03 March 2008

Bufo viridis under a rock


It's been almost 10 months since I mentioned in this post that I was going to write about this particular toad. Well, it's better late than never.

I found this Bufo viridis (also known as Epidalea viridis or the European Green Toad) last May in southwestern Turkey. It was under a large rock that I had lifted up while searching for snails. I didn't measure it, but wrote in my notebook that it was about 7-8 cm long.

We were on a mountain at an altitude of about 1800 mm. That area gets a lot of snow in the winter. In fact, when we were there in the beginning of May, there were still patches of snow on the higher slopes. In the picture below, you can see yours truly standing next to one such patch of snow that had by then turned into a sheet of ice. And yes, it was warm enough to wear a T-shirt.


As for the toad, it survives the harsh winter thanks to the abundant rocks that cover the surface. Its hypolithic hiding spot protects it from the snow, the ice, the cold winds and the sun. The underside of the rock must also be safe haven from its predators. We can say that the generations of B. viridis that live there have adapted themselves to the terrain.


1 comment:

Dave Coulter said...

I wouldn't have envisioned a toad living in those harsh conditions.