The European Green Toad (Bufotes viridis) is an amphibian in the Bufonidae family of toads.
The European Green Toad has green or dark-brown spots on its back. Its underbelly is white or lightly coloured. It can change colour, depending on heat or light. It has moist skin with mucous glands that secrete slime-like liquid to keep it protected from dehydration, and to help it breathe.
It grows to about 10 centimetres (4 inches) long, but it is usually smaller than that. The female is larger than the male.
It is found in Europe, from France to Denmark and from the Balkans to western Russia. It prefers steppes, mountainous regions, semi-deserts, and urban areas.
The European Green Toad is mainly insectivorous. It eats insects, such as crickets, moths, butterflies, and beetles. It also eats other invertebrates, such as earthworms.
The female lays 9,000-15,000 eggs in a foam nest that the male has made in vegetation or on the surface of a pond or stream. The eggs hatch after 10-14 days. The eggs hatch into tadpoles after about 90 days. The tadpoles have gills to breathe under water. They do not have legs but they have a tail. The tadpoles take about 49 days to change into adult toads, losing their tail, gaining legs, and developing lungs to breathe air. This is called metamorphosis.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM