Tympanic membrane absent. Skin smooth. Sternum ossified. Pupil of the eye is vertical. Webs between the toes well-developed. Inner metatarsal tubercle of the hind fooot quite large and spade-shaped. No male resonators. Body robust, hind legs short, head large. Dorsal coloration is quite variable, from grey, brown, and yellowish to dark-brown or greenish, with small light spots. Sometimes the coloration is uniform. Belly light, with darker spots. The male is smaller than female. During the reproductive period the male possesses tubercles on the palms and forearms.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: France, Portugal, Spain
The species inhabits Iberian Peninsula (except for its north), Southeastern and Western France (departments Charente-Maritime, Vendee, north of Gironne, and Loire-Atlantique). The species seems to be most common along the coast of France and in some areas in Spain: Cataluna and Western Andalucia.Pelobates cultripes lives in various open landscapes, such as dunes, agricultural landscapes, fields, meadows etc. Reproduction occurs in stagnant water bodies.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
In the northern parts of the range, a short hibernation occurs, whereas in the south aestivation is supposed. Reproduction occurs from October to May, depending on latitude and altitude. Amplexus is pelvic (inquinal). Embryonic and larval development takes about 4-6 months. Some larvae apparently delay their metamorphosis, and attain very large size (to 120 mm). Longevity in this species is estimated to 10-15 years old.
Food of adults consists mainly of crawling terrestrial arthropods: carabids, spiders etc.
Trends and Threats
The species is generally not threatened, except for some peripheral populations (see above). The main threats are isolation of populations by agriculture, destruction of natural habitats, introduction of fishes in breeding ponds, modification and contamination of wetlands etc.
Relation to Humans
The species occurs in human neighborhood, but in anthropogenic landscapes its populations undergo certain threats (see above).
Gasc, J.-P. (1997). Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica, Bonn, Germany.
Nöllert, A. and Nöllert, C. (1992). Die Amphibien Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH and Company, Stuttgart.
Paris, M.G., Martin, C., Dorda, J. and Esteban, M. (1989). Los Anfibios y Reptiles de Madrid. Servicio de Extension Agraria, Ministerio de Agricultura, Madrid.
Salvador, A. (1985). Guia de Campo de los Anfibios y Reptiles de la Peninsula Iberica, Islas Baleares y Canarias. Santiago Garcia, Leon.
Originally submitted by: Sergius L. Kuzmin (first posted 1999-11-10)
Edited by: Meredith J. Mahoney (2021-01-26)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Pelobates cultripes: Western Spadefoot <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/5269> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 31, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 31 Jul 2021.
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