CROATIA 2013

 

 

Amphibia: ANURA (Frogs & Toads)

We only found three species of anurans but the weather was dry and hot for most of the time, it only rained on the day we went to Istria.

Bufonidae:

Bufo bufo spinosus - Mediterranean toad
The Common toad (Bufo bufo) is relatively large species (100-180 mm) and one of the most instantly recognisable and frequently encountered amphibians in Europe. The Mediterranean toad (Bufo bufo spinosus) is the subspecies encountered in southern Europe and the same taxa we encounted in Thrace in 2012. This Mediterranean subspecies possesses more spinous skins than the nominate subspecies found in northern Europe, but the specimen er encountered, found sheltering under an old sack besides a trail in the western Medvednica notthwest of Zagreb, was not especially spinose in appearance. Mladen said this toad had been there for many days.

Mediterranean toad,
Bufo bufo spinosus

western Medvednica, northwest of Zagreb


Bombinatoridae:

Bombina variegata scabra - Balkan yellow-bellied toad
We found only a single specimen of Balkan yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata scabra) in a small upland stream in Thrace in 2012 but in the western Medvednica, northwest of Zagreb, we found a large number of these anurans in water-filled wheel-ruts on the junction of two well used trails. The Greek specimen demonstrated its defensive posture, known as "unkenreflex", which involves arching the back and covering the eyes with the forelimbs and again exposing the aposematic bright flashes from below, but none of the Croatian specimens adopted this pose.

Balkan yellow-bellied toad,
Bombina variegata scabra

western Medvednica, northwest of Zagreb

 

Ranidae:

Rana dalmatina - Agile frog
The Agile frog (Rana dalmatina) is a common species in central and southern Europe where it inhabits ponds and flooded woodlands. We found two species in the damp, mossy woods where we were searching for Balkan adder (Vipera berus bosniensis) to the southeast of Zagreb, near Velika Gorica.

Agile frog,
Rana dalmatina

near Velika Gorica, southeast of Zagreb