Pelobates fuscus

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Pelobates fuscus
Temporal range: Lower Oligocene–Recent,[1] 33.9–0 Ma
Pelobates fuscus fuscus.jpg
Pelobates fuscus fuscus
Pelobates fuscus insubricus01.jpg
Pelobates fuscus insubricus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Mesobatrachia
Family: Pelobatidae
Genus: Pelobates
Species: P. fuscus
Binomial name
Pelobates fuscus
(Laurenti, 1768)

P. fuscus fuscus
P. fuscus insubricus

Synonyms [3]
  • Bombinator fuscus Fitzinger, 1826
  • Bufo fuscus Laurenti, 1768
  • Pelobates fuscus fuscus Mertens, 1923
  • Pelobates fuscus insubricus Crochet and Dubois, 2004
  • Pelobates fuscus insubricus Mertens, 1923
  • Pelobates fuscus var. lividus Koch, 1872
  • Pelobates fuscus var. orientalis Severtsov, 1913
  • Pelobates fuscus vespertinus Crochet and Dubois, 2004
  • Pelobates fuscus Wagler, 1830
  • Pelobates praefuscus Khosatzky, 1985

Pelobates fuscus is a species of toad in the family Pelobatidae, native to an area extending from Central Europe to Western Asia. It is commonly known as the common spadefoot, garlic toad, the common spadefoot toad and the European common spadefoot.

The common spadefoot grows to a length of approximately 6.5 centimetres (2.6 in) for males and 8 centimetres (3.1 in) for females. The skin colouration varies depending upon habitat, gender and region, but is usually light-grey to beige-brown on the dorsal surface. The skin is mottled by darker marks that differ between individuals. The belly is white, sometimes with grey mottling. Albino specimens have been observed.

Two subspecies are traditionally recognised: Pelobates fuscus fuscus (from central Europe) and Pelobates fuscus insubricus (from Northern Italy). In reality there is no physical or behavioural character allowing to distinguish these supposed subspecies. A recent study showed that there is no haplotype segregation for the populations of Northern Italy, that, therefore, are not to be ascribed to a different subspecies .[4] Haplotypes from some Northern Italian valleys are very characteristic and support a different conception in terms of conservation: not for a different taxonomic position but, instead, for a peculiar differentiation. Populations from eastern Europe appear sufficiently different that they may warrant a separate species status (Pelobates vespertinus).

When alarmed, it emits a very loud call (alarm call) and it can exude a noxious secretion which smells like garlic, hence the common name "garlic toad".


  1. ^ Martín, C. & Sanchiz, B. (2014). "Pelobates fuscus (Laurenti, 1768)". Lisanfos KMS. Version 1.2. Online reference accessible at Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, MNCN-CSIC, Madrid (Spain). Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Aram Agasyan, Aziz Avisi, Boris Tuniyev, Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic, Petros Lymberakis, Claes Andrén, Dan Cogalniceanu, John Wilkinson, Natalia Ananjeva, Nazan Üzüm, Nikolai Orlov, Richard Podloucky, Sako Tuniyev, Uğur Kaya (2008). Pelobates fuscus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
  3. ^ Darrel Frost. "Pelobates fuscus". Amphibian Species of the World 5.3, an Online Reference. The American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  4. ^ Angelica Crottini & Franco Andreone (2007). "Conservazione di un anfibio iconico: lo status di Pelobates fuscus in Italia e linee guida d’azione" (PDF). Quad. Staz. Ecol. civ. Mus. St. nat. Ferrara 17: 67–76.