The Eichwald's toad is very similar to Bufo verrucosissimus, but differs by a longer and more massive head, body proportions, skin texture, coloration, and numerous dark spots on the belly in males. In addition, B. eichwaldi has a head with an abrupt (not acutely rounded) snout tip, uniform dull brown dorsum, parotoid margin (contacting with tympanum) with black markings, and some larger rounded knobs on dorsum a little darker brown than the surface. The Eichwald's toad differs from B. verrucosissimus by a markedly lower genome size (13.22 - 13.36 vs. 13.53 - 14.09 pg per diploid nucleus), seven peculiar protein loci, values of indices Lc/L (2.74 - 2.81 vs. 3.37 - 4.67) and Lc/Ltc (0.94 - 0.98 vs. 0.59 - 0.88). B. eichwaldi differs from B. bufo by five peculiar protein loci, and values of indices Lc/L (2.74 - 2.81 vs. 3.07 - 4.51) and Lc/Ltc (0.94 - 0.98 vs. 0.61 - 0.86).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Azerbaijan, Iran, Islamic Republic of
In the southeastern part of Azerbaijan, this species was recorded in Dzhalilabad (Akhsaglar settlement), Astara (Sim and Tangerud villages), Lerik (Azerbaycan village and Lerik settlement), and Lenkoran (Sara Island, Lenkoran Town, Kirovskiy sovkhoz, Lyach Forest, Girkansky Nature Reserve, Avrora settlement, and Dasdatuk village) districts. The Eichwald's toad may inhabit the Talysh and Elburz mountains in the northern part of Iran. In Mazandaran and Gilan provinces, three records are known: Shaferuz River, 20 km SSE of Sari, and 10 km W of Ramsar.
The Eichwaldâ€™s toad is associated mainly with the forest zone. It inhabits broad-lived forests from 0 to 1200 m above sea level. Sometimes, toads occur in gardens, tea plantations and lowland swamps.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The biology of B. eichwaldi has been poorly studied. As with other toads, Eichwald's toad is active mainly in twilight. Spawning takes place in shallow broadenings of springs with relatively clear water. In the Lenkoran Lowland, tadpoles metamorphosed in mid May, whereas in the mountains, metamorphosis occurred in June - July. The length of post-metamorphosed toadlets was 12 - 13 mm.
In most habitats, this species is rare.
Trends and Threats
Destruction of forests by people results in population declines.
Relation to Humans
Currently, the species is greatly endangered because of extensive cutting of forests. For instance, in 1991, in a forest near Tangerud village, we observed numerous juveniles, however, in 2001, when the forest was cut, no toads were observed.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
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Written by Spartak N. Litvinchuk (slitvinchuk AT yahoo.com), Russian Academy of Sciences
First submitted 2008-09-05
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2016-02-07)
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