© 2009 Dr. Peter Janzen (1 of 80)
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.
Trends and Threats
Relation to Humans
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.
Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.
Gasc, J. P. , Cabela, A., Crnobrnja-Isailovic, J., Dolmen, D., Grossenbacher,K., Haffner, P., Lescure, J., Martens, H., Martinez Rica, J. P.,Maurin, H., Oliveira, M. E., Sofianidou, T. S., Vaith, M., and Zuiderwijk, A. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica and Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
Kuzmin, S. L. (1995). Die Amphibien Russlands und angrenzender Gebiete. Westarp Wissenschaften, Magdeburg.
Kuzmin, S. L. (1999). The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union. Pensoft, Sofia-Moscow.
Nöllert, A. (1996). ''Verbreitung, Ökologie und Schutz der Gelbbauchunke.'' Naturschutzreport, 11(1), 1-260.
Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
Szczerbak, N. N. and Szczerban, M. I. (1980). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchiesya Ukrainskikh Karpat [Amphibians and Reptiles of Ukrainian Carpathians]. Naukova Dumka, Kiev.
Written by Sergius L. Kuzmin (ipe51 AT yahoo.com), Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
First submitted 1999-09-29
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2009-02-19)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Bombina variegata: Yellow-Bellied Toad <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/2046> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 22, 2019.
Feedback or comments about this page.
Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Oct 2019.
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.