Exploring the Enigmatic European Green Toad: A Fascinating Amphibian Species

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European Green Toad

Exploring the Enigmatic European Green Toad: A Fascinating Amphibian Species

 

Learn everything you can about this fascinating species with this comprehensive guide. You’ll learn about its Diet, breeding, behaviors, and pesticides.

You’ll also discover more about their environment and how to care for them. This is a must-read guide for those who are interested in getting one of these beautiful creatures.


Suitable Breeding Pools

Suitable breeding pools are a necessity to ensure the survival of the species.

european green toad

Currently, the Sierra National Forest’s aquatic biologist, Stephanie Barnes, is studying the toad habitat. She says that a watershed’s health determines the suitability of a breeding site for this species.

Creating a suitable breeding area can be incorporated into restoration plans. The genetic structure of European Green Toads reflects the occurrence of different population histories.

Although the toads are similar in general, there is a large diversity of mitochondrial DNA in Crete. While some populations of this island are identical to the populations of Crete, some of them are related to the species of the endemic Balkans.

The Eastern Mediterranean region is one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in Europe. Its rich biodiversity has been influenced by the Mediterranean Sea’s tectonic activity and the Messinian Salinity Crisis, as well as by anthropogenic influences.

Suitable breeding pools for European Green Toads should be big enough to accommodate a male toad. The water should be between two and three inches in depth.

Moreover, it should have a branch or rock to attach the eggs. Aside from the size, the enclosures should have enough water to sustain the toad during its breeding period.

Fine-scale multilocus phylogeographic analyses of continental and insular European Green Toads revealed that a third pair of taxa exist, which involves divergent mitochondrial lineages.

The genetic mapping of the species’ genomes may shed light on the causes of hybrid incompatibilities.


Diet

The European green toad is a small amphibian that has a brown or light gray back with blotches of red or green on it.

The underside is white, and the spots on the toad’s body change color depending on its environment. The female is larger than the male, and she can lay up to 9,000 eggs in one clutch. Females grow to about 10 centimeters, while males grow to about half that length.

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Throughout the year, the green toad travels for several kilometers and feeds on a variety of invertebrates. Earthworms, crickets, and mealworms are common prey items for the toads. They also feed on various types of plants.

The European green toad is a member of the Anuran family and lives in parts of Europe, Asia, and North Africa. This species is widely distributed and is found in cities and parks.

It has adapted well to its environment and can survive in areas of low humidity. It can live in dry soil for months before transferring to water bodies to breed.

During the breeding season, the European green toad migrates to a water body to lay its eggs. This occurs in either fresh or brackish water. Females lay their eggs in a shallow pool in the water body. The European green toad breeds in late spring or early summer.


Behavior

The European green toad is a common species in Europe.

Although once extinct in Switzerland, the species is now common throughout much of Europe. It is attracted to males by a call, and a female can lay up to 2,000 eggs in one breeding season.

However, this species is in danger from habitat changes and pollution. The European green toad has a range that extends from far eastern France to western Russia.

Historically, it was also found in western China and northern India. It now occurs in northern and western Europe, as well as on several Mediterranean islands.

There are fourteen populations of the European green toad in Europe, each classified as a distinct species. The eastern Mediterranean region is one of Europe’s richest biodiversity hotspots.

It has an extensive history of colonization, and its phylogeography has been shaped by tectonic activity and the Messinian Salinity Crisis. However, human-caused changes have also influenced the Aegean Sea’s ecosystems.

The European green toad is a very smart species. When disturbed, it will run towards a shelter to hide and eat. Likewise, when introduced to a stick with food, it will jump toward it.

This is a useful trick for the toad to perform as it grows older. However, the trick can be difficult for an adult to master if it has never been exposed to this technique before.

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Pesticides

There are several different pesticides approved for use on aquatic life, but which one is safe for this amphibian?

In recent years, several studies have shown that two common herbicides are toxic to this species. One of them, imidacloprid, has shown some toxicity in amphibians and may have a limited role in controlling pests.

The use of pesticides is a major threat to the European Green Toad and many other amphibians. Pesticides are found in market gardens, open fields, and even farms.

Pesticides accumulate in these areas, reducing the growth of amphibians and increasing mortality. Pesticides can also cause oxidative stress. Thus, this study aimed to assess how these chemicals affect amphibian’s health and growth.

To assess whether pesticides can cause developmental or reproductive impairment in the European Green Toad, we studied three species.

One was an African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), which is easy to handle and culture in the lab. Its developmental biology and toxicity are well-known, but there are limited data for comparison.

One of the most widely used insecticides is glyphosate, which is toxic to amphibians. The commercial formulation of this herbicide causes developmental impairments, including morphological malformations and reduced growth. In addition, it causes genotoxic effects.


Habitat Destruction

Habitat destruction has been a major concern for European Green Toads.

The species’ distribution has been affected by urbanization, road construction, and agricultural use of biocides. In addition to these issues, the species has also experienced declines in its breeding habitats.

The species was once abundant in Vienna but now its population is minimal. This study determined the spatial distribution of toads in a city. It used data from multiple capture events to calculate SVL.

Toads were surveyed two to three times a week, usually during the night. Surveys involved weighing and measuring toads using digital micro-scales. The decline of the toad population can be attributed to the widespread use of pesticides.

Pesticides, especially DDT, are particularly harmful to amphibians, and their high exposure to these chemicals has probably contributed to their decline.

For example, from the 1950s-1975, DDT was widely used and accumulated in the environment. It was a persistent pesticide and affected a wide range of animal species.

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The study also assessed the breeding phenology of toads in urban environments. The two species had similar rates of extinction, but the locations of the breeding ponds were largely different.

The green toads had breeding ponds that were closer to cities than the common toad. The two species had similar breeding phenology, though the green toad started breeding 9 to 23 days later than the common toad.


Overwintering

The European green toad is a species of toad that lives in continental Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

Its skin is mainly white or brown with green patches and red spots scattered across it. Its body is moist and it has a rounded head. Its large eyes have a black horizontal pupil.

The European green toad has a breeding season that lasts from February to July. This species of toad is active mainly at night, waking up from hibernation relatively late.

The green toad is a stenothermal species, so it does not require a lot of heat to stay warm. Its mating season occurs only during the night when the temperature does not fall below 10oC.

Males call the females by making a high-pitched noise and the female lays her eggs in two cords. The European green toad is at risk of extinction in Samso, Finland, due to human activity.

The village ponds are a source of food for ducks and other animals and are often a great habitat for these creatures. Village ponds, however, are no longer maintained and rushes and common reeds can take over them.

Some locals have found toads in their water bowls, while others have even found them in their children’s beds! Toads usually hibernate in burrows under stones, but sometimes they will also use human-built structures for protection.

They start their hibernation period in late September and hibernate in burrows they make themselves. They can survive on land for long periods of time in one area and hunt insects at night.

 


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