Archive for August, 2010

Quick keyboard shortcut tip for the EURO € symbol.

August 27th, 2010 31 comments

I see that many people are still not aware of the various ways to insert a euro € symbol into their various e-mails, blog posts, IMs etc. and so I’m hoping that these tips will help somebody out there. If you are one of those people, read on!

As I constantly have two operating systems running at the same time, mainly Fedora Core 13 and Windows XP, the way that I have found works nicely in both is quite simply to hold down the Alt key which is to the right of the spacebar, then hit 4 which is typically also where the dollar $ symbol is on my keyboards.

If you are on Windows however and the above tip does not work for you for some reason, try the next one. Again, hold down the Alt key which is to the right of your keyboard and then on your numeric keypad, type 0128 and then release your Alt key.

Let me know if this works for you.

Snakes in Cyprus – First Aid for Poisonous Snake Bites

August 24th, 2010 No comments

This article is part of this one.

  1. Calm
    When treated correctly, poisonous snake bites have seldom serious, irreversible consequences. Calm the patient, let him sit or lie in the shade. Snake bites create shock and fear which is often more dangerous than the poisoning.
  2. Ligature
    Bitten extremities should be ligatured as fast as possible towards the heart. Use an elastic bandage or piece of cloth, never string because it cuts in. Important: The ligature should not be a complete strangulation but has to be applied so as to still feel the pulse. The ligatured limb can get blue but not white. By the ligature it is avoided that the poison spreads too fast in the bloodstream thus saving time to get to a doctor.
  3. Disinfection
    Disinfect  the bite with alcohol, iodine or Merfen on a clean cloth or gauze thus avoiding an infection of the wound and wiping off remaining poison on the skin.
  4. Immobilisation
    Immobilise the limb (like a bone fracture). The immobilisation avoids better blood circulation because of unnecessary movements.
  5. Transport
    Bring the patient as fast as possible to the nearest hospital or clinic. The patient should avoid any stress. Loosen the ligature every 15 minutes for 2 minutes until reaching the doctor. Do not leave the ligature for more than an hour and a half.
  6. Information
    In every hospital or clinic in Cyprus there is antidote available. Nobody has to panic, the medical assistance is sufficient.
  7. Precautions
  • Do not walk barefoot.
  • Tread firmly.
  • Particular caution at nightbreak.
  • Do not turn twigs or stones around without being sure that there is no snake hiding.
  • Do not sit or lie anywhere before having checked the place.
  • Do not hit snakes! Most of the snakes bite only in self-defence. Be cautious when touching “dead” snakes.

Snakes in Cyprus – The different Poison Fangs

August 22nd, 2010 No comments

This article is part of this one.

Aglyphic Type
all teeth unfurrowed harmless
Typlops vermicularis
Coluber jugularis
Coluber cypriensis
Coluber nummifer
Opitholypic Type
teeth in the rear upper jaw
bigger and furrowed
poison gland with duct to
poison fangs
Malpolon monpessulanis
Telescopus fallax
Proteroglypic Type
front teeth in upper jaw
with closed furrows
Eaxample: Cobras (Naja), Mambas (Dendroaspis)
not in Cyprus
Solenoglyphic Type
front teeth in upper jaw
with closed poison duct
poison fangs mobile
in Cyprus
Vipera lebetina lebetina
Categories: All, Cyprus, Snakes
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Bluntnosed Viper – Vipera lebetina lebetina (Linnaus 1758)

August 21st, 2010 1 comment

This article is part of this one.

Vipera lebetina lebetina (Linnaus 1758)
Family: Vipera

Bluntnosed Viper – very venomous

Big strong viper with a sturdy head that is clearly distinguishable from the neck. Relatively small eyes with perpendicular slit pupils and keeled scales. The colour is whitish-grey, straw-yellow till rustbrown. On the back there are two rows of ochre-coloured staggered transverse patches.

Habitat: Sunny, scarcely planted scree slopes. Prefers dry riverbeds with small pools where it waits for prey.
Habits: Mainly day-active very poisonous viper. Nevertheless during the summer months July/August it hunts at night.
Food: Rats, mice and birds. This viper has a very strong poison, its bite must be treated by antidote.

Read more…

Catsnake – Telescopus fallax (Fleischmann 1831)

August 20th, 2010 No comments

This article is part of this one.

Telescopus fallax (Fleischmann 1831)
Family: Colubridae Boiginae

Catsnake – venomous

Slim snake with the head clearly distinguishable from the neck, eyes with perpendicularly slit pupils and a body covered with smooth scales. The colour is grey or brownish. On the back and other parts of the body there are dark patches. The creamcoloured rosy abdomen is normally dark freckled.

Length up to 1m.

Habitat: Balkan, Aegean and South-East Asia
Biotope: Strongly sunned and stony bushy slopes.
Habits: This dusk and night active species can be observed rather rarely.
Food: Lizards, sometimes mice. The prey is killed or paralyzed by a weak venom. For man this snake is harmless because it cannot play its poison fangs because of the small head and mouth.

Read more…

Montpellier Snake – Mapolon monspessulanus (Hermann 1804)

August 20th, 2010 No comments

This article is part of this one.

Mapolon monspessulanus (Hermann 1804)
Family: Colubridae Boiginae

Montpellier Snake – venomous

Very strong snake with a head indented in the middle and strikingly big eyes and round pupils. Head unicolour or bright and dark patches and lines. Body mostly monochrome, grey or greyish brown. Abdomen cream-yellow to light grey.

Habitat: Southern Europe, North Africa and South-West Asia.
Biotope: Above all open and dry landscapes in planes and hills. But also proceeds to the mountains. The species rather like to live in the sunny biotopes. Can live in humid areas, but rather seldom.
Habits: This is a remarkably fast and agile snake which is very shy and flees at the slightest danger uttering a strong hiss.
Food: Lizards, snakes and birds. The poison fangs sitting far behind in the upper jaw are effective only when the prey is already far deep in the throat. The venom serves to prepare the prey for digestion and so to relive the stomach.

This snake is not normally dangerous to man. Only when it succeeds to grip a finger deep enough in its jaw the venom can penetrate.

Read more…

Coin Snake – Coluber nummifer (Reuss 1834)

August 20th, 2010 No comments

This article is part of this one.

Coluber nummifer (Reuss 1834)
Family: Colubridae

Coin Snake – harmless

Strong snake with the head clearly distinguishable from the neck. Eyes with round pupils and lightly keeled scales all over until the very long tail. The upper head can have a variable colouring. On the back from head to tail there are dark brown patches. The total length can reach 150 cms.

Habits: Coluber nummifer is day-active, loves the sun and is remarkably agile. Lives nearby populated areas where it is loooking for food in old stone walls.
Food: Small mammals, lizards and birds. The prey is encircled in the split-second and strangled to death.

Read more…

Persian Large Whip Snake – Coluber jugularis (Linnaus 1758)

August 20th, 2010 2 comments

This article is part of this one.

Coluber jugularis (Linnaus 1758)
Family: Colubridae

Persian Large Whip Snake – harmless

Very big slim snake with a small head clearly distinguishable from the neck, big eyes with round pupils, smooth scales and a long tail ending in a fine tip. The colouring of the back and the sides is variable, it can be darkbrown, olivebrown or even sheer black. The total length can reach 3m.

Biotope: Above all dry intensively sunned areas in the plane, hills or mountains. Lives also nearby waters.
Habits: The Persian Large Whip Snake is day-active and a very agile viper who sunbathes early in the morning and afternoon very extensively.
Food: Small mammals, lizards and snakes.

Read more…

Cyprus Whip Snake – Coluber cypriensis (Schätti 1985)

August 20th, 2010 No comments

This article is part of this one.

Coluber cypriensis (Schätti 1985)
Family: Colubridae

Cyprus Whip Snake – harmless

The only indigenous reptile species of Cyprus is the Coluber cypriensis. Evidently, this is a species only recently discovered and a relatively rare snake. It does not live at the coast and prefers the biotopes in the hills and mountains.

The base colour of the upper side is olive-brown. The front of the body has a fine clear cross-band, the scales of the back are smooth. Judging from the body form the Coluber cypriensis must be a good climber. The carob lizard Ablepharus Kitaibelli should be an appropriate prey for this viper.

Otherwise there is nothing well known about this indigenous.

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Wormsnake – Typhlos vermicularis (Merren 1820)

August 20th, 2010 No comments

This article is part of this one.

Typhlos vermicularis (Merren 1820)
Family: Typhlopidae

Wormsnake – harmless

Very small wormlike snake whose firm round body is covered all around by little scales. The head, which is not distinguishable from the body, is small and short. The almost unrecognisable punctiform eyes are hidden by transparent scales and the small opening of the mouth is merely visible. The tail is very short with a thornlike tip.

Colouring glossy yellow-brown to reddish.

Length about 30 – 35 cms.

Habitat: Balkan, Near and Middle East
Biotope: Lives in planes as well as in the hills or mountains where it is dry and plantation scarce.
Habits: Keeps itself nearly almost withunder objects lying on the soil (stones/wood). Eats ants and their larvae.

Read more…