The body is relatively large and fat. The male is about 65.4 mm and the female is about 69 mm in body size. The pupils are vertical. The tympanum is not present. The maxilla has short tooth-like protrusions. Round warts are present on the back while no large warts are present on either side of the vent. The whole back is a shady grayish olive green while the belly is a grayish yellowish white. A triangular mark is present in the interorbital region, and the surrounding area is black-brown, extending to the back. The tibiotarsal articulation reaches up to the shoulder. The back legs are short. The fringe on the sides of the toes is relatively well developed. The fourth toe is about 1/3 webbed. The male has nuptial spines on the inner side of each third finger. Large groups of nuptial spines are present on the chest, forming two pairs. The inner pair is black and is larger than the outer pair. The nuptial spines are thin and dense (Fei 1999).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China
S. maculatus lives at an altitude of 3300 to 3500 meters above sea level, near hill streams or medium to small low gradient spring-fed streams where it also breeds. The surrounding environment is alpine meadows and forest (IUCN 2004).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
In August, adults can be found during the day, living beneath stones where the stream flows. If uncovered, S. maculatus does not move (Fei, 1999).
Trends and Threats
S. maculatus may be extinct as it has not been found since the 1970s. Ongoing agricultural expansion and settlement has resulted in habitat loss for the species. Poor recruitment may also be contributing to the decline while climate change may be a potential threat in the future (IUCN, 2004).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.
Fei, L. (1999). Atlas of Amphibians of China. Henan Publishing House of Science and Technology, Zhengzhou.
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. < www.globalamphibians.org >. Accessed on 28 November 2006.
Written by Sijie Mao (smao AT berkeley.edu), URAP
First submitted 2006-11-09
Edited by Tate Tunstall (2006-11-30)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2006 Scutiger maculatus: Piebald Alpine Toad <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/2520> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 13, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Jul 2020.
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