Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Holotype in the original description by Arntzen and Garcia-Paris (1995) is probably a male with a snout-vent length of 35.1mm. The eyes are large and have a vertical slit-shaped pupil. Parotid glands are short and slim, but well marked. Red-orange glandular spots, as present in other Alytes species, are absent. Marked line of white glandular tubercles running along side of trunk. There are three metacarpal tubercles. Background coloration of back gray, with many gray and blackish fine dots equally mixed with pale ones. This gives the frog a "dusty" appearance. A marked gray zone is present between the eyes.

  • Arntzen, J. W. and Garcia-Paris, M. (1995). ''Morphological and allozyme studies of midwife toads (genus Alytes), including the description of two new taxa from Spain.'' Contributions to Zoology, 65(1), 5-34.
  • Pleguezuelos, J. M. (1997). Distribucion y Biogeografia de los Anfibios y Reptiles en España y Portugal. Asociacion Herpetologica Española, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
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Description

Holotype in the original description by Arntzen and Garcia-Paris (1995) is probably a male with a snout-vent length of 35.1mm. The eyes are large and have a vertical slit-shaped pupil. Parotid glands are short and slim, but well marked. Red-orange glandular spots, as present in other Alytes species, are absent. Marked line of white glandular tubercles running along side of trunk. There are three metacarpal tubercles. Background coloration of back gray, with many gray and blackish fine dots equally mixed with pale ones. This gives the frog a "dusty" appearance. A marked gray zone is present between the eyes.

  • Arntzen, J. W. and Garcia-Paris, M. (1995). ''Morphological and allozyme studies of midwife toads (genus Alytes), including the description of two new taxa from Spain.'' Contributions to Zoology, 65(1), 5-34.
  • Pleguezuelos, J. M. (1997). Distribucion y Biogeografia de los Anfibios y Reptiles en España y Portugal. Asociacion Herpetologica Española, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
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Distribution

Distribution and Habitat

A. dickhilleni is endemic to southeastern Spain. Its distribution seems to be limited to several mountain ranges including the Sierra Tejeda and Sierra Almijara (Provinces of Málaga and Granada), the Sierra de Gádor (province of Almería), the Sierra de Baza (province of Grenada), the Sierra Mágina (province of Jaén), and the Sierra de Alcaraz (province of Albacete).

A. dickhilleni can be found at altitudes of approximately 700 to 2000m, in pine forests (Pinus nigra), oak forests (Quercus faginea) and in open rocky landscapes. Adults are usually observed on eroded soils near water, or found under stones. The substrate varies from slates and schist to limestone. The larvae live in clear mountain streams and in man-made reservoirs that have water all year round. The larvae commonly pass one winter in the water.

  • Arntzen, J. W. and Garcia-Paris, M. (1995). ''Morphological and allozyme studies of midwife toads (genus Alytes), including the description of two new taxa from Spain.'' Contributions to Zoology, 65(1), 5-34.
  • Pleguezuelos, J. M. (1997). Distribucion y Biogeografia de los Anfibios y Reptiles en España y Portugal. Asociacion Herpetologica Española, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
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Distribution and Habitat

A. dickhilleni is endemic to southeastern Spain. Its distribution seems to be limited to several mountain ranges including the Sierra Tejeda and Sierra Almijara (Provinces of Málaga and Granada), the Sierra de Gádor (province of Almería), the Sierra de Baza (province of Grenada), the Sierra Mágina (province of Jaén), and the Sierra de Alcaraz (province of Albacete).

A. dickhilleni can be found at altitudes of approximately 700 to 2000m, in pine forests (Pinus nigra), oak forests (Quercus faginea) and in open rocky landscapes. Adults are usually observed on eroded soils near water, or found under stones. The substrate varies from slates and schist to limestone. The larvae live in clear mountain streams and in man-made reservoirs that have water all year round. The larvae commonly pass one winter in the water.

  • Arntzen, J. W. and Garcia-Paris, M. (1995). ''Morphological and allozyme studies of midwife toads (genus Alytes), including the description of two new taxa from Spain.'' Contributions to Zoology, 65(1), 5-34.
  • Pleguezuelos, J. M. (1997). Distribucion y Biogeografia de los Anfibios y Reptiles en España y Portugal. Asociacion Herpetologica Española, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Alytes dickhilleni

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

A. dickhilleni, as with other midwife toads (genus Alytes), mates on land, where the fertilized eggs are transferred to the male. The male then protects the eggs until hatching (Emilio González Miras & Jaime Bosch, FrogLog 2012).

The larval period in A. dickhilleni is typically longer than one year, meaning that stable, year-round water sources are required for reproduction (Emilio González Miras & Jaime Bosch, FrogLog 2012).

  • Arntzen, J. W. and Garcia-Paris, M. (1995). ''Morphological and allozyme studies of midwife toads (genus Alytes), including the description of two new taxa from Spain.'' Contributions to Zoology, 65(1), 5-34.
  • Pleguezuelos, J. M. (1997). Distribucion y Biogeografia de los Anfibios y Reptiles en España y Portugal. Asociacion Herpetologica Española, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

A. dickhilleni, as with other midwife toads (genus Alytes), mates on land, where the fertilized eggs are transferred to the male. The male then protects the eggs until hatching (Emilio González Miras & Jaime Bosch, FrogLog 2012).

The larval period in A. dickhilleni is typically longer than one year, meaning that stable, year-round water sources are required for reproduction (Emilio González Miras & Jaime Bosch, FrogLog 2012).

  • Arntzen, J. W. and Garcia-Paris, M. (1995). ''Morphological and allozyme studies of midwife toads (genus Alytes), including the description of two new taxa from Spain.'' Contributions to Zoology, 65(1), 5-34.
  • Pleguezuelos, J. M. (1997). Distribucion y Biogeografia de los Anfibios y Reptiles en España y Portugal. Asociacion Herpetologica Española, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
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Threats

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The restricted range occupied by A. dickhilleni and the apparent scarcity of the species at many of the places where it has been observed, lead Arnzen and Garcia-Paris (1995) to recommend its immediate legal protection. Although the conservation status may not be so delicate as that of A. muletensis, some similarity is apparent, with many of the populations confined to valleys that are probably isolated from one another. Suitable habitat seems to be disappearing, mainly as a consequence of water withdrawal and droughts. With the decline of traditional cattle raising practices, drinking troughs that serve as habitats for tadpoles are disappearing. Fortunately, the Spanish Institute for Nature Conservation ICONA quickly recognized the need for research and commissioned a study to assess the conservation status of A. dickhilleni.

A. dickhilleni require high quality, year round water sources for breeding, but in the arid regions of Spain these are sparse and very often converted for agricultural use. This has resulted in almost 80% of remaining populations breeding in cattle troughs and water tanks, which are generally too small to support large populations (Emilio González Miras & Jaime Bosch, FrogLog 2012).

Several populations of A. dickhilleni have been observed infected by chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), to which the species seems highly sensitive. This, combined with the sensitivity of A. dickhilleni to climate change, means that the species is extremely vulnerable (Emilio González Miras & Jaime Bosch, FrogLog 2012).

  • Arntzen, J. W. and Garcia-Paris, M. (1995). ''Morphological and allozyme studies of midwife toads (genus Alytes), including the description of two new taxa from Spain.'' Contributions to Zoology, 65(1), 5-34.
  • Pleguezuelos, J. M. (1997). Distribucion y Biogeografia de los Anfibios y Reptiles en España y Portugal. Asociacion Herpetologica Española, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The restricted range occupied by A. dickhilleni and the apparent scarcity of the species at many of the places where it has been observed, lead Arnzen and Garcia-Paris (1995) to recommend its immediate legal protection. Although the conservation status may not be so delicate as that of A. muletensis, some similarity is apparent, with many of the populations confined to valleys that are probably isolated from one another. Suitable habitat seems to be disappearing, mainly as a consequence of water withdrawal and droughts. With the decline of traditional cattle raising practices, drinking troughs that serve as habitats for tadpoles are disappearing. Fortunately, the Spanish Institute for Nature Conservation ICONA quickly recognized the need for research and commissioned a study to assess the conservation status of A. dickhilleni.

A. dickhilleni require high quality, year round water sources for breeding, but in the arid regions of Spain these are sparse and very often converted for agricultural use. This has resulted in almost 80% of remaining populations breeding in cattle troughs and water tanks, which are generally too small to support large populations (Emilio González Miras & Jaime Bosch, FrogLog 2012).

Several populations of A. dickhilleni have been observed infected by chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), to which the species seems highly sensitive. This, combined with the sensitivity of A. dickhilleni to climate change, means that the species is extremely vulnerable (Emilio González Miras & Jaime Bosch, FrogLog 2012).

  • Arntzen, J. W. and Garcia-Paris, M. (1995). ''Morphological and allozyme studies of midwife toads (genus Alytes), including the description of two new taxa from Spain.'' Contributions to Zoology, 65(1), 5-34.
  • Pleguezuelos, J. M. (1997). Distribucion y Biogeografia de los Anfibios y Reptiles en España y Portugal. Asociacion Herpetologica Española, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
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Wikipedia

Betic midwife toad

The Betic midwife toad or Sapo Partero Bético (Alytes dickhilleni) is a species of frog in the Alytidae family (formerly Discoglossidae). It is endemic to mountainous in south eastern Spain. Its natural habitats are temperate forests, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marshes, pastureland, ponds, and aquaculture ponds. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Description[edit]

The Betic midwife toad is grey, finely mottled with dark and pale specks. Its length may be about 3.5 centimetres (1.4 in) and it has bulging eyes with vertical slit pupils. There is a distinctive grey area between the eyes and the parotoid glands are relatively small. There is a lateral line of whitish glandular tubercles on the body but an absence of the orange glandular spots found in other members of the genus.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Betic midwife toad is native to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in south eastern Spain. The population is fragmented as different mountains support separate populations. It is fairly common on Alcaraz, Segura and Cazorla Mountains but less common on the drier Filabres, Baza and Gádor peaks. It is generally found in oak and pine forests and in open rocky areas, mostly on limestone, at altitudes between 700 and 2,000 metres (2,300 and 6,600 ft). In drier parts it tends to be near springs.[1]

Biology[edit]

The Betic midwife toad is nocturnal and hides under rocks and in crevices during the day. The toads mate on land and the male coils the egg mass round his hind legs and carries it around until the developing tadpoles are ready to hatch. He then deposits them in suitable water bodies such as mountain streams, cattle troughs and reservoirs. The tadpoles are slow-growing and may overwinter before undergoing metamorphosis into juvenile frogs.[2]

Status[edit]

The IUCN lists this toad as "Vulnerable" as its numbers appear to be in decline. The main threats it faces are the diminution in the number of suitable breeding sites due to drought, water abstraction and changes in agricultural practices. It is also at risk from the fungal disease chytridiomycosis.[1]

On January 21, 2008, Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE), per chief Helen Meredith identified nature's most weird, wonderful and endangered amphibians: "The EDGE amphibians are amongst the most remarkable and unusual species on the planet and yet an alarming 85% of the top 100 are receiving little or no conservation attention." The top 10 endangered species (in this List of endangered animal species) include: the Chinese giant salamander, a distant relative of the newt, the tiny Gardiner's Seychelles frog, the limbless Sagalla caecilian, South African ghost frogs, lungless Mexican salamanders, the Malagasy rainbow frog, Chile Darwin's frog and the Betic midwife toad.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jaime Bosch, Miguel Tejedo, Miguel Lizana, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Alfredo Salvador, Mario García-París, Ernesto Recuero Gil, Jan Willem Arntzen, Rafael Marquez, Carmen Diaz Paniagua, Richard Podloucky (2009). Alytes dickhilleni. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
  2. ^ a b Arie van der Meijden, John Cavagnaro (2012-04-03). "Alytes dickhilleni ". AmphibiaWeb. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  3. ^ Jeremy Lovell (30 January 2008) Giant newt, tiny frog identified as most at risk. Reuters.com. Retrieved on 2013-01-02.
  4. ^ Ian Sample (21 January 2008) guardian.co.uk, Drive to save weird and endangered amphibians. Guardian. Retrieved on 2013-01-02.
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