Fântanița - Murfatlar Nature Reserve

   Put under protection in 1932, the reservation is located 1 km south of the city of Murfatlar, on the left side of the road Constanța - Ostrov and occupies an area of ​​82.74 ha, being included in the Murfatlar forest, whose area is 771 ha.
   Since 1962, the reserve is protected by law and houses a number of rare species of plants and animals.

   With the arrival of spring, the steep coast is covered by the richness of the colors of the many flowers that can arouse the envy of any landscape painter. Thus, the spring brandy, the wild irises, the dedications, the wild smiles, the Russels are a real delight for those who visit this reservation. In the valleys that cross the slope and which borders a natural forest, the violins and drummers are among the first announcers of the spring. In fact, from the "Fântânița" reservation, many new plants for science have been described, most of which carry the specific epithet, derived from the name of Murfatlar locality: ruscuța, colilia, Murulat violin thistles. The woody vegetation on the reservation valleys is composed of fluffy oak, Balkan oak, brumariu oak, mackerel, honeysuckle, jugas and Tartar maple. The multitude of studies carried out led to the description in the reserve territory of about 515 species of plants, as well as numerous species of animals characteristic of the Dobrogean steppe areas. Among them we mention two species of ferrets: the ferrets of the steppe and the ferrets and a species of small rodent, the greyhound. Also, the presence of the Dobrogea turtle, whose spreading area in our country is limited to a few points in the Dobrog steppe, especially on the forested streams of the reserve, as well as the river snake, the largest and fastest snake has been reported. from our fauna, along with numerous lizards that populate the sunny coast in the center of the reservation. Among the birds we can see a close relative of the drop, but much smaller, protected by the law: the hornbill. Among the many species of invertebrates, we must first mention the presence of two species of snails resistant to the summer heat of the Dobrogean steppe: zebrine detrita and helicella candicans.
   The numerous floristic species and the landscape value of the area make this reservation an important attraction for tourists.


In the area of the forestry are found the following types of oak, summer oak, blagun oak, Carpinus Orientalis, acacia, Gleditschia triacanthos, Quercus Pubescens, Fraxinus Ornus, acer, silver lime etc. Apart from Cerris, common is the red oak, winter oak, summer oak, blagun oak. Other more common tree species are Gleditschia Triacantho, mountain ash, maple, silver lime. There are also hornbeam, Carpinus Betulus, elm, Fraxinus Ornus, birch, walnut, wild plums, Mahaleb Cherry, Colеus, pear, mulberry, Acer platanoides, Acer Negundo, field maple, Malus Sylvestris, various poplars and willows.
There are trees that do not occupy a large area as lilac, apricot, wild husks, laburnum, Acer Tataricum, Sophora, Corylus colurna, Sorbus Torminalis, Ailanthus Altissima, Aesculus Hippocastanum.

Qurcus Robur (fluffy oak)is a deciduous tree belonging to the Fagaceae family. The trunk is straight with a height of 50 m, the crust is deep and brown-black. The crown is wide, with vigorous branches. The acorn is its fruit and it is yellowish brown. It lives up to 500-600 years, exceptionally reaches 2000 years.

Acer Campestre (field maple) is a short shaft (15 m), it has leaves with 5 (3) uncogged and small lobes. The fruits have kind of straight wings, so that together form an angle of 180°. This is a hardwood tree which is used to manufacture carts and tool handles, agricultural tools etc.

Tataricum Acer (Tatar Maple) is a short shaft, which is part of Aceraceae family, with a height of 10 m. It has a smooth gray bark. The trunk has a diameter of 30 cm, with a gray-brown bark. The leaves are wide and elipsoidal, with a length of 7 to 12 cm. This shaft has winged red-purple fruit.

Cotinus Coggygria is a large shrub, it has alternate leaves, oval and long, with the entire borders. The flowers are grouped in gray-yellow and they have a fluffy panicles creating the smokelike appearance around the plant. Blossoms appear in June.

Adonis Vernalis (Bird’s Eye) is a beautifula bright yellow flower. It always flourishes around Easter. It is said that these flowers would be born of the tears of crucified Christ. Another legend, much older, about the Latin names of flower - Adonis vernali - reminds about the Greek Adonis, a handsome hunter who fell in love with Aphrodite. Ares, god of war, who was also inlove with goddess of beauty, kills him, but Adonis is turned into a plant, bird's-eye, that blooms from March to April.

Amygdalus Nana (Dwarf Almond) is a shrub with a height of 1.5 m. The flowers are pink, it blooms from April to May, and fruits are red.

Ranunculus Illyricus (Buttercup) is a perennial mid-sized (20-60 cm, depending on soil). The name comes from the appearance of flower: the branched and thick root looks like a claw. The flower is colored differently depending on the species: red, pink, orange, however, they are usually bright yellow. This plant flourishes by instalments, from May to the beginning of July.

Carduus Nutans (thistle) is a common plant on our land. It has a great capacity to protect the body and help you cope with toxins and poisons. It is a thorny plant that grows in dry pastures, uncultivated places, roadsides and fields.

Orientalis Carpinus is a native shrub that rarely exceeds 5 m, it is similar to hornbeam but it is much smaller. The bark is smooth, gray, and the leaves are oval and small. With soft oak, Turkish sour cherry, manna, it makes up thickets on sunny slopes. It has a temper of light.

Jasminum Fruticans (Wild Jasmine). In the symbolic language of flowers jasmine is associated with grace, love and kindness as it spreads its fragrance generously. Jasmine grows wild as a small shrub with thorny branches, leaves are little crooked and the flowers are yellow and fragrant.

Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) is a vigorous shrub with many stems, with strong thorns, leaves with five leaflets, white flowers. It has curative qualities and pharmaceutical shares.

Pulsatilla Vulgaris (pasqueflower) grows in spontaneous flora in lowland meadows, hills and mountains. It blooms spring time,in March-April, in bundles but never quite solitary. It is as beautiful and feeble as toxic.It is neve used internallz only in well dosed phytotherapeutic preparations, homeopathic or external use. The aerial part of the plant is harvested for therapeutic purposes. The Popular names: Easter flowers, cats, little sousl, wind grass, fish flower.

Paeonia Tenuifolia (steppe peony) is a perennial, rare and protected herb. It blooms from the second half of April until the and of May. It belongs to Paeoniaceae family.

Scilla Bifalia (viola flower) is the most famous and beloved flower. It belongs to Violaceae family. Distinct feature is the flowers consist of a maximum of 5 segments, located in the top of its long scape.
The main colors are white, violet, purple and yellow.

Satureja Hortensus (savory) is a perennial herb of the Lamiaceae family. It does not achieve more than 20-30 cm high. Savory flowers are small and their colour is white or pale pink. Savory is similar in appearance with rosemary. It is used in various meals.

Scutellaria Lateriflora (Mouth of the Wolf) is used in empirical medicine for convulsions treatment, against hysteria and anxiety states. Due to calming effects on the nervous system and muscle it was used in popular medicine to treat rabies, hence the name "mad dog’s weed". It is part of the mint family and it is used in therapy.

Ajuga Chamaepitys is a species of flowering plant of the family Lamiaceae. Popularly known as Ground pine, the plant has the same characteristics and properties as Ajuga reptans. Ajuga Chamaepitys can be found in Europe, the Eastern part of the Mediterranean, and North Africa.

Ajuga Reptans is an herbaceous flowering plant native to Europe. This plant is often used as an ornamental plant.

Hyacinthella leucophaea. This is quite a large-flowered species with parallel-sided pale blue to virtually white bells with a hint of sky-blue. These are crowded together into a short spike, from which they jut at different angles to give a „quirky“ yet attractive appearance. This is short in stature, just 15 cm tall.

Cornus Mas (The European Cornel) is a species of dogwood native to southern Europe and southwest Asia. It is a medium to large deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 5–12 m tall, with dark brown branches and greenish twigs. The leaves are 4–10 cm long and 2–4 cm broad, with an ovate to oblong shape and an entire margin. The flowers are small (5–10 mm diameter), with four yellow petals, produced in clusters of 10–25 together in the late winter, well before the leaves appear. The fruit is an oblong red drupe 2 cm long and 1.5 cm in diameter, containing a single seed.

Crocus Sativus (Autumn Saffron) is a Mediterranean plant, which produces the spice turmeric, aromatic oils and many other substances that are used in medical nutrition. Saffron is herbaceous plant, perennial crops, which can reach 30-40 cm in height. Its leaves are long and narrow. Its fruits are small and white. Flowers are purple, with purple lines. It grows underground stems (rhizomes) and belongs to Crocus species.

Dianthus Leptopetalu. Closely related to carnation, it is a beautiful flower that is found in Romanian gardens in almost all colors (white, red, purple, pink etc.).


Fantanita Reserve covers a scarp, crossed by narrow and shallow valleys and hosts over 500 species of plants characteristic of southern Dobrogea area, predominting the Pontic elements, followed by the Balkan Continental, Mediterranean and Eurasian. The fauna includes many species characteristic of the steppe of Dobrudja.
The remarkable value of the site is given by the presence of protected species of bird population worldwide, of the Mediterranean, Balkan and Black Sea species of mammals and reptiles and species of invertebrates, especially Lepidoptera family which has a maximal value.

Erithacus Rubecula (Red goiter). For both male and female the feathers are greysh with a rusty stain on the chest. It nests in hallows or fallen tree trunks, the nest has 5-6 blue eggs, rusty stained. The female incubates them alone, for 13-14 days. Winter is often singing in places where it is installed.

Sturnus Vulgaris (Starling). The body is black, with intense green and purple reflections on the head and chest. It nests in hollows and holes in walles, reed roofs and concrete pillars. Eggs,5-7 in number, are light blue.
The incubation, 13-14 days, is made by both partners. It can raise 2 generations of cubs/ season. In winter the northern populations retreat to south-west area. There are large flocks even in winter, especially in the south-east, as birds coming from the north.
They imitate songs of other birds.

Cuculus Canorus (Cuckoo). They belong to Cuculidae family and look like sparrow. Slender birds, of medium size. They feed on insects, insect larvae and fruits.
Most of them lay their eggs in nests of other birds, but most cuckoos raise their babies alone.

Accipiter Gentilis (Blackthorn hawk). Length 50-60 cm, it is a medium size predator. It has brownish grey feathers on the back, the chest is a more lighter brown with black stripes. Attacks small birds and mammals. The nest usually has 3-5 eggs. Brooding is done more by the female, for 35-38 days. The male supplies her in this time with food. The attack is premeditated, using very different tactics, depending on the prey or location.

Accipiter Nisus (Hawk). It is a very rare species of brooding bird. The male has dark gray feathers on the back, the female brown. On the chest the male has red stripes and the female brown. The nest has 3-5 white eggs speckled with brown. The brooding is done more by the female for 32-35 days.
It resembles to the short legged hawk, but the main difference is in the iris, wich is yellow and not orange. Pica Pica (The Magpie). Magpie has black plumage with white shoulders and chest, the tail is black with green reflections. Strictly sendentary, it makes a nest from thornes, with entrance from lateral sides. Eggs, 5-7 in number are layed in April. The eggs - green with brown staines are rotten by the female in 17-18 days.

Turdus Merula (merle, blackbird) has a length of 27 cm. The male is black, the female is dark brown. Nest is built at low height of the ground, in bushes, shrubbery. The full spawning is laid down since April, especially for populations in parks towns. The 4-5 blue-green eggs, sprinkled with brown, are rotten by the female for 14-15 days. There are 2-3 series of chicken that arise in summer time.

Upupa Epops (hoopoe). The popular name is Armenian cuckoo. Its length is 28 cm. As a distinctive sign the hoopoe has a comb made of orange and black feathers on top. The wings are white with black stripes and the rest of the body is yellow-orange. Hoopoe makes its nest in the hollows that are not lining up. Female lays up about 8 eggs and the incubation period is 16 days.The babies comes out by turns and they are fed by both parents.

Perdix Perdix (Partridge). The feathering is bright brown with the neck and goiter gray. The male has a more pronounced brown spot on the neck. It nests on soil, in the grass. The eggs, 10-20, green-yellow, are layed in May and are rottened only by the females. Although sedentary, without food partridge wanders from one place to another.

Ablepharus Kitaibelii (Small lizard). The total length of the lizard is 8-12 cm, but just the tail has 5-7 cm. The legs are short and skinny, the hole of the ear is very obvious. Scales are smooth and wide. The lizard is very agile, hard to see and catch. It walks and runs by lateral movement of the trunk and tail. It is mostly active in the first hours of the morning and before sunset. The female lais up to 15 eggs. In captivity it is tamed easily, feeds on earthwormes, flies, spiders.

Apodemus Sylvaticus (Forest mouse). Rear paw 20- 25 mm, tail 120 – 170 scaly rings, weight 18 – 25 g. The belly and legs are white, the back is red, and it has a yellow stain on the chest. It is very good at climbing trees, it feeds in general with seeds, wild fruits and more rarelly with grains. Digs deep galleries 30-50 (70) cm, especially under the roots of trees and bushes. The female has 4 – 6 cubs, 3 – 4 times a year.

Lepus Europaeus (The hare). The head and the body 600 – 700 mm, tail 75 – 100 mm, rear paw 135 – 150 mm, ear 120 –140 mm, skull 85 – 95 mm, weight 3 – 5 kg.
The back is yellowish-brown, with black spotes. The abdomen is white and the nack is yellowish brown.The tail is dark brown in the front and underneth white.

Erinaceus Europaeus (Hedgehog). Length of body 200 – 300 mm, tail 20 – 45mm, rear paw 40 – 45 mm, skull 55 – 65 mm. The body is stocky and short. Wide ears and little black eyes. The face is yellowish-white or yellowish-red. Black whiskers. Spines at the middle and top dark brown, the rest yellowish. The female is more bigger than the male, with sharper whiskers, stronger body and a brighter color.The cubs are born with white spines. It hibernates from automn to March. The adult female has 3 – 8 little cubs. Brings real agricultural services by destroying a large quantity of insects, worms and mole cricket.

Spermophilus citellus (Gopher)
. The head and the body 180 – 230 mm, tail 50 – 70 mm, ear 10 mm, rear paw 35 – 40 mm, weight 240- 340 g. The head is round with small ears. The lips, chin and neck are white. The forehead is a mixture of yellow and reddish brown. Whiskers and nails are black. It diggs up long galleries 30-40 (sometimes 150 m) where it gathers supplies for winter. The food is in summer seeds, roots, grains, rarely consuming animal feed. The mating period is in spring (march - april). The female gives birth once or twice a year to 3-8 cubs.

Vormela Peregusna (stained ferret). Head and trunk 32-38 cm tail (final brushless) 15-20 cm, rear foot (without claws) 4-5 cm. Bushy tail, ears rather large and rounded at the top, the edges white. Head brown, dark. A transverse white band above the eyes. Sides white mouth. Abdomen blackish. Tail gray. The typical steppe, avoiding places look, rarely met and river valleys, in addition to human settlements, through the gardens, barns, straw sire. Digs a hole and often uses gopher galleries. It feeds on rodents, birds, lizards, gopher summer more. Pairing in March. 4-8 female puppies born after 8 weeks.

Mustela Eversmanni (Steppe Polecat). Head and trunk 35-38 cm, tail 12-16 cm, weight 0.7 to 1.3 kg. Similar species Mustela putorius, but with lighter hair. Back brown-yellowish abdomen slightly darker. Eye stain darker. Spread in eastern Europe and western Asia, prefer steppe. Known to us only in Dobrudja. Misocricetus Newton. It is found only in Dobrudja.

Talpa Europaea (mole). Length of the body 125 – 150 mm, tail 25-28 mm, rear paw 15-19 mm, skull 30-38 mm. The body is short, fat and cylindrical. The eyes are abanos black and they get confused with the fur color, they are as small as a grain of opioum. Short tail, the fur is generally dark brown with bluesh or white reflections. Some have the fur black with white spots and very rare, some are white completelly. It lives only undergorund in complex galleries recognized by the mounds of earth on top.

Spalax Leucodon
. The body is 18-27 cm long, weight 140 – 220 g. It is covered in thick and silky fur with a gray-reddish color.
Legs, very small compared to the body, have strong nails used for digging. It is perfectly adapted to life underground, living almost exclusevely in its galleries. Each one diggs its own network of galleries. The cubs nest has a 30 cm diameter and is lined with herbs. To make the galleries it uses the claws and teeth. It feeds exclusively on grass and roots.
The mating period occurs in spring, when they rise to the soil, especially males. They make one genaration of 2 – 4 cubs a year. In the rest of the time it lives alone. It is on the food list of fox, polecat and night predators.

Coluber Jugularis (Evil Serpent). Harmless, attitudes of cobra, useful in biological control of field rodents.

Testudo Graeca (Dobrudja Turtle).
Length of 15-27 cm. Males are distinguished from females by long and strong tails, by insertion of the posterior notch size, the scales supracodal very bulging. Shell yellow-dark brown or olive uniform, each plate is bordered by black spots, irregular. They prefer dry land, with high bushes, forest steppe, the loving warmth. It feeds on plant roots, earthworms. Females lay by May-June, 4-12 spherical eggs, white, which hatch in 70-80 days. Perform well in captivity. Live 90-125 years. It is protected by law and declared a natural monument.

Zebrina Detrita is a species of air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Enidae.

Carpocoris Mediterraneus is a species of shield bug in the Pentatomidae family. It is widespread throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a polyphagous vegetarian.

Ephesia Fulminea (Moth). Family Noctuidae. This family is the largest in the Lepidoptera and has approximately 20,000 species. Most moths are gray to brown in color and have line or spots on their wings. Some species are brightly colored. They are small to large in size, and most species are medium-sized with wings of 2-4.5 cm. When at rest, adults of most species hold their wings above their bodies like a roof. Noctuids are typically nocturnal , though some species are diurnal . Most larvae feed on plant foliage , dead leaves, lichens, and fungi, many are serious forest pests.

Acrotylus Insubricus. It is one of the most greedy insects, devouring daily amount of food equal to its weight. Adults weigh 2-3 grams and length does not exceed 50 mm.