A Rare View Of An Iberian Midwife Toad In Daylight

I was inside the house putting my mobile studio back into storage after a storm postponed a commercial shoot today and Emma was shouting from outside the front door; “Craig, quick grab your camera!”. She had uncovered an Iberian Midwife Toad that had decided to shelter near the front door, probably from the heavy rainstorm overnight.

It’s rare to see these tiny toads in the daylight, so I carefully placed it on a nearby rock and shot these photos before placing it in undergrowth for it to hide until darkness.

The tiny toads are amazing and at night have a high-pitched beeping noise. Rather than me type all the information again, take a look at my Algarve Resident article I wrote in November 2019.

In case you are wondering this was about just 40mm in length, the size of an adult.

(Click to view in Lightbox)


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The Dampness At Night Has Started The Beeps

Now that autumn is starting, although the days are still warm, even hot, the evenings are starting to cool down and dew is settling. This has started the almost electronic sounding beeps of the autumn mating calls of the Iberian Midwife Toads.

We have one in our vegetable patch tonight, clever toad as its very damp in there and plenty of bugs to eat. It was calling this evening so I found it and took this photo with my smartphone. These toads are small, this one smaller than 4cm in length.

I will try and get some video of it calling over the next few nights, but of course if I approach, it stops.


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A Spanish Terrapin Just Peed On Me!

I was down at the river modifying and moving my Kingfisher perch and on the way back Wally spotted something in the long grass.

It was a Spanish Terrapin (often referred to as a Spanish Turtle). It was fairly large with its shell about 25cm long. As it was heading towards the road I decided to relocate it back to the river bank.

I picked it up and it let its bladder go, all over me and I know smell like rotten fish. I released it back at the river bank and it hurried into the water.

(Shot and edited using Lightroom on my Samsung Galaxy S9+)


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My Local Mediterranean Tree Frogs Were Active During Daylight Today

Normally the local Mediterranean Tree Frogs wait until dusk before they start calling but this afternoon I was in the garden and I could hear two of them calling. So I headed down to take a look.

You may remember last year I got in a local disused Cistern to photograph and film them calling (click the link to watch the video). This year there is very little water in the Cistern but they are gathering at a large flooded area next to it. Of course, this will probably dry up, but they must be used to breeding in dry conditions.

The Mediterranean Tree Frog is very similar to the smaller European Tree Frog apart from the black stripe. As you can tell from the photos the black stripe stops at its front legs whereas the European Tree Frog’s runs the length of its body. This is why the Mediterranean is often called the Stripeless Tree Frog.

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Mediterranean Tree Frog - Rela-meridional - Hyla meridionalis
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A Quick Thunderstorm Brought Out A Fire Salamander

Although very common, particularly in the Algarve Hills, the Fire Salamander remains very hidden for most of its life but does venture into the open at night. After rainfall they can come out into the open even in the daytime, but I’ve never seen one in daylight.

I spotted this one heading under one of our terraces and into a Cat Bed, this is why it has cat hair stuck to it. I took a photo and then placed it in a much better location than the Cat bed!

This one was only around 10cm long, they can grow up to 25cm, I suspect it’s quite young.

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Young Fire Salamander
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European Common Toad Saved From The Strimmer

Due to the crazy amount of rain we’ve had this spring, parts of the garden has turned into a jungle, therefore today, armed with a strimmer I began the clean up. I always check and walk through an area when strimming and usually leave an area where things can escape to.

Today we found what is probably an old friend we kept seeing last year, a European Common Toad (Bufo bufo). Down here in Southern Europe they can grow to huge sizes and as you can see on the 3rd photo, it’s bigger than my sunglasses!

European Common Toad (Bufo bufo)
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All of the content displayed on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains the copyright of Craig Rogers. It is illegal to download, copy (including copy by reference) or distribute any content without prior permission and/or licensing. Please read my Copyright Statement.