Coupling takes place at night and on land between April and August. The male approaches a female that has signified her readiness to mate, then having positioned himself he proceeds to give her a rapid friction massage with his feet with up to 2000 strokes, at the same time violently compressing her flanks. This causes the female to lay her eggs, up to 100, between the males legs where he fertilises them, he then proceeds to carry them around with him stuck to his legs and rear end, bathing them regularly every evening for about three weeks until at one of these baths the tadpoles take to the water to continue their development. Of course this is another way of sexing because if you see one carrying eggs - its a male!
This small toad is a maximum of 5cm and can be found in all regions of France except the north east. It has a large flattened head with a rounded nose, prominent eyes with vertical lozenge shaped pupils, its toes are long, smooth underneath and web less. The back is usually a drab grey or brown occasionally spotted with dark green, ventral surface is whitish with grey spots. Its chant resembles that of a Scops Owl Otus scops, a sort of persistent pew and this often causes confusion when there are only a few present, where populations are concentrated there should be no confusion possible.
Photos above are females:
It is difficult to tell the difference between the sexes although females will sometimes have red or orange spotting on the flanks running back from the eyes although not always prominent.
Males below have longer rear legs than females and are always the ones that have the eggs.
In France they are considered vulnerable / endangered and are a fully protected species
It is generally to found in woodland, under rock piles, in stone walls, under old tree stumps or wood piles. Although it can be found at altitudes of up to 2000 metres it is more generally a creature of the plains and valleys, populations often concentrated near rivers. It is gregarious, mostly nocturnal and its prey is made up of worms, small slugs, and various insects, insect eggs etc. It takes refuge in humid holes, old wells etc in times of excessive heat or drought. Hibernation takes place from October until March depending on temperatures.
Alyte or Crapaud accoucheur