Pyrenean newt and other sightings

pyrenean newt or pyrenean salamander

The Pyrenean Newt or Pyrenean Brook Salamander found in the Anisclo canyon

Whilst out and about recently we’ve come across quite a few interesting creatures, some of which we’ve never had the privilege of seeing before!

In the past 2 weeks we’ve found this shy creature in the Anisclo Canyon and in the Gargantas de Escuain. The Pyrenean newt also known as the Brook Pyrenean salamander (Calotriton Asper) is endemic to the Pyrenees.  Found at altitudes between 700m and 2,500m in shallow slow moving waters favoring water temperatures of about 15 degrees celsius. They are very sensitive creatures and therefore if found are a good indicator of clean water.

The Pyrenean Newt found in the Gargantas de Escuain

Our next find was a pair of courting Green Whip Snakes (Hierophis Viridiflavus) in the valley of La Ripera.

A pair of courting Green Whip snakes

A pair of courting Green Whip snakes

These snakes are most common in the Pyrenees between the valleys of Hecho and Ordesa. They can grow up to 2 metres in length but generally are not found much bigger than 1.5 meters, they also move really fast which is why they are called ‘Whip’ snake. These two snakes were found wound tightly around each other and paid very little attention to us, they are also not poisonous and were really interesting to watch.

Willowherb Hawkmoth

Finally, we have been lucky enough to also find the rare Willowherb Hawkmoth (Proserpinus proserpina) on the GR11 from La Sarra to Refugio Respomuso. They are found in the Pyrenees up to about 2000m and have a hugely variable wingspan between 36 and 60mm.

We’ll keep you posted on any more interesting finds!

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