Information

Wildlife in Italy: Dotted Pelodite

Wildlife in Italy: Dotted Pelodite

Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Amphibians
Order: Anura
Family: Peloditidi
Kind: Pelodytes
Species: P. punctatus

The species is widespread in western Portugal, in central, northern and eastern Spain, in large parts of France and in the north-western Italian coasts. It lives from sea level up to around 1,600 meters above sea level.

Distinctive characters

It has a rather slender and agile body, vertical pupils and a warty back characterized by a greenish-gray color dotted with green spots that resemble the leaves of parsley. It rarely exceeds 5 centimeters in length, has a flattened head and fingers of the hind legs almost completely missing from the membrane. The males, during the reproductive period, have dark brown bridal callosities on the first and second fingers, on the arm, on the forearm and on the chest.

Biology

It has two distinct reproductive phases, one in spring and one in autumn when, during and after heavy and prolonged rains, adults go to puddles (even temporary) to reproduce.The lumbar is of lumbar type (this characteristic is rather primitive among the Anurans) and it can last several hours, during which the couple looks for an appropriate site to lay.
During the night, each female can lay several ovations with a characteristic sleeve shape, attaching them to submerged grass stems, aquatic plants, branches, etc., each containing 40-300 eggs (but we are aware of record-laying of 1000 eggs) .
The duration of development varies according to the season in which the eggs were laid, in relation to the amount of heat, insolation and availability of food. Tadpoles born from eggs laid in autumn, will metamorphose in the following spring, while tadpoles born in spring will develop completely in about 6 weeks. The wintering tadpoles will however be larger at the metamorphosis than the spring ones. This different measure of metamorphosis will mean that the new metamorphoses of the two broods will feed on insects of different sizes and in different periods of summer, so as to limit intra-specific competition for food.

Dotted pelodite (photo Teuteul)

Dotted pelodite (photo http://mundozoologia.wordpress.com)


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