Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Midwife Toad makes an appearance - amphibians

We have seen and heard many toads of all shapes and sizes in and around La Pasera. Our midwife toads sing nightly. With their high pitched woop, woop, woop sound resonating at regular intervals we can more or less locate their presence in the rockery, bog garden, fedge or dry-stone walls. Their song is easily distinguished from that of the frogs and other toads which croak or rattle for several seconds at a time.

Common Toad

Our most distinguished visitor up to now (although they are all rather special) has been a St Anthony's Tree Frog (European tree frog - Hyla arborea) which we have only seen a couple of times and only managed to photograph once, after a storm, where it suddenly appeared clinging to the house wall. They are so small and well camouflaged it is no wonder they are hard to spot.




Whilst working in the garden yesterday we came across this wonderful Midwife Toad; so called because it is the male of the species that carries the eggs on his back. We found him in a bag of rubble which we are using for building so we carefully relocated him to a newly created small pond we have constructed in the wild area of the garden. He sat around for a few minutes and then quickly made his way into the water and disappeared under a half sunken tree stump.

Midwife Toad


We have noticed tadpoles appearing in a half barrel of water and plants we have on the terrace. Some of these tadpoles have been there for many months and are very slow to grow. We now know that these are the off-spring of the midwife toad. Let's hope they grow up with ravenous appetites for slugs.




Here is a short film from wikimedia of the Midwife Toad's call:   Link

If you click on the pictures you should be able to see bigger versions of them or a slide show of images.

2 comments:

  1. wow - how fascinating!

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    Replies
    1. They can also carry three different clutches of eggs around at the same time. They are a great addition to the garden.

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