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Observations on the breeding of toads in a restricted habitat

B.I. Balinsky


Regular observations were made for 11 consecutive years on the toad population frequenting and breeding in a small cement pond in a private garden in suburban Johannesburg, South Africa. The population consisted of two kinds of toads: Bufo gutturalis Power and a hybrid population believed to be derived from crosses between Bufo gutturalis Power and Bufo rangeri Hewitt. Individual animals can be distinguished by differences in the shape of dark spots on their backs. A record was made of every pair found spawning, and several complete counts were made of all the animals found in the pond on an evening. Some individuals were observed repeatedly for the duration of the breeding season, from August to January. In consecutive years the toad population showed a great turnover, only a few individuals appearing in two or three consecutive years. It is concluded that the toads disperse after the end of the breeding season, and, as a rule, do not come back to the same body of water. During the breeding season females may spawn twice, with an interval of nearly two months or more. Male toads may mate frequently. The sudden disappearance of the toad population is noted.

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eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020