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The Habitats, Burrowing Behavior, Physiology Adaptation and Life Cycle of Spadefoot Toads (Pelobates syriacus, Boettger, 1869) at the Southern Limit of Its Distribution in Israel

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DOI: 10.4236/ojas.2015.53029    2,900 Downloads   3,335 Views Citations
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ABSTRACT

The present study describes the habitats, life cycle, larvae growth, burrowing behavior and terrestrial adaptation of Spadefoot toads in Israel based on observations and data collected during more than 30 years in northern Israel. The distribution area in Israel is from the north in the Upper Galilee and Golan Heights (annual rainfall range of 500 - 1000 mm) to the southern coastal plain (annual rainfall of about 250 mm). Among the 51 different breeding places of amphibians, only ponds where water was available for a few months were used by Spadefoot toads and metamorphosed populations were found around these ponds. The larvae underwent metamorphosis during the summer and autumn in northern Israel, and during the spring in central and southern Israel. A negative correlation exists between the percentage of toads burrowing and soil moisture levels, with greater burrowing behavior occurring under dry conditions. The plasma concentration increased during burrowing by electrolytes and urea accumulations. The burrowing behavior helped Spadefoot toads survive in this area at the southern border of its distribution.

Cite this paper

Degani, G. (2015) The Habitats, Burrowing Behavior, Physiology Adaptation and Life Cycle of Spadefoot Toads (Pelobates syriacus, Boettger, 1869) at the Southern Limit of Its Distribution in Israel. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 5, 249-257. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2015.53029.

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