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Common Midwife Toad

Similar Animals:
 Iberian Midwife Toad
 Betic Midwife Toad
 Mallorcan Midwife Toad

Common Midwife Toad

Common Midwife Toad Range Map (West & Central Europe)
Common Midwife Toad Range Map (West & Central Europe)

Latin Name Alytes obstetricans
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location West & Central Europe
Colour Pale Brown or Grey
Length 3.5 - 5 cms (1.25 - 2 inches)

Mostly Terrestrial

Breeding Season

Spring & Summer

Main Characteristics

Common Midwife Toads are small, plump toads and they grow between 3.5 and 5 cms (1.25 - 2 inches) in length. They have short powerful legs and prominent eyes with vertical pupils. They are shy and are mainly active at night.

They are coloured sandy/pale brown or grey and they have darker markings and warts on their dorsal surface. These warts give off a strong smelling poison if the toad is attacked, therefore they have few predators.


Common Midwife Toads are found in West and Central Europe. They are solitary or live in small groups and they inhabit woodlands, gardens, drystone walls, sand dunes, quarrys and rocky areas. They hibernate during winter in a hole or burrow.


Common Midwife Toads feed on invertebrates. As tadpoles they eat vegetation and as small toadlets they feed on small invertebrates.


Common Midwife Toads breed during spring and summer. Males attract Females with a high pitched, distinctive call.

The female lays approximately 60 large, yolk-filled eggs in strings and these are transferred to the male during mating. The male wraps the eggs around his hind legs, sometimes he will carry 2 strings of eggs laid by 2 different females.

When the eggs are ready to hatch he will deposit them in a pond or slow moving river and the tadpoles will swim away. The tadpoles often hibernate during winter and they metamorphose the following year.

Interesting Facts

The poison of a Common Midwife Toad will kill an adder in a few hours.

Many Amphibians have thin tongues, but the Common Midwife Toad has a round, flattened tongue.

Its family name Discoglossidae means "round tongue"


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