Iberian Midwife Toad

The Iberian midwife toad is a species of toad endemic to the Iberian Peninsula of small size (less than 5 cm), rough skin of very plump appearance, rounded head and thin snout. The eyes are prominent, laterally set, and the iris is black and gold in colour. The colouring of its dorsal area is earthy, with green or yellowish spots, although albino specimens have been found in adults and larvae. There is little sexual dimorphism in this toad species, with females being slightly larger than males. It is present in Mediterranean forests of oaks and cork oaks, and reproduces in temporary waters. It is distributed over the central and south-western part of the peninsula, reaching as far as inland Portugal. It is a predator of terrestrial invertebrate animals, which feeds mainly on ants. Their habits are mainly crepuscular and nocturnal, with autumn activity in an important part of the central and eastern area. In coastal and northern areas, their presence and activity is more variable. Adults are active at the surface depending on temperature and humidity. Its reproduction depends greatly on the climate and the conditions of the environment, and varies according to the geographical area. Their mating takes place on land with a somewhat complex behavior. The male’s mating song is a short whistle that sounds like the vowel “U”. The care of the eggs comes from the father, who carries the eggs on the ground for a month, carrying them on his hind legs. When the eggs are developed, the male enters the water and releases them, so that the tadpoles hatch. The main threat of the Iberian midwife toad is the loss of Mediterranean forest habitat and the contamination of the water in which the larvae develop. The introduction of fish and crabs also threatens the survival of larvae.