Common Spadefoot

Common Spadefoot

Taxobox
name = Common spadefoot toad
status = VU
trend = down


image_width = 240px
image_caption = "Pelobates fuscus"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Amphibia
ordo = Anura
subordo = Mesobatrachia
familia = Pelobatidae
genus = "Pelobates"
species = "P. fuscus"
subspecies: "P. fuscus fuscus " and "P. fuscus insubricus"
binomial = "Pelobates fuscus"
binomial_authority = Laurenti, 1768
The Common Spadefoot ("Pelobates fuscus") is a species of toad of the family Pelobatidae, native to an area extending from central Europe to western Asia. It is also commonly known as the Garlic Toad, the Common Spadefoot Toad and the European Common Spadefoot. In italian: pelobate fosco or rospo bruno del Cornalia.

Physical description

The common spadefoot grows to a length of approximately 6.5 cm for males and 8 cm for females. The skin colouration varies depending upon habitat, gender and region, but is usually light-grey to beige-brown on the dorsal surface. The skin is mottled by darker marks that differ between individuals. The belly is white, sometimes with grey mottling. Albino specimens have been observed.Two subspecies are traditionally recognised: "Pelobates fuscus fuscus" (from central Europe) and "Pelobates fuscus insubricus" (from N. Italy). In reality there is no physical or behavioural character allowing to distinguish these supposed subspecies. A recent study by Crottini et al. showed that there is no haplotype segregation for the populations of N. Italy, that, therefore, are not to be ascribed to a different subspecies. Anyhow, haplotypes from some N. Italian valleys are very characteristics and support a different conception in terms of saveguard: not for a different taxonomic position but, instead, for a peculiar differentiation. A part from this, it is important to state that populations from eastern Europe appear sufficiently different to warrant a possible species status (thus "Pelobates vespertinus").

When alarmed, it emits a very loud call (alaming call) and it can exude a noxious secretion which bears a garlic odour; hence the common name: "garlic toad".

References

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