Color Variation of Common Toad (Bufo bufo) Larvae

Galina S. Surova


In the natural pond (Moscow Oblast’) common toad tadpoles with unusual olive-red color have been found and registered three times for six year investigation. This color is similar to the color of yearlings soon after metamorphosis. «Red» tadpoles can be found at various stages of development but they always appeared after the beginning of metamorphosis of the most part of the population. Their occurrence is not affected neither by seasonal temperature, nor related with distinctions in number (density) of tadpoles between years. We suggest that this phenomenon could be explained by heterochrony.



Bufo bufo; development; color variation; common toad; tadpoles

Full Text:



Ananjeva N. B., Borkin L. J., Darevsky I. S., and Orlov N. L. (1998), Zemnovodnyye i Presmykayushchiyesya [Amphibians and Reptiles]. The Encyclopedia of Nature of Russia, ABF, Moscow [in Russian].

Bannikov A. G., Darevsky I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., and Rustamov A. K. (1971), Zemnovodnyye i Presmykayushchiyesya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR], Mysl’, Moscow [in Russian].

Bannikov A. G., Darevsky I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov A. K., and Szczerbak N. N. (1977), OpredelitelZemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna], Prosveshchenie, Moscow [in Russian].

Cambar R. and Gipouloux J. (1956), «Table cronologiqiue du development embryonnair et larvaire du crapaud common Bufo bufo L»., Bull. Biol. Fr. Belg., XC F2.

Gilbert S. F. (2004), «Ecological biology of development — biology of development in the real world», Ontogenez, 35(6), 425 – 438 [in Russian].

Hefni H. (1991), Development of Limbs of Amphibians in Norm and at Experimental Influences. Authors Abstract of Candidates Thesis, Moscow State University [in Russian].

Kuzmin S. L. (1999), Zemnovodnyye Byvshego SSSR [The Amphibians of the Former Soviet Union], KMK, Moscow [in Russian].

Kuznetsov B. A. (1974), Opredelitel’ Pozvonochnykh Fauny SSSR. Chast1 [The Guide of Vertebrates of Fauna of the USSR. Part 1], Prosveshcheniye, Moscow [in Russian].

Laurila A., Pakkasmaa S., Crochet P.-A., and Merila J. (2002), «Predator-induced plasticity in early life history and morphology in two anuran amphibians», Population Ecol., 132, 524 – 530.

Schmal’gausen I. I. (1969), Problemy Darvinizma [Problems of Darwinism], Nauka, Leningrad [in Russian].

Surova G. S. (2006), «Motor activity of amphibian larva — from schools to shoals », in: Vences M., Kohler J., Ziegler T., and Böhme W. (eds.), Herpetologia Bonnesis. II. Proc. of the 13th Congr. Soc. Eur. Herpetol., pp. 183 – 186.

Terentjev P. V. and Chernov S. A. (1949), Opredelitel’ Presmykayushchikhsya i Zemnovodnykh [Guide-Book of Reptiles and Amphibians]. 3rd edition, Sovetskaya Nauka, Moscow – Leningrad [in Russian].

Vences M., Puente M., Nieto S., and Vieites D. (2002), «Phenotypic plasticity of anuran larvae: environmental variables influence body shape and oral morphology in Rana temporaria tadpoles», J. Zool. Lond., 257, 155 – 162.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

You can subscribe to the print or electronic version of the journal on the site of EastView Company. If you have any questions, please write to the email