The Natterjack Toads is a species of toad that is commonly found in different parts of Europe. They are noted for their distinct calls and ability to run at high speeds. They have numerous features that make them unique among toads. Read on to learn more about them.
Here is a brief description of Natterjack Toads.
Body: These toads have a distinct flat body with partly webbed feet and short limbs.
Size: The average size of these frogs is around 6-8 cm, even though the male frogs may grow as long as 10 cm.
Head: The head has got 2 large parotoid glands that are located right behind their eyes.
Color: Natterjack toads have got numerous warts on their dorsal sides that typically have dark brown, red or green coloration. The general color of the dorsal half of their bodies may be olive, grey or brown. There is a bright and prominent yellow line that runs from their snouts to their backs. The males have off-white throats that are smeared with shades of purple or blue. The underbellies have a white creamy coloration with numerous dark green spots.
Eyes: The Natterjack toads have golden or green eyes with horizontal black pupils and black irises.
Species: E. calamita
Scientific Name:Epidalea calamita
Natterjack toads are widespread in around 17 European countries and various other locations in different parts of the world. They are also found in Ireland where it is the sole toad species that is native to the country.
They are also found in numerous other locations across the United Kingdom. Natterjack Toad
Scotland specimens are found in plenty. In the east, these toads can be found as far as Belarus and Ukraine.
These toads are very common in open grassland areas and fields that are dominated by the presence of sandy soils. They mainly create burrows in the soil for making their homes. They can also be spotted in lowland heaths, salt marshes and sand dune systems. During the mating season, they can be seen in the shallow temporary ponds where they use the water for their breeding purposes. However, since these toads are not able to swim well, they steer clear of deep waters.
These toads typically feed on small invertebrates like worms, ants, mollusks, woodlice, spiders, moths, ground beetles, small reptiles and certain other creatures. Tadpoles mostly feed on algae during the initial stages.
However, as they grow up, they tend to prefer other tadpoles, dead fishes and various other types of small-sized aquatic animals.
Check out the common behavioral traits of the Natterjack toads.
Natterjack toads are preyed on by numerous types of birds, reptiles and mammals. Birds that feed on these toads include crows, herons and magpies. Some of the other creatures preying on the Natterjack toads include weasels, otters, rats, foxes, great crested newts, grass snakes, stoats and hedgehogs. Fishes, birds, frogs and toads prey on small tadpoles. The tadpoles are also attacked by aquatic larvae of insects such as dragonflies and beetles.
Here are some of the major adaptive features of the Natterjack toads.
The mating season for these frogs lasts from late April to the end of July.
Natterjack toads mate in warm waters of numerous temporary ponds. Males make loud calls to attract female toads.
They have got nuptial pads which assist in mating activity. The females lay around 1500- 5000 eggs that are arranged in a string. These eggs are first laid in shallow ponds in double rows. Later the eggs become arranged in a single row.
The eggs of the Natterjack Toads take only about 7- 10 days to hatch. This is because the breeding ponds where they lay their eggs dry up very quickly.
The small tadpoles become toadlets in about 6-8 weeks. These small toadlets are noted for their dark colored bodies with a distinct yellow line present on their backs. The toads become sexually mature by the time they are 3 or 4 years old.
These toads can survive in the wild for about 15 years.
The Natterjack toads hibernate from late October or early November to end of April. They create burrows in the ground for the purpose of hibernation.
The male toads produce a unique mating call with the help of the one and the only vocal sac that is located under their chin. This helps them to produce a rasping or chattering call. They tend to call in groups around the nighttime.
Natterjack Toads are not kept as pets since it is considered illegal to catch them.Therefore Natterjack Toad sale is strictly prohibited.
The Natterjack Toad is classified as “Least Concern” by IUCN. Over the last few years, their population has been steadily declining due to habitat destruction and pollution problems. Numerous countries have come forward with laws to protect them.
Have a look at some of these fun facts about these toads:
Here are some of the pictures of the Natterjack Toads.
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