Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A frog he would a wooing go - Part 82

Except this little chap appears to be a small toad.  In fact, I am pretty sure it is a midwife toad. A characteristic sound of summer nights in south western  Europe is the high, bell like poo...... poo....... poo......  call of midwife toads, which often live in piles of stones and in the crevices of walls. Unlike nearly all other European frogs and toads, these secretive animals care for their eggs, which are laid in strings and carried by the male around his hind legs; he carries them until they are ready to hatch into tadpoles.  These toads are quite small with a length of only 5 cms, a little more than 2 inches.

When planting out some seedlings, we found him/her under the little pots in the seed tray.  As you can see he/she is covered in mud.  You can clearly see the reddish line down his/her side on the third photograph. 



We let it go into the sorrel, which is thick and bushy, and very damp underneath, so it could decide where it wanted to move to next. 

Here is a better picture of the male carrying the eggs.



44 comments:

  1. OMGosh!! HE's sooooo adorable and how strange (the photo with the eggs) but how COOL that is ... I LOVE nature!!!
    Great photos, Diane!!

    Have a SUNNNNNNY day!! YAYYYYY!!!

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  2. Hi Leesa, It was really quite cute and did not seem overly disturbed about us being so close. Diane

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  3. How cute!! I wonder if he was a prince in disguise? :)

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  4. Joan you tell me now... I would have happily kissed him :) Diane

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  5. I learned something new this morning
    and that's a good thing. I am surprised he/she allowed you close enough to photograph. You are a person with many interests and that in turn makes you very interesting. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  6. Very good photos! He is so cute, nice that he wasn't bothered by the photo op! You are so full of info! I must get out more in my garden (but it has to be early in this heat)

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  7. Mary, glad you learnt something new. I try to keep some new interests popping up but not always easy. Have a good day. Diane

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  8. Hi Lyndsey. He was not bothered by me in the least. Interesting though that 'Dad' does a lot of the work. Diane

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  9. I like frogs and toads as they eat mosquitoes.
    Diane, my profile was not made public (don't know how it happened) but now it should be OK to view. I am sorry about that and just found out yesterday.

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  10. Hi Nadege, yes I am more than happy to have frogs around the place also all the lizards. I just looked at your profile. You are very well travelled. I still have a lot to see, but I can't see the finances stretching to much travel in our retirement!! Diane

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  11. I love your posts! They are so much fun to read. The male frog in your pictures, looks like he is pulling around a small bunch of grapes.

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  12. Thanks Linda for your comments. I try to find different things of interest, not always easy though. Diane

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  13. What a gorgeous little chap, I've never seen a toad carrying eggs like that before, very interesting.

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  14. Diane, I am happy to have taken all those expensive trips a while back because I don't think I would be able to afford them with this economy. Of course I was married then, which helped a lot. I loved Kenya. I would love to go back to see more countries in Africa. Maybe one day, when I am retired.

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  15. There are toads in our yard, too. Thor doesn't bother them, and they don't bother Thor. And, unlike insects, I don't mind frogs or toads.

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  16. I hope the toad has found a new home, probably in your garden somewhere.
    It is not your computer - it is ours. I am about to give up until my husband finds time to connect the new one. It (the computer not the husband) has developed a mind of its own, going to sites that were not entered, and dropping out of sites that you want to be on. However, today was a new fret. The printer has started printing when it wants to, and the post that I am working on - while I was typing - published itself. Fortunately, it let me edit it out. I am still going to try to finish the post, but if you see a half finished post, you will know what happened. Ah the joys...

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  17. LOL!! Not me!! Prince or no prince!!

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  18. Kathy I had never heard of the midwife toad before I found this one in the garden. One lives and learns all the time. Diane

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  19. Nadege you are so lucky you went when you did. Yes this economy has been a big problem for us as well. We thought Nigel would be living with me in France by now, but it could still be another couple of years. The Okovango Delta in Botswana, and Namibia are two places I would really love to see but....... Diane

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  20. Marjie, I am surprised that Thor is not worried about the frogs and toads but that is good. They can get on with eating all the bugs you do not like. Diane

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  21. Hi Mya, sorry to hear about your problems, and glad it is only the computer you are changing. I will keep an eye out for the full post. Thanks for letting me know. Diane

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  22. Joan you amaze me - you will pick up a spider or some unknown bug but you won't kiss a toad..... :) Diane

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  23. Aw, little froggies! Love them, although tend to make me jump out of my skin when they appear, which is normally when I am in the middle of watering a plant. Upon being made wet, the frogs seem to inflate somehow, which can be quite startling if one is not expecting it.

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  24. Hi Vera, yes I also like frogs. The only ones that used to scare me were the giant bullfrogs in S.Africa. They can weigh up to 2 kg and can be quite aggressive. I remember my father putting his foot out towards one in Zimbabwe, it took almost his whole foot in its mouth. It has sharp teeth as well so best to stay away! Diane

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  25. Hi there!
    Does this ring a bell?!!
    The way we used to say hello in SA!!
    Yes, I lived there for 16 years and loved every minute of it!
    We are now on the verge of moving to Australia after 10 years in France!!
    I found you through Lucie's blog where you left a comment about her grass hoppers! By the way, I don't remember seeing the same ones!! They are much more colourful, there! :)
    I Will surf your blog later today, now is time to track my dear dragonflies, LOL!!
    By for now!!

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  26. Sorry!
    I meant to tell you your male toad carrying the eggs is fabulous! Wish I could see mine do the same!

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  27. Fascinating Diane, I love learning all these interesting facts while Blog reading.

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  28. Botswana was one of the places we were going to visit. I had read a book about the Bushmen and a certain lodge that really "called our names".

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  29. I forgot to add this
    http://daysontheclaise.blogspot.com/
    Susan posted about toads today.

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  30. Hi there Carlib :) Thanks for the visit. I will keep an eye on your blog now that you have found me. I love all the news on bugs and wildlife. It will all change when you go to Ozz. Thanks for your comments. Diane

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  31. Hi LindyLouMac, I agree it is amazing the things one learns on other blogs. Diane

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  32. Nadege thanks for the link, good site by the look of it to follow. I have been to Botswana, but only to Gaborone, I still have to make it to the interesting bits!
    Diane

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  33. Hi there. It was nice to see you over on my blog. What a coincidence we both posted about toads.

    I'm afraid I think your toad is a male Commond Toad though. Midwives have vertical pupils in golden eyes. Yours has horizontal pupils in copper coloured eyes. It would be very rare to actually see a midwife toad, although you hear their bell like call all the time. For any Australians reading it's rather like a pobblebonk / banjo frog.

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  34. Hi Susan I give in to your superior knowledge. Never the less the markings and size in my book are identical to the one in our garden, and the one of the picture carrying the eggs. There is no mention of the eyes at all, but if you are right about the eyes, then it must have been a common toad. Thanks for the input. Diane

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  35. Diane, the photos are great! We have toads too but I've never seen one carrying eggs. All the wildlife never ceases to amaze me. Hope he's happy wherever he is!

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  36. Hi Pam, I also hope it is happy, and hopefully it has not strayed too far from where we left it. Diane

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  37. A frog in the garden is a wonderful thing... eating all those nasty bugs!! Yours is particularly adorable... perhaps a prince, indeed!

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  38. longpastremembered, maybe we should put in a water feature to attract them but there is not really anywhere to put one. Diane

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  39. I would have really liked it to be a Midwife Toad too :-)

    I am surprised how few sources mention the difference in the eyes. It was something I was taught to look for at university, and it is very useful when IDing from photos, when colours and dimensions can be distorted. The best online reference for French reptiles and amphibs is www.herpfrance.com.

    What field guide are you using?

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  40. Hi Susan, it is only a small Collins Handguide to the wild animals of Britain and Europe. I will check out the site you suggest in future. I could do with some good books of animals, insects, flowers etc. but they are mostly too expensive for me. I have all I need for S. Africa but it does not help a lot here:) Diane

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  41. The Collins Guides are a bit of a mixed bag. Some are excellent, but the more general a handguide, from any publisher, the less use it is beyond identifying a possible family for a creature. www.herpfrance.com is so good I wouldn't worry about buying a field guide for French reptiles and amphibians. As a bonus it is completely bilingual too. Feel free to ask me if you want something ID'd. If I can't do it I will know someone who can. You can email me via my blog profile.

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  42. Susan thanks so much for your offer. If I am not sure I will definitely contact you. I did look at the website and have saved it to favourites it seems excellent. Thanks so much Diane

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  43. He looks so funny in your bottom pic! :-) Great find.

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