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These two toads i found during one of our spring walks in the woods of Szczecin Zdroje.
An adult male gets about 50-60 mm long and an adult female gets about 80-90 mm long (and i thought it was mother and child, but what it really was was a male and a female making small toadies)
Common toads are largely nocturnal. They are found in ponds only in the breeding season; during the rest of the year they can be found far from water bodies. They have a broad diet, feeding on a huge range of prey small enough to swallow, including insects, spiders, earwigs, earthworms, snails and slugs; they have even been observed eating young toads. They feed only on land and use a 'sit-and-wait' style of hunting. Toads are usually welcomed by gardeners, thanks to their voracious appetites and penchant for garden pests.
The life cycle is similar to that of the common frog (Rana temporaria). Common toads begin to migrate to breeding ponds in autumn. The onset of cold weather stimulates hibernation, which takes place en route in abandoned rodent burrows or in leaf litter. Migration then recommences in spring.
Breeding activity, which occurs between March and June, is often very frenzied in this species, with much competition amongst males over access to females. Males grasp females tightly prior to spawning, and there is aggressive activity amongst males who try to 'take-over' females. 'Mating-balls' may often arise, when as many as 10 males jostle for access to a single female; the female occasionally drowns or is crushed as a result. Successful pairs will spawn; females release a double-string of eggs, which the male fertilises by releasing his sperm simultaneously. The pair moves around whilst spawning, so that the jelly-coated strings of eggs become wrapped around vegetation. One female may produce up to 5,000 eggs, although the usual number is around 1,500. The black tadpoles move away from the spawning areas a few days after hatching. The tadpoles feed on microorganisms and usually gather in groups, which, in addition to the presence of skin toxins, probably protects them further against predation. Despite this, however, they frequently become prey for diving beetles and other species that have piercing mouthparts, and so can avoid the toxins in the skin. It takes 8-12 weeks for tadpoles to develop, after metamorphosis the tiny toadlets occasionally emerge en masse. Sexual maturity is reached after 2-3 years. Common toads can live for a very long time; some captive individuals have reached 50 years of age.
JeanMichel, red45, fungiman, Luc has marked this note useful
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Very good combination of these very useful and protected batracians. These are not frogs, but European or Commmon toads (Bufo Bufo). Action (if I may say so) is well caught, and your low POV works very well. Also, very good exposure, sharpness, colors and details. It seems you've inhibitted their sexual instinct for a while, because, such a sharp image at 1/30 is a piece of luck :-).
Very well captured. You were lucky to get so close, especially at such an intimate moment!
Great detail, some parts are oof, but this can be excused if your subject was moving quite a lot (sorry!).
Thanks for sharing.
Great moment :-) I like this photo and your sense of humour. Good job!
- [2005-03-28 17:37]
Very spring moment Oliver :-) I bet he will hold her very hard :-) Great photo, I like toads and those two are very cute.
Great capture, but DOF could have been better to get everything in focus.
Very nice picture Oliver.
Great moment, toads who cuddle. Very good POV, derails and colours.
Very well done.
Oops out of dimes , points later.
- [2005-04-21 13:03]
Good details on this Bufo's portrait!
Very good composition.
I especially like their eyes.
- bonee (44)
- [2005-04-23 19:39]
Nice toad-sex capture :P
- [2005-04-24 22:54]
Personal assessment of the photo: great.
Strong visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thank you Oliver.
- [2007-12-31 13:37]
FANTASTIC SHOT. Love the colors and the detail down to the grain of sand.
Like it verymuch.