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Video: Toad - What Do We Know About It? Useful Animals On The Site. Kinds. Photo
Frogs, toads and newts usually do not cause sympathy in humans. These cold slippery amphibians, or amphibians, are often destroyed only because of hostility towards them, not suspecting that they are useful when living in the garden. Adult amphibians feed on various invertebrates, often exterminating those that birds do not even come close to - bright and contrastingly colored, with a pungent or unpleasant odor.
Abroad, toads have long been used specifically for pest control of garden crops. Gardeners in England, Holland, Hungary imported them from other countries and released them into gardens and greenhouses. In the mid-30s, 150 specimens of the aga toad were delivered from the Antilles to Hawaii. It was bred and released on a sugar cane plantation, which gave very good results. In our country, such experiments were carried out only by young naturalists in their school grounds.
To effectively use certain animals, you need to know what they are and what are the features of their biology. Toads are the largest tailless amphibian fauna in Russia. Like all other representatives of this class, they need water, because only in reservoirs - small puddles or ponds - can they reproduce. Everyone has probably seen slimy lumps of frog eggs in spring, from which tadpoles hatch. In the process of development, they have limbs and a tail - then it is resorbed, and as a result of complex transformations, a small copy of an adult frog or toad emerges on land. In summer, hundreds of tiny tree frogs, toads or frogs can be seen along the banks of the water bodies.
Toads, unlike frogs, lay eggs in the form of cords, which, for example, in a green toad, reach a length of 7 meters. These cords twine around the stems of plants or simply lie on the bottom. A few days later, tadpoles emerge from the eggs. They first attach to a gelatinous mass of cords and then to underwater vegetation and other objects. Keeping on the bottom, tadpoles dig in the silt, eating diatoms and green algae, rotting remains of plants and animals. Unlike the adult forms, they are diurnal. Green toad tadpolesare distinguished by the fastest development - in nature this process lasts 45-55 days. The dimensions of the animals that went onto land are only 14 - 16 mm, while the adults reach 140 mm in length. In addition to size, babies do not differ much from adults - in any case, their color is similar, grayish-olive, with dark green spots.
During the breeding season, all amphibians accumulate in large numbers in water bodies. It is very interesting to watch them. Some, like, for example, newts, arrange mating games, others - concerts. Males of "singing" tailless amphibians have special vocal sacs - resonators that amplify the sound emitted. Loud concerts of green frogs were heard by everyone, but the gentle trills of the green toad are familiar only to specialists and nature lovers. Quite recently, on the territory of Moscow, in some areas, one could still see and hear green toads, the quiet "biting" of toads - small tailless amphibians with a bright spotted belly. Now there are almost no such places.
Toads are very widespread on the globe, there are more than 250 species of them. On the territory of our country there are 6: common gray and Far Eastern, green, Danatin, reed and Mongolian toads. These species can be found in the European part of Russia, the Caucasus, Kazakhstan and Central Asia, Siberia and the Far East.
The most common for us are the common gray and green toads. Mongolian inhabits Transbaikalia and the Far East, and reed is found in the Baltic States, Belarus and Western Ukraine.
The reed toad looks like a green toad, but more graceful, with a thin strip along the back. The reed toad is the only species of this genus of our fauna included in the Red Book of Russia. This toad is protected, they are trying to breed in the laboratory in order to release the grown toads into nature later, since in many places it has practically disappeared.
The common gray toad is also widespread in our country; it is more cold-loving than the green one and is larger. It inhabits the forest and steppe zones, rising into the mountains up to 3000 m above sea level. The largest gray toads are found in the lowland, foothill and mountain forests of the Caucasus, often settling in gardens and vegetable gardens next to humans. Caucasian toads of bright ocher color, with large parotids, golden-orange irises of eyes and impressive size - up to 150-200 mm!
On occasion, they can swallow even newborns, small rodents.
The Far Eastern gray toad is no less attractive.
Toads differ from frogs in a dense constitution, shorter limbs and thick lumpy skin, on which single poisonous glands are scattered, and behind the eyes are large parotid glands - parotids. They secrete a poisonous secret - a kind of remedy. For humans, these secretions do not pose a danger, and in animals, if they get on the mucous membrane of the mouth, they cause burning and vomiting.
How do toads live and why do we rarely see them?
First, in temperate latitudes, all amphibians and reptiles with variable body temperature spend the autumn-winter period in hibernation. Toads overwinter in holes of rodents, under stones, they can burrow into loose soil to a depth of 10-12 cm. The green toad that inhabits desert areas also sleeps in the hottest season, sometimes not appearing on the surface until spring.
Secondly, in summer, toads switch to a nocturnal lifestyle, hunting and replenishing water supplies only after dark. They can be seen under the lanterns, where many insects gather. Noticing the prey, the toad goes to it, but does not jump like a frog, but “walks”. The diet of the green toad includes snails, millipedes, various insects, larvae and caterpillars of butterflies. In autumn, on the outskirts of southern cities, you can see a lot of toads moving to wintering places, in spring - again to breeding grounds. At this time, many animals die on highways, so in some countries warning signs are placed on the roads and special tunnels are made, allowing animals to pass dangerous places.
How to make toads settle in the garden? The main thing is not to touch the animals themselves and not to poison their habitats with pesticides. And then these creatures will become our good friends.