The skin on the back of the four limbs and head is very rough. The back is a shady, grayish brown. Tubercles on the back are dense, forming short or long ridges or columns. The male has many spines on the back, forming black spiny ridges. The interorbital region has a dark triangular mark. The tibiotarsal articulation extends almost to the shoulder. The back legs are short. The ends of the fingers and toes are rounded. The toes lack webbing. The spines on the inner sides of the upper forearm, and the first and second nuptial spines are very thick. A relatively small group of nuptial spines are present in a pair on the chest. The nuptial spines are thin and densely clustered. Eggs are 3 mm in diameter. The animal pole is purplish gray. The tadpole is 50 mm long, and the head is 19 mm long. The back is brown and the tail has a light yellow “U” marking. The labial tooth row formula is usually I: 5-5/I: 5-5 and sometimes I: 6-6/I: 6-6. The center of the upper lip lacks two papillae. The corners of the mouth have many additional papillae and also have teeth (Fei 1999).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China
O. puxiongensis is native to China and has only been found in Yuexi (Puxiong) county in the southern part of Sichuan province (IUCN 2004). O. puxiongensis lives at an altitude of 2600 to 2900 meters above sea level, in mixed broadleaf and coniferous forest, where conifers predominate at 2800-2900 meters. It inhabits small mountain streams, especially marshes and adjacent areas (Fei and Ye 1984). It can be found in nests or crevices beneath fallen logs, and there can be as many as forty toads found hibernating together (Fei 1999).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Emerging from hibernation in the middle of June (Fei and Ye, 1984), the adults gather to breed in the small neighboring streams. Spawning occurs from the middle of June to the first 10 days of July. The peak period occurs in the last 10 days of June. At night, the males will make low, deep calls. Females lay ring-like or rod-like clusters, or clumps of about 230 eggs on the underside of rocks or on aquatic grasses in small streams in ring-like or rod-like clusters or clumps. Tadpoles live beneath stones at the bottoms of the streams. Newly metamorphosed toads are about 20.6 mm in length. Past the spawning season, adults live solitary lives in the forest, in a moist and shady environment. O. puxiongensis feeds on hymenoptera and coleoptera, as well as other small animals (Fei 1999). Its parasites include leeches that attach to the skin and nematodes that infect the stomach and intestines (Fei and Ye 1984).
Trends and Threats
Only two declining populations are known. The population is very vulnerable; a single fire event was able to decrease the total population by over 70 %. Deforestation is the major threat, as well as fire, as it results in habitat destruction and degradation (IUCN 2004).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Fei, L. (1999). Atlas of Amphibians of China. Henan Publishing House of Science and Technology, Zhengzhou.
Fei, L. and Ye, C. (1984). ''Ecological studies of the pelobatid toad Oreolalax puxiongensis.'' Acta Zoologica Sinica, 30(3), 270-277.
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. < www.globalamphibians.org >. Accessed on 28 November 2006.
Originally submitted by: Sijie Mao (first posted 2000-02-09)
Edited by: Tate Tunstall (2006-11-29)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2006 Oreolalax puxiongensis: Puxiong Toothed Toad <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/5308> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 26, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 26 Mar 2023.
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