A Palearctic green toad from the Bufo viridis subgroup (see Stöck et al. 2006 for details). This species is a medium- to large-sized green toad that differs from all others, especially all circum-Mediterranean green toad species, by its distinct mitochondrial haplotype group. Bufo siculus exhibits strong variability in coloration with adult males showing less contrast in marbled patterns than females. Brownish to olive (but barely bright greenish) spots often form light dorsal stripes (not to be confused with a yellowish pigmented stripe), a character rarely found in other green toads of Italy, but which is quite common in B. boulengeri from North Africa. The new species is distinguishable from its geographic neighbor, B. balearicus, which exhibits pinhead-sized red (female B. balearicus) or brownish (male B. balearicus) spots around tips of lateral glands, by the lack of these spots. Bufo siculus almost never shows a reddish-orange coloration, characteristic of many B. balearicus, the only form of the subgroup with which it may co-occur on Sicily. In Sicily, the ratio VDT/ ED [vertical diameter of the tympanum (VDT) divided by the diameter of the eye (ED)] is smaller in B. siculus [0.530 (max) ≥ 0.381 (mean) ≤ 0.247 (min) (N = 42)] than in allo- or parapatric B. balearicus [0.622 ≥ 0.478 ≤ 0.345 (N = 31)], but similar to that of African B. boulengeri [0.527 ≥ 0.362 ≤ 0.25 (N = 29)]. In life, B. siculus has a dark yellowish-golden iris.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Italy
Endemic to Sicily, as well as Favignana Island and Ustica Island, Italy.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Lo Valvo and Giacalone (2005) and Sicilia et al. (2006) reported differences between Italian mainland (including Calabrian, i.e. B. balearicus) and Sicilian green toads: B. siculus exhibits a much longer, potentially bimodal breeding period (January-June and September-November), and high plasticity similar to African B. boulengeri (scarce data discussed in Sicilia et al. 2006), versus a short reproductive period in spring (February-April) that is typical of B. balearicus.
Taken with permission from Stöck et al. (2008). See open-access journal article at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/8/56
Lo Valvo, M., and Giacalone, G. (2005). ''Dati e considerazioni sulla biologia riproduttiva della popolazione di Rospo smeraldino, Bufo viridis Laurenti, 1768, della Riserva Naturale di Monte Pellegrino (Palermo).'' Annali Museo Civico Storia Naturale di Ferrara, 6(2003), 61-65.
Lo Valvo, M., and Giacalone, G. (2006). ''Morfometria e selezione sessuale di una popolazione di Bufo viridis in Sicilia.'' V Congresso della Societas Herpetologica Italica, 145-149.
Sicilia, A., Lillo, F., Zava, B., and Bernini, F. (2006). ''Breeding phenology of Bufo viridis Laurenti, 1768 in Sicily.'' Acta Herpetologica, 2, 107-117.
Stöck, M., Moritz, C., Hickerson, M., Frynta, D., Dujsebayeva, T., Eremchenko, V., Macey, J. R., Papenfuss, T. J., and Wake, D. B. (2006). ''Evolution of mitochondrial relationships and biogeography of Palearctic green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) with insights in their genomic plasticity.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 41, 663-689.
Stöck, M., Sicilia, A., Belfiore, N., Buckley, D., Lo Brutto, S., Lo Valvo, M., and Arculeo, M. (2008). ''Post-Messinian evolutionary relationships across the Sicilian channel: Mitochondrial and nuclear markers link a new green toad from Sicily to African relatives.'' BMC Evolutionary Biology, 8, 56-74.
Written by M. Stöck, A. Sicilia, N. M. Belfiore, D. Buckley, S. Lo Brutto, M. Lo Valvo, and M. Arculeo (matthias.stoeck AT unil.ch), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2008-03-31
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2008-04-07)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Bufotes siculus: Sicilian Green Toad <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/7102> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 24, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 24 Sep 2017.
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