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Photo Information
Copyright: Radomir Jaskula (cicindela) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1223 W: 0 N: 3103] (9226)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-07
Categories: Amphibians
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 5400, 35-105 mm 1:4,5-5,6, @ ISO 50
Exposure: f/6.4
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Frogs and Toads, Amphibians of Europe, Amphibians (Amphibia) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-02-09 9:49
Viewed: 7580
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 76
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello my Friends!
Today something much more "acrobatic" :>

This is a Bombina variegata (Linnaeus, 1761) one of only 2 European species belonging to family (Discoglossidae). The English name of this amphibian is Yellow-bellied Toad, Yellowbelly Toad.
I belive that explanation of the title is not necessary when you look at this picture ;>

Of course this pose is not a yoga-relaxing pose! :> Moreover, this is a typical self-defence pose for all Bombina species. When the amphibian is disturbed - like here and now - it tries to say "leave me alone!"

First, the pose strongly suggests that the amphibian is poisonous - note the mosaic of orange-grey colours on its legs (really it is the colouration of entire lower part of the frog's body). And second, the pose can be understand like typical for... dead creature! :> So summarizing the potential pradator "starts to think" before it will eat a "dead and poisonous food" :>

If you would like to see a typical pose for this species, please look here.

The true is that all amphibian species possess some poisons. They can be grouped in few main categories like nerve poisons, hallucinogens, convulsants, or vasoconstrictors. Many of them are deadly even for human.
On the other hand some of these toxins are used by human in medicine (e.g. in HIV infection or as therapeutic drugs) or for hunting (well known poisons from "poison arrow frogs" living in S America).

As the picture was taken on the Balkan Peninsula - in Matka Canyon on the Treska River bank in Suva Mountains, I would like to dedicate it to our Friend from the Balkans - Dejan Kulijer (dejo).

boreocypriensis, nglen, vanderschelden, parvulescubio, mariki, meyerd, matatur, ralfsworld, eqshannon, horia, Argus, marhowie, Alex99, jmp, dejo, tedesse, uleko, JORAPAVI, clnaef, Diegaso, sranjan has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-02-09 9:54]

Hi Radomir . Firstly thanks for the interesting notes to go with this picture. i coloud not see what it was a first until i read the notes. what a unusal thing. good detail and natural looking colours. well done TFS.

Hi Radomir,
Thought you offered us some kind of tasteful fungi. Tasteful?:-)
Definitely a raw capture from a Bombina Bombina. Busy performing some advanced aerobics, I guess.
Well done.
Thanks for sharing your photo.

Hello Radomir!
What a marvelous capture of self-defence pose of Bombina species! Perfect! I observed the similar behavior on Hyla savignyi as well. But this is very beautiful friend!
TFS and nice dedication to our friend Dejan!
Best regards,


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-02-09 10:05]

Hi Radomir

Wow - amazing capture - the lighting and exposure are great - you have really caught the texture well.


Hi Radomir

nice capture in this delicate moment for the frog

all the best,

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-02-09 10:57]

Hi Radomir,

A nice capture,although it took me some time to see it properly,well captured with nice color and detail and thanks for the introduction for this to me unknown species,regards,


  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2008-02-09 11:15]

Hi Radomir,

strangest behaviour, difficult to elicit, but you got it all and a WONDERFUL shot of it to boot. It is really an exceptional picture, Radomir, you can be proud of it.
My best regards

Hola Radomir,
You've captured perfectly this characteristic defence posture of a Bombina, which I think is called an "unken reflex", the term is probably in German but freely used also in English. As you said, it is a display of "unpleasantness" to retard the attention of a possible predator. Your POV and focus were just right to catch this interesting behavior in a nice comp. my friend, thanks for this frame indeed!

Hello Radomir
Cool shot of this self-defenced one :)
Well done with nice note.

Hello Radomir,
I like so much his funny pose,
excellent shot my friend, congratulations,

OK..You convinced me..I will not touch it..I'll get warts:-)

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-02-09 23:34]

Hi Radomir, I also agree with nick.. I also could not understand until I read the note. Superb notes. Ganesh

Hello Radomir,

Very nice picture of this toad. Picture technically perfect. Colours are superb. Very interesting and educative note also.
Very well done,


Hi Radek,
A lovely capture of this toad in a yoga position. Very well seen. Well composed. Excellent details and a equally good POV. Good informative notes. Very good dedication. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Ciao Radomir,
questa foto è notevole per almeno due aspetti.
Il primo è la qualità tecnica dell'immagine, con una perfetta messa a fuoco e con colori luminosi e naturali.
Il secondo è la documentazione fotografica di un atteggiamento tipico di questi anfibi che assumono quando sono disturbati.
Queste sono le foto che preferisco: belle e informative!
Complimenti anche per le note, sempre assai complete.
Buona domenica,

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-02-10 1:31]

Hi Radek

A very good shot of this typical behavior from the Bombina species.
This particular pose is known as the "unkenreflex" in the literature and i saw it very often at the B. variegata species, although i think that B. bombina do it as well. Very good explanatory note as usual, my friend!
Anyway, the details here are terrific and the low POV allows for a good angle for those large yellow patches - characteristic for the species.
All-in-all: a very nice post!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-02-10 3:27]

Hi Radomir,
an original image of this Toad!
Great sharpness and clarity.
The pose is so funny!
Nice colours.
Well done,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-02-10 3:42]

Hello Radomir,
Great capture of a Yellow-bellied Toad in defence posture. Nice use of flash without undesirable reflections and excellent POV and sharpness in capturing this bizarr posture.
Thanks for sharing this excellent contribution to TN.
Best wishes,

This has to be the strangest looking toad pose I've seen on TN Radomir. Great detail, color, and light.
Excellent notes/links on this most odd creature :)
Well done!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-02-10 5:17]

Hi Radomir.
I am amazed a lot. First of all I have never seen this species. Second, it is wonderful and its pose is unique. Timing is fantastic as well as the POV, composition, fine colours and skin reproduction. I like light peace of the BG. It decorates the image very well too. Bravo. Extraordinary by subject and quality picture. My kind regards and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-02-10 6:57]

Ha,ha! What a funny pose for a self-defence and what a fantastic capture!!
Magnificent shot as ever, Radomir. Really amazing and interesting.
Thank you very much for sharing.
My best regards

Hi Radomir, superb macro of a very strange creature with wonderful colors, great details and splendid sharpness, very well done, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2008-02-10 10:33]

Hi Radomir,
Wow! What a pose. It's necessary to read the note to find what it is! Excellent details, colours and POSE of this so nice creature :-)
TFS, José M.

Ciekawy okaz,³adne zbli¿enie i kolory.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-02-10 20:07]

Hi Radomir,
Wonderful shot with such clear details and lovely colours. Great pose captured. Superb lighting, exposure and DOF. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-02-11 4:43]

Hi Radomir,
you've outdone yourself once again...what an amazing photo! It's mesmerising to look at, your clarity and sharp detail are truly wonderful here! Thank you also for your knowledgable explaination as to why this toad is lying like this, i did wonder!
Informative and great to look at, can't ask for more, thanks!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-02-11 9:27]

Hello Radomir,
How amusing to see a Toad having a good scratch!!:-) I really didn't know that this was a defence mechanism! Many thanks, and it is a very fine capture showing sharp details and the bright yellow patches! Very inteesting note too!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Radomir !
To be honest, I really didn't know what I was looking at first - juste some ugly wet thing without any shape ! :-) Then I looked the picture you linked in your intro and I discovered it was a FROG ! Wow, the pose is amazing ! Very interesting picture and note ! Excelent picture, natural colors, wonderful composition and POV ! Very well done !

Wow, very interesting subject. Nice take indeed. Wonderful POV and DOF.
Best regards,

Hola Radomir,
Interesante especie de rana, en una pose curiosa, buena definición donde se observan muy bien los detalles, Saludos
José Ramón

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2008-02-13 9:01]

Hi Radomir,
:) I have read Your notes but missed the final words, sorry :(
Thank You very much for this beautiful dedication, I'm honoured!
It's a great capture of this B.variegata in its defence pose, I like the POV and details,
nicelly composed,
best regards,

hello dear friend Radomir,
Interesting but a great capture of Bombina variegata. I saw it from only book and web. Up to now, I have seen B. bombina with red spots. They are similar and beautiful species. It is looked very nicely on your shot with great focus, details and superb colors. Nicely composed and framed. Thanks a lot. best wishes

Hej Radziu
Super zdjęcie. Nie wiedziałam, że kumaki są aż tak wygimnastykowane :)
Technicznie zdjęcie bez zarzutu. No i bardzo fajna notka.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-02-25 14:37]

Hi Rado,this is great!! Take in a decisive moment and whit fantastic sharpness and colours,thanks for share,Luciano

Que voilà un spécimen original et bien documenté.
Bonne journée.

Hi Radomir
This is a very interesting pose you captured of this Toad. I must say I've never seen this species before. It's nice to learn about new species. Your notes are informative.
TFS Janice

Dear Radomir,
Excellent capture of the moment by you of Bombina simulating "Rigor mortis" with perfect title. TFS.

Hi Radomir,

That's cool. I liked it and i congratulate you because the picture is wonderful.


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