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The Quest to photograph Britain's reptiles & amphibians by Mark L Pewtress
Who am I?

It is easier to tell you, who I am not. I am not a zoologist nor indeed, any other kind of ologist (I did manage to get a grade C in O'level Biology but other than that, I have had no formal training in this field). I claim no credentials other than my own experiences and limitless enthusiasm.
I have always been fascinated by reptiles & amphibians (and other areas of natural history) and together with my love of photography I am now in a position to bring these two fields together.
I well remember as a child, spending hour upon hour peering into the depths of the pond in our back garden and watching the frogs and newts as they went about their daily business. My childhood opened my eyes to a world I still know very little about. So if you spot any errors on my pages, please let me know - it's how I learn.
Approaching my 50th birthday (January 2009), I decided on the quest of photographing Britain's birds and since then have realised that other forms of life are just as deserving of my attentions. If along the way I can help other 'non-experts' in their own efforts to identifying some of our species, then this is a pleasing bonus. Whilst many of my photographs are, to say the least, poor from a pure photography standpoint, I have included them where they portray the species and offer some help in a recognition process. It is to be hoped that as time goes on, I will be able to replace these 'poor' shots with better quality ones.
The List

If I am going to aim to photograph each of Britain's reptiles & amphibians, the first thing I need to know is - what reptiles & amphibians there are in Britain? It appears that a score-draw is the answer with 6 reptiles and 6 amphibians that are indigenous to Britain. However, a further 16 species appear to have established themselves in recent times.
My list of 28 species, adapted from , RAUK (Reptiles & Amphibians of the UK) is detailed below. (There will, no doubt, be inaccuracies - I am not an expert - and if you find any, please let me know; I am keen to learn.)


Urodeles: newts
Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus)
Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris)
Alpine Newt (Triturus alpestris)
Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus)
Italian Crested Newt (Triturus carnifex)

Anurans: frogs and toads
Midwife Toad (Alytes obstetricans)
Fire-bellied Toad species (Bombina species)
Common Toad (Bufo bufo)
Natterjack Toad (Epidalea calamita)
European Tree Frog (Hyla arborea)
Common Frog (Rana temporaria)
American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
Edible Frog (Rana esculenta)
Pool Frog (Rana lessonae)
Marsh Frog (Rana ridibunda)
Green or water Frogs (?)
Clawed Toad (Xenopus laevis)


Serpentes: snakes
Grass Snake (Natrix natrix)
Adder (Vipera berus)
Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca)
Aesculapian Snake (Elaphe longissima)

Sauria: lizards
Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara)
Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)
Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis)
Green Lizard (Lacerta viridis)
Green Lizard (Lacerta bilineata)
Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

Chelonia: terrapins
Red-eared Terrapin (Trachemys scripta)