PELOBATES CULTRIPES (Iberian Spadefoot Toad). PREDATION
MARANGONI, F,; TEJEDO, M
Society for the Study of Amphibian and Reptiles , Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University
Lugar: New Haven, Conecticut, USA; Año: 2007 p. 190 - 190
The Iberian spadefoot toad, Pelobates cultripes, occurs in southern France and throughout most of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) (Lizana et al. 1994. J. Herpetol. 28:19-27). In south Spain, Pelobates cultripes breed in a mosaic of small temporary ponds and streams that generally fill with the first autumnal rains in October-November drying at the end of May (Tejedo and Reques 2002. In: Pleguezuelos et al. [eds.], Atlas y libro rojo de los anfibios y reptiles de España. Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza, Madrid, pp. 94-96). Birds, mammals and reptiles has been reported as important predators on juvenile and adult of P. cultripes (Salvador and García-París 2001. Anfibios españoles. Identificación, historia natural y distribución. Canseco [Ed.], Talavera de la Reina. 269 pp.; Díaz-Paniagua et al. 2005. Los anfibios de Doñana. Organismo Autónomo Parques Nacionales, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente [Ed.], 181 pp. and references therein), eventually when the female emigrate from their summer refuges to the ponds to reproduction (Tejedo, pers. comm.). On 5 November 2001, at 1920 h, in a temporary ponds near Aznalcóllar (Seville Province, Spain, 37º31N, 6º16W; elev. 130 m) we observed an adult gravid female of Pelobates cultripes being preyed upon by a viperine snake (Natrix maura). The middle anterior parts of the body toad was inside the snakes buccal cavity, and only was visible its stomach and legs outside. The snake was immediately captured and toad released still alive. It was measured (79.5 mm SVL, 41.5 g body mass, 29.5 mm head weight, 92 mm right hind length) and photographed. Important injuries to the body toad were observed. Three of them, on the ventral side (with two apparent bit marks Fig. 1), and others two head injuries, immediately behind the eyes. The toad died approximately 30 min after capture. In a later study we can estimate the female age (five years old) by skeletochronology (Hemelaar 1998. J. Herpetol. 22:369-388). The specimen (ID AZN2) was deposited in the Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Seville Province, Spain. We thank the Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía and the Reserva Biológica de Doñana, for providing the corresponding permits and facilities.