Wildlife in Italy: Dusky Pelobate

Wildlife in Italy: Dusky Pelobate

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Amphibians
Order: Anura
Family: Pelobatidi
Kind: Pelobates
Species: P. fuscus
Subspecies: P. f. insubricus

Lowland and hill species widespread in most of Europe, from the east of Holland, Belgium and France, through Germany, Denmark and central Europe, up to Siberia (Russia) and north-west of Kazakhstan. An isolated population in central France in Argenton-sur-Creuse. In northern Italy (Po Valley) there is a subspecies Pelobates fuscus insubricus, geographically isolated from the nominal subspecies (Other information).

Distinctive characters

The male measures 5 cm, the female 6 cm; the pupils are large and elliptical in the vertical direction. It has a large metatarsal tubercle (even 7 mm) of a brownish-yellowish color. The coloring of the back is brown with jagged spots. The belly is lighter, whitish in color.


It is an insectivorous species. He leads a "fossoria" life in grassland-wooded habitats for most of the year. With its horny spurs, it manages to bury itself at several tens of centimeters deep, from which it comes out only on rainy nights.
Only during the copious spring rains that it goes to the reproductive sites (small ponds, ponds and rice fields). Here they move into the water and male and female emit sounds similar to a deaf "clock-clock" to locate themselves.
The male encircles the female in an embrace. During mating, the male and female continue in their song, difficult to hear outside the pond. The female soon lays in fairly short oval cords (about half a meter) and 2-3 cm wide. Inside the eggs are not arranged in a regular way.
Tadpoles at first very small in June reach large sizes (even more than 10 cm). The tadpoles have the cloacal orifice that opens on the lower side of the caudal fin, while that of the green frogs opens on the right side of the same caudal blade (

Pelobate fosco (photo Matteo Di Nicola

Pelobate fosco (photo Simone Rolle

Video: Italy: Animals beat heat with icicles to chill in the zoo (August 2022).