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THASOS
Plants and Animals

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Plants and Animals

Plants

The summer heat on Thasos causes drought and most of the flora has disappeared at that time. Early spring is a better time to visit Thasos for the flora.

The humid grasslands of Skala Potamias behind Golden Beach form a botanically rich environment and so do the richly vegetated grasslands found near Thasos Town. Other rich botanical sites are found in the highlands, especially on the limestone soils, but also under north-facing cliffs, where some very special plant species can be found. Despite many researches, it is still unclear how many plant species exist on Thasos; new species are still being found, more than twenty in the last decade alone. In total, more than 1,500 plants and flowers have been described, some of which are found only on Thasos.

Pyramid Orchid, ThasosPyramid Orchid, ThasosPhoto: Hectonichus CC 3.0 no changes made

Thasos has at least 27 orchid species, some of which are also found in north-western Europe, such as pyramid orchid and autumn screw orchid, but there are also more exotic species such as the purple asparagus orchid and the broad tongue orchid.

On the coast, in the mountains and in the forests, there are many species of lichen, but some species of moss and liverwort seem to be found only on Thasos.

Shaggy Bracket Mushrooms, ThasosShaggy Bracket Mushrooms, ThasosPhoto: Björn Appel CC 3.0 no changes made

Mushrooms are very difficult to find in summer, even elfin mushrooms on trees are hardly to be found, although there are large shaggy bracket mushrooms on nearly dead poplars. Most of the mushrooms are found in the shade of forests, especially along moist ground along streams. Only after warm autumn rains do we see a few more mushrooms emerge, including meadow ringwort, orange grass stalk, oak leaf mushroom and spiky hair mushroom.

Animals

There are breeding birds on Thasos, such as the house sparrow and the barn owl, and migratory birds including the ibis, the stork and the petrel.

Barn Owl, ThasosBarn Owl, ThasosPhoto: Peter K Burian CC 4.0 no changes made

The insect fauna on Thasos is very diverse and probably consists of between 5 and 10,000 species. However, identification of the different groups of insects is very difficult due to the close proximity of Turkey, so a biogeographical mix of Mediterranean, Balkan and Asian species can be found on Thasos, including bark beetles, ladybirds, mock beetles, black bodied beetles, red necked beetles, dragonflies, ants, grasshoppers, bees (a. bees (e.g. carpenter bee, blue-black wood bee, common sachem bee, horned mason bee, common gargoyle bee, broad-banded creeper bee, four-banded creeper bee, black flanked sand bee, coal-black sand bee), and wasps (e.g. gall wasp, common wasp, common road wasp, urn wasp, German wasp, eastern horned lizard, dagger wasp), bumblebees (common ground bumblebee, moss bumblebee, field bumblebee).

Dragonfly. ThasosDragonfly. ThasosPhoto: James Lindsey CC 3.0 no changes made

Wild mammals are few and far between on Thasos. Brown rats, house mice, European hares, the Erinaceus concolor, a hedgehog species related to the Eastern European hedgehog, eight different bat species (Blasus' horseshoe bat, lesser horseshoe bat, greater horseshoe bat, Capaccini's bat, long-tailed bat, late flyer, common bat, Savi's bat) and the dormouse, that's about it.


Sources

Wikipedia

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info