Print Posted By Lost in France on 20 Nov 2005 in Wildlife - Wildlife and nature in France

The Midwife Toad

The Midwife ToadThe new man of the toad family. In this species of small toads it's the male that cares for the young. After the female has spawned he carefully wraps the strings of eggs around his back legs and looks after them until they are nearly ready to hatch. He then deposits them in a pool of water where they then hatch out as per normal tadpoles. Unlike other amphibians breeding can take place throughout the summer months. These toads enjoy a varied habitat and can be found right across France from areas close to the sea and in sand dunes to mountain regions.

Like most toads the warty skins on their backs secrete an unpleasant smelling poison when they are alarmed or handled incorrectly, this is to deter predators. They are often found living in small groups and are mostly nocturnal. Good places to look for them in your garden are in your water meter housing, old walls and under damp rocks and stones - but please lift the stones carefully and replace them gently. If your house or cottage in France has old stone walls you may find that the midwife toad has taken up residence, their presence is given away at night by their pleasant bell like call but don't worry as they will do no harm.

Breeding takes place mainly in May and on dry land but often occurs throughout the summer, tadpoles leave the water in Autumn or over winter in the pond till the following spring.

Diet consists of a variety of small insects, worms and spiders.

Size up to 5.5 cm (2.16 inches).

Lifespan 5 or more years.
 

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