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Species of the Month

Cyprus is characterised by great biodiversity of great importance.

  • Is located in one of the Earth’s Hotspots for Biodiversity, in the Mediterranean Basin (25,000 plant species), the second largest after the Tropical Andes.
  • It is included in one of the 10 “mini hotspots” of the Mediterranean because of its high endemism and its significant floral diversity (Medail & Quezel, 1999).
  • It is located in one of the endemism centres of the earth, in the Mediterranean Basin (13,000 endemic species- 52%).
  • 80% of flora species requiring protection under the European Habitats Directives are Mediterranean.
  • Is located in one of the centres of emergence for cultivated land species (Hatzihambis, 2007).

Up to this day far, 1908 different species, subspecies, varieties, forms and hybrids of plants have been recorded in Cyprus. Based on published data, this figure includes all indigenous plants without taking into account cultivated plants. The endemic plants species of Cyprus meaning those the dispersion of which is constricted only to our island, reach the number of 140 (an endemic rate of 7.3%) and are of great importance for our island’s flora.

On the other hand, the Cyprus fauna consists of 30 mammal species that have been recorded in Cyprus of which 16 are bats, 10 are terrestrial, 3 are dolphins and 1 is a seal species. The largest of these is the Cyprus Muflon (Ovis gmelini ophion).

In addition, Cyprus is located on one of the eight main corridors of bird migration from Europe to Africa and vice versa. The birds that have been recorded so far in Cyprus amount to 370 species out of which 53 are permanent inhabitants and the remaining 317 are migratory species. Six of the permanent inhabitants are considered endemic out of which 2 are considered species and 4 subspecies. There are also 22 reptile species in Cyprus, of which 8 are snakes, 11 are lizards and 3 are turtles, 2 marine and one of freshwater. There are also 3 species of amphibians (frogs). There is also a variety of insects found in Cyprus, of which 52 species are butterflies with 9 endemic species.

The Cyprus Centre for Environmental Research and Education presents to you once every month a species from the flora or fauna of Cyprus as the “Species of the Month” and provides you with the most basic information about this species! Cypriot flora and fauna are one of the most valuable treasures of our island and the studying of them will also make us richer …



The species of October 2020

  Name: Lesser grey shrike Scientific name: Lanius minor Family: Laniidae     Description It is a large bird, whose length is 20 cm [4.5] and its weight is 22-40 gr. Its wingspan reaches 32-34 cm [4]. The head and back of the ashes are light gray, while the lower part has ...

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The species of September 2020

  Name: Mt. Atlas mastic tree  Scientific name: Pistacia atlantica Family: Anacardiaceae       Description Mt. Atlas mastic tree is a large deciduous tree with a wide crown and a height of up to 15 meters. It is known by the scientific name Pistacia atlantica. The genus Pistachio, to ...

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The Species of August 2020

  Name: Cypriot Scorpion Scientific name: Mesobuthus Cyprius Family: Buthidae         Description This scorpion has a brownish-brown color, which can be considered as red, especially if observed from a distance [1]. It ranges in size from 3 to 19 cm [5], has four pairs of legs, a ...

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The species of July 2020

Name: Common Myrtle Scientific name: Myrtus communis Family: Myrtaleae     Description Common Myrtle with the scientific name Myrtus communis, is an evergreen shrub up to 3 meters tall. Common Myrtle belongs to the Myrtaleae family. The leaves of the Common Myrtle are small and have a dark green glossy color [1-4]. Its ...

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The species of June 2020

    Name:  Black Francolin Scientific name: Francolinus francolinus Family: Phasianidae       Description The Black Francolin with the scientific name Francolinus francolinus is a bird with beautiful colors that impresses. It belongs to the family of Phasianidae, where the partridge also belongs and is a native species, it not only ...

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The species of May 2020

    Name: Judas-tree Scientific name: Cercis siliquastrum Family: Cupressaceae       Description The Judas tree is a deciduous shrub or tree up to 4 to 10 m tall. It is characterized by its open Branches, which is loaded with thin reddish-brown twigs. The special feature of its leaves ...

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The species of April 2020

    Name: Levant water frog Scientific name: Pelophylax bedriagae Family: Ranidae     Description The Levant water frogs are somewhat thick and have long hind legs with five fingers attached to a membrane. While their two front ends have four non membrane-bound fingers. Observing a Levant water frog will notice its big ...

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The species of March 2020

  Name: Phoenician juniper Scientific name: Juniperus phoenicea L. Family: Cupressaceae     Description The Phoenician juniper is an aromatic, short, silver shrub or small tree, up to 10m high. The flowers are small and on the top small branches, the males are small weeds and the females are also cones, with a dark ...

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The species of February 2020

    Scientific name: Propomacrus cypriacus Family: Euchiridae       Description Propomacrus cypriacus is a large and impressive Coleoptera, a beetle, with a length of 40 mm and glowing black-brown colour. Features are the two pointed ends at the side of the chest and the very long, sawn, front legs [1,2,3]. ...

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The species of January 2020

  Name: Crocus Scientific name: Crocus hartmanianus Family: Iridaceae       Description Crocus hartmanianus is a perennial bulbous perch up to 15cm high. It has 3–4 leaves at the base of the plant, linear, obtuse, equal to or longer than the flower height at flowering, 1–1.5 mm wide, hairless. ...

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