That afternoon we moved on to the Pambak Mountains, northwest of Lake Sevan. East of the village of Hankavan, we visited a valley, surrounded by highlands, with several peaks reaching 3000 m or more. Above timberline, at the end of this valley, we searched for Vipera eriwanensis, one of Armenia’s two high-altitude vipers (the other being V. darevskii, which is limited to the extreme north). It took quite a while before we finally found one, on a south-facing slope.

Habitat of Vipera eriwanensis in the upper parts of this mountain valley near Hankavan.

This pleasant area was furthermore full of Rana macrocnemis and Lacerta agilis. Noteworthy was also the discovery in just a short time of six Coronella austriaca, while in the village down the valley we found Darevskia unisexualis.

Before heading to our hotel, our Armenian friends surprised us by taking us to the mineral hot springs in Hankavan. A half-an-hour plunge into these springs proved to be very relaxing! 

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Males of the sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis brevicaudata) can be entirely green. It’s smaller than the other green lizards and never has blue on the head.
female Sand lizard

Last supper in the field. Standing left to right: Ronald, Kosta, Arjan, Tigran, George, Guido, (sitting) Ben, Bart, Anna, Anni and Marine.