The species was first scientifically described by Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753. Its specific epithet lusitanica means of Lusitania, the Roman …

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Messini beach, Lipsi

July 15, 2016


The view form the top of the hill by the windmill, looking north across the terraces.

Messini bay. About 20 yards out there is a ledge full of sea urchins so not a very good place to swim although the water was warm and a lovely cooling north breeze was blowing on to the beach.

Good shade was to be had under a prickly junipe…

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Short Toed Eagle

July 14, 2016

Or as I prefer to call them, snake eagles, over Horio yesterday afternoon. This one had a quite a few primary feathers missing on one wing.

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Turkish Gecko

July 13, 2016

This is the first time we've seen this chap this summer. It is a Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) or more commonly known as a Turkish gecko. He's supposed to bring good luck to the house and he eats insects and mosquitos!

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July 12, 2016

Another colourful plant that seems to thrive in the summer heat on Symi is the bougainvillea. It is named after Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729–1811) who was a French navigator. The plant comes from Central and South America.

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Geranium Bronze

July 11, 2016

Elsewhere in the yard is the smallest of butterflies called a geranium bronze. Cacyreus marshalli was first recorded in Britain by John Holloway in Kingston, Lewes, East Sussex on the 21st Sept 1997. This was the first new species to be recorded in Britain for 80 years. It is probable that it was introduced in the form of ova or young larvae on pla…

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July 10, 2016

I am always amazed at what can be found in a nearby yard. A solitary black ant is dragging what looks like a  piece of dried fig across the stones. Usually there are hundreds of them going from one place to another all day long.

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Long Legged Buzzard

July 9, 2016

A long legged buzzard making the most of the stifling heat today and using the thermals to soar.

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Opuntia macrodasys

July 9, 2016

Sometimes known as bunny ears cactus or angel wings this cactus is often grown on Symi as a pot plant and enjoys full sun. It is a native of Central America.

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20 blog posts