Duttaphrynus melanostictus is commonly called Asian common toad, Asian toad, black-spectacled toad, common Sunda toad and Javanese toad. It is probably a complex of more than one toad species that is widely distributed in South and Southeast Asia.
The species grows to about 20 cm (8 in) long. The species breeds during the monsoons and the tadpoles are black. Young toads may be seen in large numbers after the monsoons.
The top of the head has several bony ridges, along the edge of the snout (canthal ridge), in front of the eye (pre-orbital), above the eye (supra-orbital), behind the eye (post-orbital), and a short one between the eye and ear (orbito-tympanic); The snout is short and blunt and the space between the eyes is broader than the upper eyelid width. The ear drum or tympanum is very distinct and is at least as wide as two thirds the diameter of the eye. The first finger is often longer than the second and the toes at least half webbed. A warty tubercle is found just before the junction of the thigh and shank (sub-articular tubercle) and two moderate ones are on the shank (metatarsus). There is no skin fold along the tarsus. The "knee" (tarso-metatarsal articulation) reaches the tympanum or the eye when the hind leg is held parallel along the side of the body. The dorsal side is covered with spiny warts. The parotoids are prominent, kidney-shaped or elliptical and elongated. The dorsal side is yellowish or brownish and the spines and ridges are black. The underside is unmarked or spotted. Males have a subgular vocal sac and black pads on the inner fingers that help in holding the female during copulation.
Distribution and habitat
Asian common toads occur widely from northern Pakistan through Nepal, Bangladesh, India including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and southern China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau to Malaysia, Singapore, and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Anambas and Natuna Islands. They were introduced to the Indonesian islands of Bali, Sulawesi, and Ambon and to (Indonesian) New Guinea at Manokwari on the Vogelkop Peninsula. The species is now common at Sentani in far eastern Papua Province. They have been recorded from sea level up to 1,800 m (5,900 ft) altitude, and live mostly in disturbed lowland habitats, from upper beaches and riverbanks to human-dominated agricultural and urban areas. They are uncommon in closed forests.
Ecology and behaviour
Asian common toads breed in still and slow-flowing rivers and temporary and permanent ponds and pools. Adults are terrestrial and may be found under ground cover such as rocks, leaf-litter, logs, and are also associated with human habitations. The larvae are found in still and slow-moving waterbodies. They are often seen at night under street lamps especially in times when winged termites swarm. They have been noted to feed on a wide range of invertebrates including scorpions. Tadpoles grown in sibling groups metamorphosed faster than those that were kept in mixed groups. Tadpoles have been shown to be able to recognize kin.
- van Dijk, P. P., et al. 2004. Duttaphrynus melanostictus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on 03 June 2013.
- Boulenger, G. A. (1890). Fauna of British India. Reptilia and Batrachia.. London: Taylor and Francis. pp. 505–507.
- Berry, P. Y., Bullock, J. A. (1962). "The food of the common Malayan Toad, Bufo melanostictus Schneider". Copeia 1962: 736–741. JSTOR 1440674.
- Saidapur, S. K., Girish, S. (2001). "Growth and metamorphosis of Bufo melanostictus tadpoles: effects of kinship and density". Journal of Herpetology 5 (2): 249–254. JSTOR 1566115.
- Saidapur, S. K., Girish, S. (2000). "The ontogeny of kin recognition in tadpoles of the toad Bufo melanostictus (Anura; Bufonidae)". Journal of Bioscience 25 (3): 267–273. doi:10.1007/BF02703935. PMID 11022229.
Lu, W., Qing N. (2010). Bufo melanostictus (Asian Common Toad). Record size. Herpetological Review 41(1): 61.
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