Description

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As the common name implies, these frogs can have colorful markings. There are three pattern variations in this species: almost uniformly colored animals; animals with large dark spots with bright edges and animals with two dark brown longitudinal bands, one bright band along the back and two bright bands along the sides. The belly is whitish.

The body is stout with a flat head that is wider than it is long. The dorsal glands are arranged in longitudinal patterns along the back, or can be absent. The pupil is shaped like an upside-down droplet (Noellert and Noellert 1992).

Reference

Garcia-Paris, M., and Jockusch, E. L. (). ''A mitochondrial DNA perspective on the evolution of Iberian Discoglossus (Amphibia: Anura).'' Journal of Zoology, (), -.

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Distribution and Habitat

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Of this species, three subspecies are found in Europe. D. pictus pictus is restricted to the islands of Malta, Gozo (Ghawdax) and Sicily, where it is found at altitudes up to 1500m.

D. pictus scovazzi has been introduced from Morocco, and has established stable populations around the Pyrennees Orientales. Their distribution ranges from Narbonne (F) in the north to the region of Cataluña (E) in the south (Pleguezuelos 1997). In this area, D. pictus scovazzi occurs from sea level up to an elevation of 500m, although it is usually found below 100m. D. pictus scovazzi is found near water in open landscapes. It is found in orchards and vineyards, as well as on campsites. They are also known to live and breed in slightly brackish water (Noellert and Noellert 1992).

D. pictus auritus is also a subspecies of North African origin. In Europe, it is found in Spain, in the province of Gerona.

In North Africa D. pictus is found in Mediterranean parts and humid mountain regions of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia). D. pictus scovazzi Inhabits Morocco, and D. pictus auritus inhabits Algeria and Tunisia (Garcia-Paris and Jockusch 1999). Their habitat consists of brooklets, irrigation ditches and cattle tracks filled with water. On land, they hide in self-dug flat cavities under stones (Schleich et al 1996).

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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

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In the Moroccan subspecies, sexual maturity is attained in one year. Mating in North Morocco takes place from January to early November. Copulation, in which the male clasps the female in the lumbar region lasts about 2 hr. Copulation in the Spanish specimens lasts only 35 s to 2 min. Females lay a total of 500 to 1000 eggs in one night of copulation. The females copulate with various males and each copulation a small clump of about 20 to 50 eggs are laid. The ovum diameter is usually 1-1.5mm; the gelatinous envelope 3-7mm. The eggs have no common envelope and form a loose mass on the water surface or may sink to the bottom. Eggs usually hatch in 2-6 days. Upon hatching, tadpoles are about 3mm in length. In 1-3 months, they grow to about 33mm and metamorphose into froglets of 10mm (Schleich et al 1996).

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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

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In Sicily, many populations are associated with man-made water bodies such as stone-sided cisterns, irrigation pipes and canals in cultivated areas. They appear to be endangered by the decline of traditional methods of agriculture. However, populations that live along rivers, seasonal ponds and swamps seem to be less endangered. Populations ofD. pictus pictus on Malta and Gozo are said to be threatened by a reduction of the ground-water levels (Gasc 1997).

In order to be able to effectively protect this species, more data is needed about its ecology and biology

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Relation to Humans

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D. pictus seems to be associated with man-made water bodies, at least for part of its distribution.

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Discoglossus pictus

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The Mediterranean painted frog or simply painted frog, Discoglossus pictus, is a species of frog in the family Alytidae (formerly Discoglossidae).[2]

Distribution

Discoglossus pictus is found Mediterranean Africa in northeast Morocco, northern Algeria, and Tunisia, in the islands of Sicily (Italy) and Malta; introduced populations exist in northeastern Spain and southwestern France.[2] Discoglossus scovazzi from Morocco was previously considered a subspecies of Discoglossus pictus. Initially only the former was thought to occur in Morocco,[1] but later research has shown that also Discoglossus pictus is present there.[2]

Description

As the common name implies, these frogs can have colourful markings. There are three pattern variations in this species: almost uniformly colored animals; animals with large dark spots with bright edges and animals with two dark brown longitudinal bands, one bright band along the back and two bright bands along the sides. The belly is whitish. The body is stout with a flat head that is wider than it is long. The dorsal glands are arranged in longitudinal patterns along the back, or can be absent. The pupil is shaped like an upside-down droplet. Mating in North Morocco takes place from January to early November. Copulation, in which the male clasps the female in the lumbar region lasts about 2 hr. Copulation in the Spanish specimens lasts only 35 s to 2 min. Females lay a total of 500 to 1000 eggs in one night of copulation. The females copulate with various males and each copulation a small clump of about 20 to 50 eggs are laid. The ovum diameter is usually 1.0 to 1.5mm; the gelatinous envelope 3-7mm. The eggs have no common envelope and form a loose mass on the water surface or may sink to the bottom. Eggs usually hatch in 2–6 days. Upon hatching, tadpoles are about three mm in length. In one to three months, they grow to about 33 mm and metamorphose into froglets of 10 mm. In Sicily, many populations are associated with man-made water bodies such as stone-sided cisterns, irrigation pipes and canals in cultivated areas.

Habitat and conservation

They appear to be endangered by the intensification of agriculture. However, populations that live along rivers, seasonal ponds and swamps seem to be less endangered. However populations from northeast of the Iberian Peninsula could be a threat to some native species of frogs, especially those with which they co-occur in the same aquatic habitats.[3] In North Africa is a very abundant species, especially in the sub-humid northern regions, but its presence reaches pre-Saharan oasis.[4] Populations on Malta are said to be threatened by a reduction of the ground-water levels.[1] It was introduced several times on the island of Comino. Unfortunately the introduced species of Levant Water Frog (Pelophylax bedriagae) on the Maltese archipelago is a direct competitor of this species. In order to be able to effectively protect this species, more data is needed about its ecology and biology. Discoglossus pictus seems to be associated with man-made water bodies, at least for part of its distribution.

References

  1. ^ a b c Jaime Bosch; et al. (2009). "Discoglossus pictus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2009: e.T55270A11285021. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2009.RLTS.T55270A11285021.en.
  2. ^ a b c Frost, Darrel R. (2016). "Discoglossus pictus Otth, 1837". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  3. ^ Escoriza, D. & Boix, D.(2012). "Assessing the potential impact of an alien species in a Mediterranean amphibian assemblage: a morphological and ecological approach". Hydrobiologia 680: 233-245.
  4. ^ Ben Hassine, J. & Nouira, S. (2012). "Répartition géographique et affinités écologiques des Amphibiens de Tunisie". Revue d’Écologie (Terre & Vie) 67: 437-457.
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Discoglossus pictus: Brief Summary

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The Mediterranean painted frog or simply painted frog, Discoglossus pictus, is a species of frog in the family Alytidae (formerly Discoglossidae).

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