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Apennine yellow-bellied toad

Image of a Apennine yellow-bellied toad

Bombina pachypus (Bonaparte, 1838)

It owes its Italian name “Ululone” (“Howler”) to the melancholic and loud cry emitted by the male during the night in the reproductive period: the cry is characterized by two hu-hu, repeated at short time intervals. The Apennine yellow-bellied toad is small, with a characteristic heart-shaped pupil, it's 5 cm long at most and is unique thanks to its greyish colored back in contrast with the brightly colored belly that's deep-yellow with grey-bluish spots. This is an endemic species of Italy and is distributed from Central Liguria and Emilian Apennines towards the southern regions as far as Aspromonte, and it's well spread in the entire Park's territory within 240 and 1,700 m of altitude.

Even if it prefers forest environments, the Apennine yellow-bellied toad inhabits also open spaces, from uncultivated areas to continuous grazing lands, and the most used reproduction sites are small puddles with stagnant waters, often in calcareous beds of water courses. Adult individuals raise up their legs showing the aposematic belly coloration as a defense (unkenreflex).

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