LFA für Feldherpetologie und Ichthyofaunistik

One puddle is enough

April 2013

Natterjack toads populate new spawning grounds in the Liekwegen Quarry

 2013 AktMeld KreuzkroetenpaarMN
Photo: Calling Natterjack toad

Natterjack toads are special amphibians. Like all domestic species, they frequent water bodies for reproduction. The accumulations of water that they content themselves with are, however, so small that they hardly deserve the appellation "water body". A size of only a few square metres, a depth of a few centimetres and dried out after a couple of weeks - this is what the typical spawning ground of the Natterjack toad looks like. This preference is on display at the Liekwegen Quarry as well. Numerous small water bodies were newly-created or redeveloped in January this year.

2013 AktMeld Kreuzkroeten-Laichgewaesser Klein CH
Photo: Natterjack toad couple

Just a few weeks later the Natterjack toad appeared. An initial count showed calling males or mating animals in 15 water bodies. This, however, might have been only a part of the population that inhabits the quarry. Unlike other amphibian species, the reproductive period of the Natterjack toad wears on until midsummer. Refilled puddles caused by heavy rains bring about impressive concerts by calling males followed by yet another spawning. The risk of a drying out of such small water bodies before the young toads' shore leave is indeed high. Rapidly developing tadpoles, a high number of eggs per female, in addition to a long lifespan for the grown-up toads, warrant the long-term survival of the population despite such substantial losses.

2013 AktMeld rufende KreuzkroeteBS
Photo: Spawning ground of Natterjack toad