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Thegreen toadorBufotes viridisis a very common amphibian in Italy and, together with thecommon toad(Bufo bufo), is the species of the Bufonidae family that we can most often find in our countryside.
Green toad: Bufotes viridis
It is smaller than thecommon toad: reaches a maximum length of 10 cm but on average, they measure around 6 - 7 cm.
The green toad has a skin that is less wrinkled than the common toad (Bufo bufo) and its name is linked precisely to its livery: the skin is characterized by light green, emerald green spots. The ventral area (lower body) is clear.
Thegreen toadit can also be identified only for his owntowards, better defined "singing". Thetowardsit is emitted mainly at night: theBufotes viridisemits an intense trill that can be confused with the cry of the cricket.
Due to its habits, we can easily meet the Bufontes viridis (green toad) which is led to approach not only country houses, but also in the gardens of large cities, in the presence of waterways and humid environments.
Another peculiarity of its appearance is the frequent presence of reddish dots that embellish its livery.
Green toad: where it lives
The green toad is present in Italy in all regions (the common toad it is not present in Sardinia); its natural habitat consists of humid environments, countryside and vegetation. It adapts to different types of habitats, including steppes, mountain areas and, as a premise, urban areas.
It prefers open habitats, with herbaceous vegetation… however it also populates desert environments. THEgreen toadsthey are nocturnal animals, it is during the night that they carry out hunting activities. They can go hunting or "go out into the open" even during the day, but this generally occurs on cloudy, humid and rainy days.
The populations of green toadswhile adapting to different types of habitats, they are undergoing a decrease. The speed with which spawning ponds dry up (drought) can be a threat. Sudden changes in temperatures and above all the conversion of the land with the loss of the soil, are phenomena that lead to the containment of the species.
In some areas, the presence ofgreen toadsit is threatened by the introduction of fish species that feed on tadpoles.
Due to the fragility of its habitats, thegreen toadit is included in the Red List of some European countries. In Germany it is included in the list of endangered animals, in Switzerland the speciesBufo viridisit is now considered extinct while in Austria, as in Germany, it has been included in the Red List of endangered animals.
Green toad: feeding
What does the green toad eat? Thebufo viridisshares with thecommon toad(Bufo bufo) the same supply, namely that thegreen toad eats: butterflies, worms, crickets, earthworms, moths, caterpillars ... It is mainly insectivorous and feeds on small invertebrates. Its size does not allow it to feed on small mammals: the Bufo bufo, on the other hand, can feed on small rodents such as injured mice or newborn mice!
Bufo viridis: reproduction
Spring is a very special time for the frogs: not only emerge from winter hibernation but also prepare for reproduction. The males, during the night, emit a more marked call. During mating, the male fertilizes the laying eggs.
The eggs are laid in cords (gelatinous filaments that can reach considerable lengths), which adhere to rocks, vegetation or more commonly to the bottom of the crazy water in which the same reproduction took place.
From tadpole to green toad
Females lay between 9,000 to 15,000 eggs. The tadpoles hatch from the eggs.
THEtadpolesofBufotes viridisthey have a gray-brown body, up to 4.5 cm long. THEtadpolesthey feed on any organic matter, even if mainly algae.
The water temperature greatly affects the speed of themetamorphosis. THEtadpoles of Green Toadthey can also tolerate brackish water (water with high degrees of salinity).
Thegreen toadis it poisonous? All toads produce a toxic substance called "poison" in jargon. In reality this secretion is irritating only for the mucous membranes (eyes, mouth…).
This poison, nicknamed "toad's milk" is molecularly known asbufotenin,if ingested it has hallucinogenic power and in large doses it can be lethal.
This should not generate alarmism: igreen toadsas well as the specimens of the Bufo bufo species, they are harmless to the touch.