Apart from the rich and varied birdlife that inhabits this great region, owing to the many different habitats there is also a richness of plant, mammal, amphibian, reptile and insect life. The variety of flora and fauna in this region is spectacular.
During the spring the countryside comes alive with the colour of wildflowers and orchids thanks to the life giving rains of the winter. Orchids that can be enjoyed in the spring include the Albino Butterfly, Sawfly, Toothed, Butterfly and any number of hybrid species.
La Mancha is one of the last bastions where the elusive and critically endangered Iberian Lynx can be seen, or we can pop across the border into Jaén province and look for them in the Sierra de Andújar. You can find otter, mouflon, Egyptian Mongoose and, during the rutting season in Autumn, the hills resound to the calls and bellows of the large numbers of deer.
Due to the amount of wetlands, the sound of frogs in the evening is impressive. There are the Common and Perez’s Frog, Common and Stripeless Tree Frog, Common and Natterjack Toad, and Western Spadefoot. There are also the Iberian ribbed newt amongst others.
Spain has only one poisonous snake, the seldom seen Lataste’s Viper, many might be glad to hear, however it is not uncommon to find the Montpelier, Ladder and Viperine Water Snake. The sometimes quite large ocellated lizard is a joy to see, and the Iberian Wall Lizard is commonly seen amongst rocks and on walls, whilst the Moorish Gecko is viewed as a welcome visitor in buildings to keep the insect population at bay.
Insect life abounds with a large variety of butterflies in their various habitats, such as the Spanish Gatekeeper, Portuguese Dappled White, Scarce and English Swallowtail, Dark Green Fritillary and Comma to name but a few. Many fascinating dragonflies may also be found, such as the Emperor and Lesser Emperor, Broad Scarlet, Scarlet, Red-veined and Yellow-Winged Darters, Violet Dropwing, Western and Beautiful Demoiselles, bluets and clubtails. It is also possible to find scorpions and the very rare Ladybird Spider.
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