midwife toad


midwife toad
a European toad, Alytes obstetricans (family Discoglossidae), noted for its unusual breeding habits, in which mating occurs on land and the male broods the egg strings by wrapping them around his legs.
[1900-05]

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 slow-moving, terrestrial amphibian represented by four species of the genus Alytes (family Discoglossidae). The best-known species is A. obstetricans. These western European toads live in forests and often near ponds and streams in open areas. Midwife toads are about 5 cm (2 inches) long and plump, with warty, dull-gray skin.

      Midwife toads are nocturnal and thoroughly terrestrial. Toward evening, the males reveal their presence by a clear whistling note. Mating takes place on land and occurs throughout the spring and summer. The eggs are large and yellow, and they are produced in two rosarylike strands of gelatinous capsules. While the eggs are being extruded, the male discharges milt (sperm-containing fluid) over them to effect fertilization. Once he has fertilized the eggs, the male twists the egg strings around his legs and waist and returns to his usual moist retreat. If the weather is exceptionally dry, the male makes periodic trips to moisten the eggs and prevent their dehydration. When the time for hatching arrives, after about three weeks, the male enters the water; the larvae, measuring slightly more than 1.3 cm (0.5 inch), emerge from their egg envelope, which is not abandoned by the male until all the young are liberated.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Midwife toad — Alytes obstetricans Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia …   Wikipedia

  • midwife toad — noun 1. similar in habit to Alytes obstetricians • Syn: ↑Alytes cisternasi • Hypernyms: ↑frog, ↑toad, ↑toad frog, ↑anuran, ↑batrachian, ↑salientian …   Useful english dictionary

  • midwife toad — mid′wife toad n. ram a European toad, Alytes obstetricans: the male broods the egg strings by wrapping them around his legs • Etymology: 1900–05 …   From formal English to slang

  • midwife toad — noun a European toad, the male of which has a distinctive piping call in spring and carries the developing eggs wrapped around his hind legs. [Alytes obstetricans.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • Majorcan midwife toad — Conservation status Vulnerable ( …   Wikipedia

  • Betic Midwife Toad — Conservation status Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1) Scientific classification Kingdo …   Wikipedia

  • Iberian Midwife Toad — Conservation status Near Threatened ( …   Wikipedia

  • Common Midwife Toad — Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1 …   Wikipedia

  • toad frog — noun any of various tailless stout bodied amphibians with long hind limbs for leaping; semiaquatic and terrestrial species • Syn: ↑frog, ↑toad, ↑anuran, ↑batrachian, ↑salientian • Derivationally related forms: ↑batrachian ( …   Useful english dictionary

  • midwife frog — noun or midwife toad : obstetrical toad …   Useful english dictionary


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