Bufo viridis Laurenti, 1768
Bufo viridis Laurenti, 1768
Syn.: Pseudepidalea virdis Laurenti, 1768 (complex)
Common names: Green Toad [En], Crapaud vert [Fr], Groene pad [Nl], Wechselkröte [De], Rospo Smeraldino [It], Sapo verde [Es], Πράσινος Φρύνος [Gr], Avrupalı yeşil karakurbağası [Tu]
Yılankale, ADANA ● Turkey
IUCN Status: Least Concern (LC)
Taxonomy: Further revision of taxonomy of the Pseudepidalea viridis complex with the use of genetic and biochemical data is needed. There is continuing disagreement over the use of the generic name Pseudepidalea over the use of Bufo.
Description: This beautiful toad ranges from 48-120 mm snout-vent length. The following characteristics are used to describe the green toad: it has a diploid set of chromosomes 2n = 22; the parotoid glands behind the eyes are prominent; the pupil of the eye is horizontal; the tympanic membrane and male guttural resonator are present; the internal edge of the tarsus contains a longitudinal skin fold; the 3rd toe has a singular subarticular tubercle; the tip of 4th finger exceeds the 1st articulation of the 3rd finger; the dorsal skin is tuberculate, greyish or olive with green or olive spots and red or red-orange points on the flanks. The belly is greyish.
Male differs from the female by having nuptial pads on the first finger (in breeding season on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers), smaller body size, and sometimes more greenish dorsal background coloration (greyish in females) during the breeding season.
They comprise at least 12 major evolutionary lineages, and there are variations in the colors and patterns of these toads across their range.
Biology: Green toads are very heat-tolerant amphibians: the upper temperature limit appears to be near +40oC. They are also quite tolerant to desiccation. Green Toad is active mainly in the twilight and at night and spends the daytime in hiding places. During reproduction, toads are active in daytime.
Hibernation occurs on land, but sometimes it occurs in water such as streams, ditches and wells. Toads hibernate singly or in groups.
Reproductive period is also quite variable, from February to July in different parts of the range.
Spawning occurs in a diverse range of water bodies including ponds, swamps, lakes, stream- and river pools, reservoirs, ditches and puddles, as a rule not deeper than 50 cm. Both fresh and saline waters are used for spawning. The Green Toad uses two mating strategies: active female choice by the competing males and active male choice by the females. Amplexus is pectoral. Assortative mating has been recorded. The clutch contains 2000-30000 eggs arranged in 1-2 rows. The spawn is deposited in two strings of 2-7 m length. Metamorphosis occurs from spring through the summer, in dependence on the latitude and altitude. Mass appearance of newly metamorphosed juveniles is typical for the Green Toad. In such cases pond shores may be covered with thousands of toadlets which disperse from the pond soon after their metamorphosis. Sometimes migrating toadlets form large groups moving as a large band.
Tadpoles consume detritus and algae and move towards the shore in daytime and to greater depths in the evening. Adults eat mainly crawling invertebrates, including spiders, beetles etc. Small amounts of aquatic invertebrates sometimes occur in stomachs of individuals caught in the spring along pond shores.
Similar to other toads, the European Green Toad has glands behind its neck that secrete a toxin when the toad is threatened. Female toads are larger than males and can lay 9,000 to 15,000 eggs at a time. They can reach a maximum size of 6 inches, but growth to this size is rare.
Habitat: It is one of the most polytopic amphibians of the Palearctic. It lives in the zones of forests, forest steppes, steppes, semi-deserts and deserts. It inhabits both wet swampy areas as well as dry deserts of different types.
Threats: Destruction of meadows, drying of wetlands, urbanization and recreation may lead to the decline of the Green Toad populations.
Distribution: Europe (from Southern Sweden to North Italy in South and to Rhine River in West), Asia (from Russia to Western China and to Arabian Peninsula and Pakistan) and Northern Africa.
Its real distribution needs further exploration in the context of complex revision of this group.
Kuzmin S.L., 1999.
IUCN Red List
Wikipedia, European Green Toad