Taxonomy

Alytes obstetricans | Midwife Toad

Distribution

Status

Conservation status

Least Concern

Invasiveness

Invasive species - risk of High Impact

Irish status

Absent

Introduction pathways - 1

Release in Nature

Introduction pathways subclass - 1

Landscape/flora/fauna improvement

Invasive score

19

NAPRA Ireland risk assessed

No

Species Biology

Identification

Small plump toad, up to 5cm long, rough skin with warts, generally grey-brown, cat like vertical pupils, males smaller than females, extremely large tadpoles (up to 7cm) (Booy et al., 2015).

Ecology

Impacts associated with this species are likely to be as a result of its role as a host of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Fischer et al., 2009).

Habitat

Inland surface waters; Regularly or recently cultivated agricultural; horticultural or domestic habitat; Woodland, forest and other wooded land; Constructed, industrial or other artificial habitats

Reproduction

Breeds in slow moving or stagnant rivers, lakes and ponds (Bosch et al., 2009). After breeding males carry 10-15 eggs wrapped in strings on their legs, which are deposited in the water when ready to hatch (Booy et al., 2015). Tadpoles large (up to 7cm) and will frequently hibernate (Bosch et al., 2009).

Pathway and vector description

Introduced into Britain in the 19th century as a contaminant on water plants (Bosch et al., 2009) it is unlikely this species could be introduced to Ireland accidentally. Most likely source of introduction is deliberate release into the wild or escape of a pet.

Mechanism of impact

Disease transmission

Broad environment

Freshwater

Habitat description

Generally found near garden ponds in the UK where they have been introduced (Booy et al., 2015). In its native regions it lives in terrestrial habitats, including temperate forests, semi-arid areas, walls, embankments and occasionally agricultural land or urban areas (Bosch et al., 2009).

Species group

Invertebrate

Native region

Europe

Distribution

World distribution(GBIF)

Native distribution

Native to Iberia, Germany, the Benelux, France, and Switzerland, with the Spanish populations declining (Bosch et al., 2009). Introduced into Britain (Booy et al., 2015).

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2020

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How can you help

Report any sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre. Do not release into the wild or keep outdoors as pets.

References

Publications

Bosch, J., Beebee, T., Schmidt, B., Tejedo, M., Martínez-Solano, I., Salvador, A., García-París, M., Recuero Gil, E., Willem Arntzen, J., Paniagua,C.D. & Marquez, R,. 2009. Alytes obstetricans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009. Booy, O., Wade, M., & Roy, H. (2015). Field guide to Invasive Plants & Animals in Britain. Bloomsbury. Fisher, M. C., & Garner, T. W. (2007). The relationship between the emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the international trade in amphibians and introduced amphibian species. Fungal Biology Reviews, 21(1), 2-9.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species