Midwife toad Facts

Midwife toad Facts
Midwife toad is a type of frog that belongs to the family Alytidae. There are 5 species of midwife toad that can be found in northwestern parts of Africa, Europe and Majorca. Midwife toads live in forests, woodlands, gardens, rocky areas and quarries. They are equally well adapted to the life in cold mountains on the altitude of 5.000 to 6.500 feet and life in the sandy dunes on the coast. Number of midwife toads is decreasing due to habitat loss and fungal disease called chytridiomycosis. Common midwife toad is endangered in Germany and Switzerland.
Interesting Midwife toad Facts:
Midwife toad can reach 1.25 to 2 inches in length.
Dorsal side of the body is grey or grayish brown colored. Belly is creamy white, often covered with grey markings. Skin of a midwife toad is warty.
Midwife toad produces toxin strong enough to kill adder in just few hours. Toxin is secreted from the skin on the backs.
Midwife toad has stocky body, wide head, pointed snout and short legs. It has golden-colored eyes with vertical pupils. Feet are partially webbed because midwife toad spends most of its life on the solid ground.
Midwife toad from Majorca has flattened body. Specific body shape represents adaptation to the life in deep canyons and tight crevices in rocks (where this toad usually hides).
Unlike other species of frogs (that have thin, elongated tongue), midwife toad has rounded, sticky tongue adapted for catching of insects.
Midwife toads are nocturnal creatures (active at night). They hide under the rocks, logs or in the underground tunnels during the day.
Diet of midwife toad depends on the age. Tadpoles are herbivores (plant eaters). They eat aquatic plants. Adult toads are carnivores (meat-eaters). They eat maggots, beetles, caterpillars, spiders, snails, worms and millipedes.
Midwife toads hibernate during the winter in the underground holes and abandoned burrows.
Adult midwife toads have few natural predators due to strong toxin. Tadpoles are favorite food of fish and large insects.
Mating season takes place from February to August. Males produce bell-like sound to attract females.
Midwife toads have external fertilization. Female releases string of eggs that male covers with sperm.
These toads earned the nickname "midwife" due to protective behavior characteristic for the male toads. Males carry strings of fertilized eggs on their hind legs to protect them against predators. When eggs are ready to hatch, males release them into the pool of cold, stagnant water where tadpoles emerge from eggs and swim away.
Metamorphosis (transformation of tadpole into adult frog) completes in 3 to 5 weeks, usually in September or October. Tadpoles sometimes hibernate before they undergo metamorphosis. Midwife toads reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 to 3 years.
Midwife toads can survive 8 years in the wild.

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