Alytes obstetricans | Midwife Toad



Conservation status

Least Concern


Invasive species - risk of High Impact

Irish status


Introduction pathways - 1

Release in Nature

Introduction pathways subclass - 1

Landscape/flora/fauna improvement

Invasive score


NAPRA Ireland risk assessed


Species Biology


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).


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).


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


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


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


Native region



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 2022

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.

How can you help

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



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