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Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of, Moldova, Republic of, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine
There is a contact zone with the related species, the Fire-Bellied Toad (Bombina bombina). This zone extends over the Southern Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Greece and Western Ukraine.
Bombina variegata lives mainly in foothills and mountains: in coniferous, deciduous and mixed forests, bushlands and meadows, floodplains, grasslands etc. At low elevations the toad lives in deciduous forests whereas in highlands it inhabits coniferous forests, highland glades and the upper forest margins. It uses various types of water bodies, including lakes, ponds, swamps, rivers and stream pools (sometimes streams with swift current), springs etc. Its requirements to water quality are relatively low. The toad occurs even in highly polluted wetlands, even waters with high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and salts.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Hibernation begins at the end of September - beginning of October and ends in March - May, depending on elevation. The toads overwinter in burrows, holes under stones and logs. In thermal springs, the toads may be active in winter. Reproduction starts 5-10 days after entering the water and extends to August. Amplexus is pelvic. Amplectant specimens and the spawn are often observed at the same time and in wetlands where conspecific tadpoles undergo their metamorphosis. Along with a wide diversity of breeding pool types, this trait increases the variety of habitats used by the toad populations. Sometimes heavy rains in summer may be followed by intensive spawning of B. variegata in small wetlands. The male mating call is similar to that of B. bombina, but is quieter and higher. The clutch consists of 45-100 (or more) eggs deposited in portions.
In contrast to B. bombina, the Yellow-Bellied Toad eats mainly terrestrial arthropods. This composition of diet corresponds with its more terrestrial habits. Aquatic invertebrates, e.g. Gammaridae, are eaten mostly on the stream banks. The diet changes with age during the postmetamorphic period of life and includes an increase in the selection of larger prey. However, no age changes are known in the proportions of aquatic and terrestrial prey in the diet.
Relation to Humans
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
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Originally submitted by: Sergius L. Kuzmin (first posted 1999-09-29)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2021-01-26)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Bombina variegata: Yellow-Bellied Toad <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/2046> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Aug 13, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Aug 2022.
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